Sophie Riggsby's Reviews > Candor

Candor by Pam Bachorz
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's review
Feb 26, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: dont-tell-others-youre-my-fave
Read in October, 2009

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, or so it seems especially to all the adults involved including his famous father.

Except in this perfect planned community, where everything from the lawns to your children to your marriage is perfect, Oscar has learned to work against the system. You see in Candor, everyone is conditioned to eat the right food, to study, to not litter, to be perfect through subliminal messages piped in through speakers that are everywhere.

But not Oscar. He's learned how to de-program the messages. And he'll share this finding with any newcomer who has the money to pay him. Generous to a fault. Unfortunately, one day a girl named Nia shows up. A spunky, skateboarding artist who is just like all the other children when they first move to Candor - she's rebellious and never does the right thing. But Oscar really wants to help her. More so than the others and so he does.

What builds from there is a romantic plot filled with twists and turns that leave you elated and heart broken and rooting for Oscar and Nia to make it. As I read along, I kept thinking of some of the great utopian novels I read when I was in school - 1984, Stepford Wives and even Logan's Run.

I was reminded of why even in this day and age, we search for that type of perfection. Why the concept was used a few years ago when Disney created just such a community in Celebration, FL minus the brainwashing, of course.

So the reality of Candor exists even today. We're not far away from the concept. And it's scary. As Bachorz warns through Oscar and his research, there are serious side effects. The homogenization of America is just not what is at the core of the Melting Pot our Founding Fathers envisioned. And yet, in pockets all over America, we seek just that.I won't spoil the ending.

I'll finish by saying that the last 40-50 pages left me literally breathless and when I turned the last page, it all made sense. My hats off to Pam Bachorz for creating truly a masterpiece. I am recommending this for all who love impossible love, seek perfection or run from it, long for a good thrilling plot and most of all one heck of a compassionate, sympathetic male character. Oscar Banks, I'm still cheering for you.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Mallory How can you possibly like the end

Sophie Riggsby For me it was a nod to classic dystopians like 1984. And I did make up my own, ending-in-my-head but yes, as it's written....I loved it.

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