From Goodreads: 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 corre…moreIn 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.
If you liked The Stepford Wives, there’s a very good chance that you’re also going to like Candor. In this novel, however, it’s the children that are brainwashed and not necessarily the wives, though that reference is there as well. I really liked the concept of this novel, and I liked the writing style, yet, it made me really angry. Not at the author, mind you, Bachorz does a phenomenal job fleshing out the story, but I spent the entire novel angry at Oscar’s father, and all the parents in the community, for doing this to their children. It’s not just a phase either, once someone begins listening to the Messages, they can never stop—those that have had their brains explode—and the fact that Mr. Banks knows about this side effect and still has no issues with what he does, made me livid.
I have a hard time liking a book when I dislike over half the characters, and though I thought Oscar was an okay guy, trying to beat the system and help those new to the community save themselves, he’s also a very selfish young man. Although he begins to change throughout the novel, coming of age, as it were, I still prominently disliked him, especially because of his treatment of those around him, using the system to his advantage. I mean, in the long run, I don’t know how else he could have attempted to defeat the Messages, and I guess that what he chose to do is really the only thing he could, but I just wanted it to end so differently. Nia is such a cool character, a lot like me, actually, and I really wanted a happy ending, something to make up for all the atrocious parents and overly perfect kids, and I didn’t get it. I’m not one of those people who needs a happy ending every time I read a book, but for something like this, where people are so blatantly manipulative and atrocious, I was really rooting for a happy ending. So, reader beware… this book might make you angry, but it’s very well written and, overall, I liked it well enough. Three stars.
I obtained a copy of this book from the public library.