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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  5,093 ratings  ·  779 reviews
In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town’s founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant—perfect—through subliminal Messages that carefully correc
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by EgmontUSA (first published September 1st 2009)
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"Candor" is about Oscar Banks, the model son who lives in the model town of Candor, Florida. He is perfect in every way - he gets perfect grades, is the perfect boyfriend, and is the epitome of what every child in Candor should be. However, this alibi is just a cover. Oscar knows the big secret of Candor - that his father, the head of the town, is brainwashing everyone with subliminal messages in order to keep them perfectly orderly and rule-abiding. Oscar has even made a counter - business in o ...more
Sophie Riggsby
First, I cannot say enough about this book, so forgive the Gushing Factor right away or you'll never finish reading this post.

Second, I admit to loving books about a dystopian/utopian, Stepford-esque society. It's a bias. So I'll throw it out there.

Third, wait, you're still with me? Okay, here comes the review part. Pam Bachorz introduces her snarky male protagonist on page one. We meet Oscar Banks. The son of the founder of Candor, FL. He is the Boy Who Can Do No Wrong. And he doesn't. Well, o
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I'd been looking forward to reading this book but I can't say that I loved it all that much. The premise was fantastic, the plot was decent, the execution just wasn't impressive. The writing was simple and pretty easy to follow. The protagonist, Oscar, wasn't complex enough and very uninteresting - I just couldn't connect with him. His relationships were unbelievable too and not just because he was living in Candor. The only character I could feel anything for was Nia, and that was only slight. ...more
This was such an interesting and different read! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian and is looking for something relatable but with a twist! This is a book about a town where one man controls everyone by brainwashing everyone through music. It's the story of his son: a boy living in this brainwashed town but who knows how to fight it and what he does with that knowledge.

Now, I did have some problems with the book. I wish it would have been longer, for starters, because a lot of the im
Candor is a YA novel in the spirit of The Stepford Wives. Author Pam Bachorz invented a town where parents of delinquent, bullying or just plan slacker kids can turn to for subliminal Messages to improve the kid’s behavior, appearance, and grade point average. The Messages don’t just work on kids, though. Oscar’s dad (the town founder) promises to help parents beat their own demons from smoking to motivation to being addicted to Goodreads. *ahem*

Clearly, Oscar’s dad is a hot mess of issues. As
Kristen "Kirby"
Dec 29, 2010 Kristen "Kirby" rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Light weight Sci-fi fans
Shelves: march-2010, reviews, ya
The first 5 chapters of Candor had me thinking "Wow. This is going to be an exciting, well-rounded, and complex story."

Many, many chapters later, on page 162/256, I was sighing, hoping for something, ANYTHING to happen.

Then, on page 170ish there's finally a major conflict. (I'm sure you can guess what happens, but I won't say.)

The story took far to long to get started, but once it did, WOW. Awesome. The ending is unlike anything you'd ever guess.

Candor is a story to be taken lightly. If you l
Oscar Banks is the perfect boyfriend, the perfect son, and the perfect example of what every child should be like. Oscar’s father is the founder of Candor, an exclusive community where everything is perfect – there is no crime, teenagers do their homework and obey their parents, and everyone lives a healthy lifestyle (since instead of ice cream the stores only sell frozen yogurt and instead of popcorn at the movies they only serve carrot sticks).

Oscar plays the part of the model student perfectl
I've been hearing a lot of great things about Candor, so naturally, I was excited to read it. The premise was definitely interesting--an entire town controlled by subliminal messages. With that being said, I had a difficult time getting into this book. Honestly, I had a difficult time finishing this book until the last 40 pages or so.

I think the characterization in the book is what made me have trouble sticking with it. The plot was interesting, the writer's style was good, but the characters ne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like many other people, I jumped onto this book because of the plot. I mean, the concept sounded amazing, so interesting and unique.

The only problem: everything else was so bland.

Now, don't get me wrong. It seems like I have very high standards when it comes to dystopian novels. And it's not like this book was so terrible it deserves to be burnt. It was just... nothing.

The characters were mlehh, the writing was too simple and also mlehh, and the book was just mlehh.

