Sunday, 6 March 2011

Candor - Pam Bachorz

Can I first just say that I love the name 'Pam Bachorz'? I have no idea why but I just do. It's such a good name. I think it was partly why I picked this book up.
Anyway. I saw this in my local library and having seen The Bookette's Review on it, it looked good and sounded right up my street in the terms of dystopian. But. I'm not sure about this one...

Synopsis: Oscar Banks lives in the rural town of Candor, build by his father. He is seen to everyone as popular, smart and the model citizen that his father wants in his town. However, under the surface, Oscar knows something. Everyone in Candor is controlled by subliminal messages played constantly, brainwashing everyone acts perfectly and does what his father tells them.
Oscar has found a way to block the messages into controlling him so on the outside, he is still the model citizen everyone thinks him as. There is just one problem: Nia Silva - the new kid on the block. Coming to Candor after running away repeatedly, Oscar's father and her parents are sure they can fix her. But after Oscar takes her under his wing, he has to decide whether to control her for himself to see the Nia he loves or let her turn into his father's Candor automaton...

Review: I'm really not sure what to say about this book. At first, it was all about Oscar's 'clients'. He helps people get out of the town and lead their own lives - for a price. For the first...10 chapters or so, it was all he talked about and to be honest, it wasn't that interesting. After that, when Nia is introduced, it gets more interesting but to me, it happens so fast. Like she's suddenly a new person and then, whoa. She's his best friend. Would you really build on that trust that quickly? Time does seem to go fast in this novel.

Overall, I liked Oscar as a voice for the novel. Pam Bachorz has used both short and long sentences to sound like a teenager and like he is talking directly to you. He also sounds so much like a boy of that age from my experiences at school and as the author is a female, she's done it well to reflect teenage boy's thoughts and feelings of today. Nia I also liked. She was the 'damsel in distress' kind of role but yet she still had attitude and personality and I could personally, understand where she was coming from.
    The novel explores what it would be like today if you lived in a town controlled by something like Big Brother in 1984. It is set in a town in Florida today. Now. Which is a different take on most authors that write in this genre who mostly go for the future. I liked it this way.

The setting, the way it was written and the characters were fine (well maybe not Sherman who got on my nerves straight away) but there was just something I didn't like about it. Something that made it...average. Nothing particularly special. If this was a series, I maybe would read the next book but only to see that happens to Oscar and Nia. That's what I meant by I'm not sure about it.

Overall, this book is well-written but it does have its faults and there is something about it that I didn't like. Pam Bachorz has done a good job at making it different from other books and setting it in modern day but yet, having a futurisic feel to it.
*WARNING* The ending will make you feel sad. That's all I'm saying...

I give it a 3 out of 5

Author's Website:
Pages: 287
Publisher: Egmont Press
Challenges: None


  1. Interesting review, I like how honest you are about the book. I have had books where I feel the same "I really don't know what to say..." vibe. Some day I might give this book a go, but it is not something that could hold my interest right now! Thanks for the enlightening review!

  2. I agree with you on most parts and thought it was a good book overall. But I didn't like the ending however...
    Guess I'm just a sucker for fairy tales.


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