Releases: September 22, 2009
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 3 stars
In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, Oscar Banks has found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages that turn even the most troubled kids into model citizens. On the outside, he's the perfect Candor teen, and no one knows that he's built an entire business around helping new kids escape before the Messages take hold.
But then Nia Silva moves to town, and Oscar thinks she's perfect exactly the way she is. Soon he must make a choice: let Nia be lost to the brainwashing, or help her stay special and risk himself in the process.
Sci-fi isn’t what I would normally read, but I was intrigued by the summary and some of the great reviews I saw floating around. To say the least, I was a little nervous starting this, but in the end, I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.
It was a little slow in the beginning and I didn’t actually start getting into it until about a quarter, maybe half, way through. It felt like the story wasn’t really going anywhere at first, but once the real problems started occurring about halfway through, then things got more interesting. Although, some things I thought were a little predictable, but there was enough surprises to keep me wanting to know what was going to happen next.
Even though the messages made all the characters pretty much the same, some of their actions or choices showed glimpses of their true self. Oscar, the rebel that he is, stood out the most. He tries to beat the system by making his own messages so that he can be able to think for himself. I support him 100% because I definitely want to be able to make my own decisions, whether good or bad. The only thing I didn’t like was how fast Oscar fell in love with Nia. It seemed to fast, therefore it wasn’t really believable for me.
I do have to applaud Pam Bachorz for writing a very unexpected ending. If I were honest, I don’t fully like how it ended (you’ll know what I mean when you read it), but I love the idea of something different. It seems that a lot of books end the same way, so it’s nice to jazz things up a little bit. Overall, this was a great debut, one that even non sci-fi fans will enjoy.