Steph Su's Reviews > Possession

Possession by Elana Johnson
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2010935
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did not like it
bookshelves: cover-lust, debs11, dystopian, did-not-finish

I felt like there was a significant lack of thorough world-building going on with this one. Lots of things just did not make sense, and led me to believe that they existed in the story merely to move the plot or characterization along. For instance, how does it make sense to put Jag and Vi, both apparently dangerous criminals, in the SAME JAIL CELL, when there is a whole entire room full of empty cells? And then to leave it minimally guarded so that escape is possible (yet is mysteriously never able to be fully realized)? That just screams rape scenario to me, and resulted in me not feeling the weird relationship between the two of them at all.

And then there was the scene in which Vi eats really good food in jail, in which she eats ham or something, and remarks that she doesn't know what ham is. So the guards or Jag told her the term "ham"? Otherwise, she would not know the term. I mean, COME ON. The most important part of any dystopian novel is credibility and logic. I felt like this book left that aside in favor of advancing some magical li'l "romance" between Jag and Vi.

Speaking of which...no. Just no. I think YA readers should be discouraged from falling in love with someone about whom the only thing they know is that he is "bad" and thus in jail or whatever. Come on, Vi. You claim to be smart and rebellious (what is up with that, by the way? You say you're a smart character but all you do is scream and kick and fight and you do no THINKING at all) but then end up just as enraptured by love as the next addlepated "dystopian" "heroine." Note the quotation marks. Yes, they are there on purpose.

I never thought I'd say I'm tired of dystopians, but the recent deluge in the YA genre of poorly conceived dystopians that sacrifice believability and thoroughness for the sake of the illusion they call "luuuuv" is beginning to make me think I'm done with this subgenre. And that is a terrible, terrible thing for a book to lead YA readers to.
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Reading Progress

September 17, 2010 – Shelved
September 17, 2010 – Shelved as: cover-lust
September 17, 2010 – Shelved as: debs11
March 16, 2011 – Shelved as: dystopian
April 11, 2011 –
page 62
14.9% "I feel like I missed something earlier. Some things are not making much sense..."
July 24, 2016 – Shelved as: did-not-finish

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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Aleeeeeza methinks i'll have to mark my review with the same tag--unfinished :/


Steph Su Aleeza wrote: "methinks i'll have to mark my review with the same tag--unfinished :/"

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way. -_-;


Aleeeeeza I felt the EXACT same way when i saw your review--ha! :D


Aleeeeeza but seriously though, this controlling society crap is really turning me off. i just don't GET them.


Steph Su Aleeza wrote: "but seriously though, this controlling society crap is really turning me off. i just don't GET them."

I have less a problem with controlling societies in dystopian than with the way the society in this novel was--or, rather, was NOT--presented. The origination and behavior of the society in this novel was just so inconsistent that I had trouble believing that something like this could exist.


Aleeeeeza Steph Su wrote: "Aleeza wrote: "but seriously though, this controlling society crap is really turning me off. i just don't GET them."

I have less a problem with controlling societies in dystopian than with the way..."


that's totally how i felt. i mean, all dystopians have controlling societies, if you think about it, but in this one the believability factor was seriously lacking, as was the consistency.


message 7: by oliviasbooks (new)

oliviasbooks Wow. THAT bad. Thank you!!!


Steph Su oliviasbooks wrote: "Wow. THAT bad. Thank you!!!"

I thought about going back and marking every passage I felt was illogical, but then that would've involved revisiting the book. *sigh* So I didn't!


message 9: by oliviasbooks (new)

oliviasbooks Don't lose your faith in news YA dystopian fiction completely, though. I recommend Pure by Julianna Baggott whole-heartedly.


Steph Su oliviasbooks wrote: "Don't lose your faith in news YA dystopian fiction completely, though. I recommend Pure by Julianna Baggott whole-heartedly."

Good to know; I will look into that book. Thank you!


message 11: by oliviasbooks (last edited Apr 30, 2011 06:30AM) (new)

oliviasbooks ... although I seem to be the only "rater" to give it five stars. Hmmm. But I loved it.


message 12: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica B Well crap, I've got this one from GalleyGrab. The best dystopia I've read since Birthmarked was Divergent, so if you haven't read that yet I'd recommend you check that one out! There's no instant "luuuuv". :)


Steph Su Jessica wrote: "Well crap, I've got this one from GalleyGrab. The best dystopia I've read since Birthmarked was Divergent, so if you haven't read that yet I'd recommend you check that one out! There's no instant "..."

Yes, I've read both Birthmarked and Divergent. Divergent was great!


message 14: by Liyana (new)

Liyana Nice review. And also, that last paragraph. SO MUCH.


message 15: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John I just read this a week ago, and I have to agree on it. >.> I don't think I outright HATE it - she has some good stuff going on underneath it all - but it's buried underneath so many attempts to move the plot without any real world building, characterization...it read like a very, very detailed outline. Plus - I never had enough description to really picture the setting, which kills me with books like this.


message 16: by Lena (new) - added it

Lena Pereira I'm not sure whether to start this book or not! From all your comments I think Not Is the answer! Thx all!


Steph Su Lena wrote: "I'm not sure whether to start this book or not! From all your comments I think Not Is the answer! Thx all!"

I think there are much better books out there. Better to spend your time on one of those. :)


Channah It's not that I disagree with your opinion of the book, but you're being unfair.
1) Vi has wondered at least 3 times why they put her and Jag together. At the moment it appears they for some reason wanted her to break more rules.
2) The conversation in question goes as follows:
"Must be ham tonight"
"Ham?"
"Yeah, it's meat."
"Oh." I wasn't quite sure what meat was, but I didn't want to admit it.
Jag said ham and she inquired what it was. She didn't magically know the term.

I'm currently about half-way through and the book is hilariously bad. :) I might recommend it just for the laughs (it feels like reading an un-edited draft of a novel written by a 12 year oldv("goodies" and "baddies"? I know 2 year olds more inventive than that... I get the kids calling people that, but the GOVERNMENT???), complete with author's notes in parentheses.)


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