Pricky's Reviews > Possession

Possession by Elana Johnson
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Mar 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: dazed-and-confused, dystopia, read-in-2011, sci-fi, ya, could-ve-been-but-wasn-t

OH. BOY. 1.5 Stars. The best way to explain this? Great Take-off, but the flight was rocky, and then a crash and burn landing. I really don't like to be so harsh but by the end, I was just so completely appalled.

The premise was what initially caught my eye: a society plugged into subliminal messages, a rebellion in the midst...hey, it sounded like Matrix, so I gave it a try....

Sadly, the only redeeming quality is that some of Violet's thoughts are pretty sarcastic and funny. Sadly, that's all there was.

Violet is a rebellious teen in a society controlled by subliminal messages or "brainwashing." She's been matched to a Special Forces Agent named Zenn and soon finds herself arrested, and ends up meets a cell mate named Jag; they escape from prison, and Violet ends up discovering information about her missing father and sister.

The problems I had with the characters and plot?
1. I never really got a clear picture of what this society looks like. First there's the plugging in for your daily messages, but then there are special people in the society who have 'special mental powers' who can direct the brain washing and make you do things, and even control technology; then there's all this special tech equipment, locations of badlands (which are actually good)/goodlands (which are actually bad), Associations, mind rangers, etc...After a while, I had absolutely NO CLUE what we were even talking about anymore.
2. Now, let's just talk about Violet and Jag. Can anyone say dysfunctional? I just don't know if Johnson realizes what a messed-up relationship this is. (view spoiler). Can we all repeat after me? THIS IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. END IT NOW. Can someone please help me understand? In a novel geared toward YA, do we want teenagers to think it's okay to be treated like this.

As much as it's a bummer to read a poorly written story; it's made far worse when it's suggesting that it's okay for dating couples to treat each other abusively without any realistic consequences. Maybe I'm too sensitive? What did you think?
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Reading Progress

March 13, 2011 – Shelved
September 8, 2011 – Started Reading
September 10, 2011 –
page 197
47.36% "It's pulling me in FAST. A couple of places are somewhat confusing and don't make sense...but it's quickly paced and I can't stop reading!"
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: dazed-and-confused
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: dystopia
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: sci-fi
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: ya
September 16, 2011 – Shelved as: could-ve-been-but-wasn-t
September 16, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Lis (new)

Lis Okay, I promise this is my last comment, but I totally agree! I hate how so many ya books are pushing the semi-abusive (cue: super abusive) relationship onto young girls (and guys) and showing them it's okay. Even subliminally. It seems like people are almost becoming desensitized to it. So many ya books are based on these star-crossed romances that end up with either the guy being over-bearing, and almost stalkerish, or else rude, aloof, childish, and verbally abusive. (not to mention some that broach the physically abusive topic) where is the middle ground? This is why I like books like Under the Never Sky, Graceling, Poison Study, Anna, Lola, most of Sarah Dessen's stuff, etc. Because the girls are just as strong, or become strong like the men that they're with, or else they recognize that they're being treated badly and give the guys a piece of their minds. Of course I liked Hush, Hush and Twilight as much as the next girl, but I see where you're coming from. It's sad that the message being presented to young people today is that sometimes abusive relationships are okay. I just hope that they are wiser than that and realize that fiction is a way to escape (in both positive and negative ways) from the world that we live in. Gah, I have an entire list of books I don't let my baby sister read yet (she's 15) because of this very thing hahaha

x


Pricky HopelessWanderer wrote: "Okay, I promise this is my last comment, but I totally agree! I hate how so many ya books are pushing the semi-abusive (cue: super abusive) relationship onto young girls (and guys) and showing the..."

I love your comments! I feel so honored! :D

What I don't understand is why so many FEMALE writers are presenting this kind of behavior in their stories?! Do they really think it's okay?! (Granted if there's a realistic outcome to the relationship, like the girl dumps him, then I'm fine with it...but if the girl just keeps going along like it's OK? No thank you.) Also there's the question of how much of it translates into your own life. Take for instance, Twilight, and I do love that story, but I didn't realize until after I read it that yes, there really is something very creepy about a boy watching you sleep, vampire or not. It didn't bother me in the book but it would bother me in real life...

I really do wonder how much teens pick up on and what message they are taking from what they read. (There are 10 year olds reading Hunger Games and I've been told they don't "pick up" on all the violence. I wish I could remember what I was thinking when I was that age (SO LONG AGO! LOL.)

The other thing about YA romance that bothers me is that the attraction is ONLY about how "HOT" the guy is. And believe me, I like HOT-ness but throw in a little more substance into the relationship! I think that's why I liked Anna and Lola because it wasn't just about the attraction and that made it so much more real. Look, now I'm getting long winded here! I'm not sure if I made any sense; maybe I should pull out my psychology books to try and understand the psychology behind all of this....Okay, I'm done now. :D


message 3: by Lis (new)

Lis You made perfect sense! And I completely agree 100% I get so aggravated when girls stay with guys who are basically crazy. I keep waiting for the inevitable break up scene and then when it doesn't come I get so bugged and just rant rant rant to everyone I know. :) And kids pick up on more than we give them credit for. It's so scary when I think about raising kids in a world like ours (not that I have any yet, but in the future). I definitely have a list of "not until your older" books hahah :)


Pricky HopelessWanderer wrote: "You made perfect sense! And I completely agree 100% I get so aggravated when girls stay with guys who are basically crazy. I keep waiting for the inevitable break up scene and then when it doesn..."

Good idea! I think I'll have to make a list like that too! And I have to say, reading to your kid is a whole lot different than when you're reading to yourself; it's like you put your "mommy" glasses on and then you start to critique every little sentence, then you start editing out a few words, lines, sometimes paragraphs....hahahah. :)


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