I do admit when I finished the
H.I. Almuhairi
I have no idea what to say as I'm writing this review so let's start with how I'm feeling about the book right now, only half an hour after I've finished it. Disappointed, let-down.

I was even tempted to give it a two-star, but there were too many good parts that made up my mind about the book.

Candor's prompt is exciting. A brain-washed community, a boy/hero that's against it and a heroine to go along with it. Even the way people were brain-washed was interesting: by messages. It's a creepy idea
I've already read 1984. Apparently, so has Pam.
What. I read all that for this? What.
This book has subtle nods to 1984 in terms of mind control of subjects. However, the setting is Florida, and it's a town called Candor. It is never explained how Oscar Banks' father is able to just set up a town and brainwash everyone who lives in it without being figured out or called out on it. He's basically the ruler of this town, and the specifics of his subliminal messaging technology are never quite explained. Apparently his older son died as a result of his bad decisions. For that reason ...more
I had heard so many good things about this book and I didn't love it. I think the concept is fantastic, especially this whole idea of a utopian society that is not connected to a post-apocalypse. I never really got into the why's of things, I never really understood the back story. I wanted to learn more about why Campbell Banks created this place to begin with. But, it seemed that despite the great concept, there was a rush to get somewhere, but I never connected with where I was supposed to be ...more
by Pam Bachorz

Think your parents are controlling? Oscar Banks’s father is a genius. He was sick of Oscar always getting in trouble, so he bought a huge chunk of land in Florida, created a subdivision, called it Candor, and invited other families with “troubled teens” to move in...for a price. Oh yeah, and he developed a way to use music to make teens do what they’re told to.

“It happens fast. One day kids are blasting their music, ignoring their parents, smoking or drinking or doing whate
4.5 stars

Candor is a fresh take on the sci-fi topic of mind-control while being intriguing, thought-provoking, and almost a little creepy. The thought of teens lives being controlled by messages they don't even realize are there moves it right up the scale. Candor is definately a book to keep your curiousity pumping!

Candor took a few chapters to really pick up, but once it did, there was no putting it down. The story was addicting - I had to know what would happen next. Pam Bachorz kept you gues
I wanted to lavish the book with compliments, with praise, with excitement on my face about how freaking much I love this book. Of course though, there’s a but (there’s always a but). I had some annoying frustration on my end when I first read Candor.

I guess my biggest reluctance would be Oscar. Oscar at some point seemed childish to me? His attraction to Nia may have resulted to the fact that she represents everything Oscar abhors. Does he only love her because he hates this town, hates his fa
Wow, I've been reading a lot of great books lately and this one was no exception. Candor was an amazing read. I read it pretty quickly, too. It reminded me a bit of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and The Giver by Lois Lowery. The first thing that captured me was the line on the back cover: "Stepford makes the perfect wife, but Candor teens are changed for life." Now anyone who has read or seen the movie, The Stepford Wives, knows exactly how scary this quote is. I was hooked from the first chapter a ...more
Casey Brock
My whole high school is being made to read this book, one grade level at a time, and I was one of the last to get it. The whole time I kept hearing how terrible it was, which made me very reluctant to get into it, but I did as told.

In short, this book isn't terrible. The storyline is interesting once you suspend your disbelief and you gradually begin to like the narrator. There are a few major problems though.

1. So many lines just fall totally flat. There are some that actually elicited a physic
Book Info
Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by EgmontUSA (first published September 22nd 2009)
original title Candor
edition language English
literary awards Florida Teens Read Nominee (2010), Cybils Awards Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2009)
other editions (17)
Source:Kindle version borrowed from Public Library

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In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Ba

Imagine a world where every citizen is perfect. There is no deciding between right and wrong because the right decision is already made for you. Worrying about fitting in isn’t a problem as long as you listen to the Messages, fatally addicting subliminal messages hidden behind the soft classical music constantly flowing through the speakers in Candor, turning even the most troubled teenagers and adults into model citizens. People flock from miles around to not only fix themselves and live in th
Rose Haertl
Oscar Banks is a normal, average Candor kid. He lives with his father and goes to school and gets good grades like every normal kid. Things seem just perfect in the little Candor town. Every kid gets good grades,no graffiti or gangs, or sexually affectionate teens in the streets. Only, Oscar Banks knows a secret. His father, the owner of the town, plays special messages to brainwash people into doing what he wants! To make a "perfect" town where everyone is normal, just like everyone else. Howev ...more
Emily Togstad
Emily Togstad


I read the book “Candor” written by Pam Bachorz. I liked this book; however, I didn’t really like the ending. The ending was definitely a surprise. It was also very sad. It was sad knowing that Oscar wasn’t going to end up with Nia.

