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 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 correct and control their behavior. And Oscar’s built a business sabotaging his father’s scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they’re turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?
Then he meets Nia, the girl he can’t stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.
Although many have compared this to The Stepford Wives it reminded me immediately of 1998’s Sci-Fi Horror movie Disturbing Behavior which in a nutshell was about the fictional small town of Cradle Bay transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens. Featuring a stellar cast of both unknowns and semi-stars this hour and 24 minute film captured the essence of the book synopsis for Candor perfectly for me.
After reading Candor my initial impressions were reinforced but even with some similarities to the two movies this unique story spun out in a way that underlined that Oscar Banks got a raw deal from the beginning to the end.
Subliminal messages that create compliance notwithstanding there is no way that I personally would have made it one day in a make believe Utopia like Candor, am very glad that this was just a tale of fantasy because to have to live in a perfect controlled environment would be the worst kind of prison as life is meant to be emotional and messy. That said the plot itself was entertaining and enjoyable, if at times a bit too over the top but if you like this kind of fantasy it will make perfect sense from the get go to the end which is all one can ask for.
[Kindle version borrowed from Public Library]