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.