Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

When I went to spend the remainder of my book budget at my local bookseller a couple of weeks ago, the owner suggested that I pick up a copy of Candor by Pam Bachorz. I had read a couple of online reviews, but this bookseller knows what I like and what my students will like, so I agreed.

And I am so very happy that I did!

Candor is possibly one of the most believable dystopias I have ever read. It has universal appeal, I think, for girls and guys, for teens and adults. I could even see myself using this book in reading circles or as a whole-class read. It's just that real, that scary, that awesome.

It's about this closed-off town in Florida. It was created by a man who was afraid that his family would leave him. So, he decided to purchase a huge chunk of land and build lots of fancy houses and a few little businesses. These houses would be sold at huge prices, partially because they are nice, but mostly because of what they promise. Total control over your children, your wife, your husband, your addictions, your abnormalities. Total.

How? There is music everywhere in this town. It's playing non-stop, even if you can barely hear it. Every track is filled with subliminal messages. Telling you what to think, how to feel. This is the perfect town, if you like "perfect" teens, "perfect" families. If not, you're in danger. Because the the messages will change you. If not, you will be taken away and reprogrammed. Candor will win.

The only teen who's rebelled successfully against these messages for any length of time is the son of the town's creator. Oscar moved to Candor with his mother and father after his brother's tragic death. Shortly after they moved there, Oscar's mother left. For good. And Oscar's father is going to make sure that Oscar never leaves.

But, what Oscar's dad doesn't know is that there is a growing subversive element in this town. That Oscar is helping teens to escape Candor. And, that Oscar has plans to leave and never return. Oscar's dad doesn't know this, but he does know that someone is working against him. And, he's going to find out who it is.

Again, this book is a must for anyone who loves (or even just likes) the dystopian genre. It is so very entertaining, so real-feeling that I could not put it down. Unlike some of the more extravagant and imaginative dystopias, this one has the hallmark of a true story. Which makes it all the more scary. This is Pam Bachorz's first novel--I cannot wait to read another!


  1. i'll have to read this one. it's definitely my kind of book. - i've seen it at my book shop, but we have a different cover. i much prefer your one!

    your students are very lucky to have you! you're always hunting down the best books for them. i never had a teacher like that :)


  2. I also loved this book when I read it this summer. I couldn't resist the cover and just had to buy it. The author has another book coming out in January that I am excited to read: http://www.pambachorz.com/drought/

  3. My students are all liking this book. It is creepy, but also makes me think that if we piped music into the library with subliminal messages...

  4. Hello! You have won an award on my blog, follow this link to check it out!
    Gabrielle Carolina
    The Mod Podge Bookshelf

  5. You are well liked because I too have given you an award on my blog. I found your blog on Random Buzzers and immediately became a follower. I enjoy reading your reviews and how you include your own summaries instead of those from Goodreads or book jackets. I loved the selection of books that you review and your author interviews. Yes, I am gushing a bit. For these reasons, I have awarded you with the Stylish Blogger Award. Please visit my blog at http://actinupwithbooks.blogspot.com/2010/11/1.html to see how to receive the award.

    If you are unable to participate in this chain post, I understand, but I wanted to let you know that I like your blog!



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