Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

Oscar Banks spends his days trying to convince his Stepford town of Candor that he's as "perfect" as everyone else there is. But he's not - because he knows the secret behind the perfection and takes steps against losing his own free will. But when wild Nia moves to town, his falling for her jeopardizes all he's worked so hard to protect.

Candor is definitely a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Parents bring their problem children to the town and consent to brainwashing to straighten them out. But they not only sign away their children's individuality, but their own as well. Sure, the town's subliminal messages can help you quit smoking, but they also place all power in the hands of one man: the founder of the town, who also happens to be Oscar's father. Oscar's father isn't an evil man per se, but his methods are certainly fascist and it is chilling to read about just how far he's willing to go to keep his vision of a perfect world.

Because everyone is so well-behaved, this is more of a quiet dystopia, but that doesn't mean it is boring. Oscar's struggle for control is a fascinating one, and the new feelings and past memories Nia brings to the surface provide most of the narrative tension. Supporting characters such as Mandi, a former Queen Bee meanie, and Sherman, a social wreck, illustrate both the good and the bad of Candor's MO. And that ending...whoa. I am still trying to wrap my head around that one.

CANDOR is available in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author's website.

15 comments:

Donna Gambale said...

I've read a ton of reviews of this one -- mostly positive, but mixed -- but I always look forward to reading your take on a novel! Thanks!

Meg said...

I'm definitely intrigued by this one -- a "quiet dystopia" sounds right up my alley. I'll look for it!

She said...

This is the first time I've heard of this one, but it seems like a nice change to the other dystopias I've read!

Liviania said...

I really want to read this one - I love a good shocking ending.

bermudaonion said...

Ooh, Stepford Kids! This sounds like a great book.

Staci said...

My son read this and really enjoyed it!! Glad to see you did too!

Amanda said...

I JUST finished this one last night. It was my 100th book this year too! It was a good one.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I think I would really enjoy a quiet dystopia. Sound like it manages to pack quite a punch!

Jodie said...

This does sound fascinating and like it would make a great companion to 'Stepford Wives'.

Ali said...

I don't normally seek out dystopian fiction but this one intrigues me.

Cleverly Inked said...

I can't make up my mind with this one is it a TBR or Not TBR lol.. That is the question.

Zibilee said...

I've heard a lot of buzz about this book, but not much about it's plot. Looks like something I would find very interesting, so on the list it goes! Awesome review!

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Michelle said...

The ending totally made the book for me. I was so glad that the author went that direction it left me wanting more but completely satisfied with where we were at the same time.

Ladytink_534 said...

I want to read this one! It really sounds neat :)