Dec 1, 2009

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor CoverOscar is the perfect example of what a Candor kid should be. He has the best grades, is active in his community, is a role-model and always willing to help. Too bad it's all an act.

After a childhood accident caused his family to break up, Oscar's father was determined to create the perfect existence. That's where the Messages came into play. They are just self affirmations, but they are played in the background of everyday life all the time. They're in the grocery store, in school, in the bushes, even in the houses. You can't help but follow the simple instructions like, "The great are never late" and "Personal space in every place." Families pay big bucks and sit on a waiting list, hoping to be allowed to join this exclusive community and fix their "problems."

A lot of those "problems" look and sound like Nia. She is the prime example of what Candor is trying to fix. She is artistic (read free-thinking), rebellious (read self-sufficient), mouthy (really, what teen isn't?). Oscar, being the perfect Candor kid that he is, decides to introduce himself to his potential new client. See, Oscar has a few tricks up his sleeve as he knows how to create Messages that combat those of his father and he knows how to get you out. Only, Nia seems different. Oscar is intrigued by her and decides to keep quiet a bit longer than normal because he doesn't just see her as a client. Time is running out though and Oscar has some major decisions to make.

Candor was quick-paced and intriguing. A form of mind-control through subliminal messaging that doesn't usually lend well to reading was used quite adeptly in this book. Bachorz made the messages fun and catchy, giving them all the more credibility when you hear yourself repeating them after you've put the book down (true story, I actually did this). I found the characters very dynamic in that there are those who represent a rebellious "leader," a follower, a flake, and a victim. In a way, the whole story actually sounds plausible and reminds me of the exclusive "McMansion" neighborhoods I see in hip, urban areas. Think The Stepford Wives doing car-wash fundraisers mixed with Ferris Bueller suave and you've got Candor. Great read!

1 comment:

swiggett said...

Your review is more intriguing than the book's summary - looking forward to reading this one!