Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bookanista Review: Candor, by Pam Bachorz

Another Thursday, another Bookanista review--and this week I'm doing something a little different. Instead of focusing on an upcoming book I've had the pleasure of reading the ARC for, I wanted to focus on a book that I just discovered, and can't believe I missed before now. Candor, by Pam Bachorz.

Here's what the publisher has to say about it:

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.

I have no idea how I missed this book when it came out, but a friend recommended it and OMG. It's fresh, page turning, and elegantly told. There's a million and one dystopian novels popping up on the tails of The Hunger Games, and this one sets itself apart from the pack in all the best ways.

For one thing, it's set in the present day, in a town that could be any of ours, which adds a whole new level of tension. I'm not sure I'll ever look at hidden speakers playing music (can we say Disneyland, anyone?) the same way again.

It also shatters the lame misconception that male main characters in YA are a bad idea. This story wouldn't work in any other POV, and Oscar is an excellent character. His voice is spot on--he sounds exactly like a teenage boy--and he's genuine and likable. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel so I can spend more time in Oscar's head. It's an awesome place to be.

So if you're a fan of suspense, dystopian, or cute boys I highly recommend you run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy. Here's hoping we can send a message to the publishing industry that male main characters are just as marketable as females. And no, I don't mean a subliminal mind control Message. If I'm going to create one of those it's going to be about buying middle grade fantasy, especially a book written by Shannon Messenger. ;)

For more fabulous reviews, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are up to today:

And if you want a chance to win a highly anticipated ARC for TORMENT, click here for my latest contest. :)


  1. I can't wait to read this. I won this on Elana Johnson's blog. It really sounds good.

  2. Great review. I really enjoyed this book.

  3. I have heard of this one and keep meaning to read it, darn-it! Nice review!

  4. What a great recommendation - thank you! And this is different with a male lead - and dystopian stories always gets my vote!

    Thanks for this!

    take care

  5. Thanks for doing things a little differently here. I've seen this one mentioned a few times and held it on my TBR list for a while. I need to move it up! Thanks for your review!


  6. YAy for male protags! Yay! Did you know Disney world has it's own town in FL? It's a whole gated community and Disney gave everyone electric car thingy to drive around. One of the members alt band I like grew up there. Too bad I can't remember the name of the town or the band to confirm all of this. LAME.
    Sounds like a very cool book.

  7. oooh, this one is on my list fo sho!

  8. I read this one a while back and even I only gave it a 3/5 on my blog--it's a book I still rememeber very well and think about from time to time. I hope that perhaps they'll be a sequel one day. Oh and I did really like Oscar as a male voice.

  9. First of all this sounds awesome. Thanks for bringing it onto my radar Shannon!

    Second, I'm writing a YA novel with a male MC so anything that proves it can work is A-Okay with me.

  10. CANDOR is one of my favorite novels! I love the cover, and every word inside. A brilliant book -- can't wait for the next one!

  11. I somehow managed to miss this one as well. Thanks for posting it, I've added it to my TBR pile!

  12. It doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous........



  13. Oh, I've never heard of this one. It sounds awesome. Thanks for reviewing it, #1. :-)

  14. Candor has been on my wishlist for a while now - it sounds fantastic!

  15. Heard a lot of good stuff about this book, so thanks for the review!

  16. Wow, this DOES sound really good. And I am so ready for a male point of view. In fact I've been switching back to MG reads lately just because I have been craving non-female points of view!

    Adding this book to my Goodreads list now... thanks!

  17. Even my daughter doesn't have this one. She clearly missed it too. (and she loves books told from male pov...her face author if John Green)

    I'll have to pick this one up. Thanks for the heads up. :)


  18. Oh wow, this sounds fantastic! Thank you for the fab review, I'll definitely be on the look out for it!

  19. Wow. I hadn't heard of this, and now I have to read it. Thanks, Shannon.

  20. How exactly did I miss this? It looks fantastic!! Must add it to my list. Great review, Shannon! Thanks for highlighting a book I might otherwise have missed.


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