Candor by Pam Bachorz
What it's about
Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town
where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way
to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them
all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved
teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages
to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to
get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape
Candor, Florida before they're transformed into
cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor,
and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.(From Goodreads)
What I thought
Candor is a compelling and unsettling read, which poses the question, is it ever acceptable to manipulate another person?
I really enjoyed the world Pam Bachorz created. Oscar is a conflicted and interesting main character and I liked his struggle against his father. At the beginning of the book Oscar loathes the world his father has created. He hates the manipulation of himself and all the other teens, but as he tries to save Nia he becomes more and more manipulative himself. Justifying his actions in the same way his dad does.
The supporting characters are also well drawn and interesting, especially Mandy. I loved Mandy. A former beauty pageant contestant, her true nature occasionally breaks through the mind control messages of Candor, making for some very funny moments.
I really hope Pam Bachorz will be writing more about Candor. Creepy as it is, it's a great place to visit.
I listened to the audiobook of Candor. It's perfect for the medium. John Lavelle's did a great job. I really felt like Oscar was telling me his story.