I just finished reading Candor by Pam Bachorz for a 1 ARC Tour.
From the back cover:
Everything is perfect in the town of Candor, Florida. Teens respect their elders, do their chores, and enjoy homework... because they're controlled by subliminal messages. Only Oscar, the son of the town's founder, knows how to get the kids out--for a price. But when Nia moves into town, Oscar is smitten. He can't stand to see her changed. Now he must decide to help Nia escape Candor and lose her forever, or keep her close and risk exposure...
Candor takes the classic sci-fi themes of conformity and mind control and turns them on their head.
When I first heard of Candor and what it was about, I instantly knew that I wanted to read it. Then when I read the author blurb on the back cover and saw that Pam Bachorz came up with the idea for the story from when she lived in Celebration, Florida, I was even more hooked. (Side note-- I live about 10 minutes away from Celebration, which is what Disney came up with when trying to create a "perfect town". The houses are all very similar and there is a main street and downtown area, and honestly, I love the neighborhood. But many of my friends here think it's just too cookie-cutter).
The idea of mind control and brainwashing instantly grabbed me. The way that the residents of the town acted just shocks me. The idea of living a "perfect" life, according to what the founder percieves as the right thing, is astounding. It's so creepy! (and it makes me wonder if this could truly happen in real life)
And I'm having a hard time writing my thoughts on the book because I don't want to give away too much...
When the main character, Oscar, explained why his father came up with the idea for the town, I felt so bad for his family. I wanted to like his dad and I wanted there to be a breakthrough and for his dad to realize that no one can hide from their past.
And I liked the relationship between Oscar and Nia. I liked that Oscar showed Nia the real him, not the "perfect" son that he showed everyone else. There were some tender moment between the two of them, and later in the book, I wanted Oscar to succeed in getting through to Nia.
And there were several events that shocked me. The ending was definitely not what I expected to happen, and while it's not the ending that I wanted, it defintely works and it left me wanting to know more!
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free by Harmony from 1 ARC Tours for an honest review.