In this book Oscar lived in a model community. Every teen wanted to be like Oscar Banks. He was the son of the town’s founder. Oscar earned straight As, is student-body president, and was in demand for every club. Oscar knew that
Aaron Danke
Candor, by Pam Bachorz is a book about a perfect society in suburban Florida that is achieved through special messages. These messages are delivered subtly in soft music that plays all throughout the town. The main character is a teenager named Oscar. He lives with his dad who created, and runs the town. Oscar had a mother who liked to make art, and was more open than his father. She left Candor one night when she got in a fight with Oscars father who threw away all of her art, after she left. H ...more
I thought that the premise was interesting, but Oscar wasn't that much.

When Nia comes into his life, everything changes. And that exactly was what made me not like the story more.

Although I think that the ending was executed pretty well. I liked that one a lot.

I think that this would be great movie material, but as a novel it just was okay.
Recommended for: Fans of light dystopian novels with a sassy male narrator. Readers who want a more YA version of Masterminds or a book like Fake ID or Little Brother

Age recommendation: Mature seventh grade +

Review: Parents move their misbehaving children and broken families to Candor, Florida to start a new life. Days after kids move to Candor, their behavior changes: if they bullied or stole in a past life, they become neat, studious, and peaceful. Nothing bothers them. It's like... they're ro
Candor is a great example of "be careful what you wish for." Parents wishing that their children would adhere to strict standards of behavior would be wise to read this book and see just what a community of like minded people could turn into. Candor sounds like a great idea, use subliminal messages to mold people into what they "should" be. Drug problems, violence, crime, smoking, overeating, and all of our other societal vices are carefully eliminated in Candor. As a result everything should be ...more
Oct 29, 2009 Nicole added it
I loved the idea of a planned city where everyone is perfect due to subliminal messages. While the teenagers are perfect children for their parents, one happens to rebel quietly and right under the nose of the city's founder, and I love that Oscar Banks is the rebel and the city planner is his dad. It was wonderful to see all the ways Oscar was able to trick his dad, and you are just waiting for him to get caught. However, while this story had a great plot of Oscar rebelling against this perfect ...more
No paranormal elements, which normally isn't my thing, but this is enjoyable. The pacing is slow, but somehow it works for Candor.

Oscar's like a spy in enemy territory, always trying to fit in, with his cover always at risk. This makes for constant tension throughout the book. He has to watch every move he makes, every word that comes out of his mouth. It's tedious work, but he does it well. I'd be exhausted!

Oh, and not only are the kids insanely perfect and zombie-clone-like, but the parents ar
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Thoughts on Candor 15 55 Feb 25, 2015 09:03AM  
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Pam Bachorz grew up in a small town in the Adirondack foothills, where she participated in every possible performance group and assiduously avoided any threat of athletic activity, unless it involved wearing sequined headpieces and treading water. With a little persuasion she will belt out tunes from "The Music Man" and "The Fantasticks", but she knows better than to play cello in public anymore. ...more
More about Pam Bachorz...

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“But I can’t leave, not yet. I’ll stay with her until sunrise. If I brace my feet, I won’t slide. I can rest my cheek on the roof tile and still see her. Pacing. Pulling her hair.

“I’ll fix you,” I tell her. “I promise.”

Even though I don’t know how.
It’s better than good-bye.”
“It’s disgusting. They melted my girl down and poured her into their mold. And this perversion is what she cooled into. I can’t be near her. Can’t see her, smell her, hear her voice chirping like a bird.

I tell her the same thing I’ve been whispering every night on the roof. “I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”
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