Customer Reviews for

Candor

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Listen to This Message

The most compelling aspect of Candor is less about the rigid life inhabitants are forced to live at the hands of Mr. Banks and more about the father son dynamic that his control creates. Instead of allowing his son to grieve the loss of several family members, instead o...
The most compelling aspect of Candor is less about the rigid life inhabitants are forced to live at the hands of Mr. Banks and more about the father son dynamic that his control creates. Instead of allowing his son to grieve the loss of several family members, instead of creating a relationship built on that common ground Mr. Banks forces Oscar to rebel against unusual circumstances in a less than ordinary way.

Compelled to fight for free will not just for himself but for his classmates as well Oscar's main foe is the one person he should be relying on most. In this way Oscar is actually a true teenager as he sneaks around and tries to keep his father at bay. The difference being the consequences of success or failure are much more extreme than the typical teenage rebellion about music or grades or selection of friends.

What is most interesting is that it is in Oscar's final selfless gesture to the only person who he felt understood him, the only person he wanted to share his time and his life with, that the father-son relationship that Mr. Banks so longed for is solidified. It is in this act that Oscar becomes everything he never wanted.

It is this element of the story that had the greatest and most profound impact.

Written with an understated eloquence and subtlty Bachorz created an eerily robotic and somewhat disconcerting burg in Candor. The characters were over the top perky and conscientious yet rarely annoying to the reader. They exhibited traits of perfection, they were the ultimate in submission and all the while small traces of individuality leaked through in desperate attempts to show that there were still people in the mindless bodies created by Mr. Banks.

The irony of it all was that Mr. Banks ended up being the most robotic and least feeling character of them all. In his desperation to forget his wife and oldest son he lost all ability to effectively communicate, he lost the ability to discern right from wrong, and ultimately he became so mired in denial and avoidance that he was no longer able to do more than provide a service to community members. He got from point A to point B by controlling every aspect of everyone's life.

Another interesting, and quite ironic, element of the story I truly enjoyed was the fact that Oscar used the same means his father undertook to try and preserve individuality. His own mind control tapes were designed to keep people themselves but in doing so he irradiated the true meaning of individuality and free will. There was still someone controlling their lives.

One of the things I adored most about this book was that Bachorz wasn't afraid to take risks. Most particularly in how she handled the end. Without spoiling what exactly that ending is the result of Oscar's hard work against his father was shocking in a way that has the ability to make a person weep. Done with great emotion and tremendous realism Bachorz creates a satisfying resolution that makes me yearn for more. Despite having heard of no plans for a sequel I can see there is definitely room to revisit Oscar and Nia. I'd love to get a peak of what happened to each and where they are now.

If you like dystopian fare that is less about fantasy and the end of the world then definitely pick up a copy of Candor it's a fabulously interesting and thought provoking read.

posted by Galleysmith on January 26, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I was expecting more...

I'm on the fence about Candor. I thought the premise of the book had such potential but it just ended up being a boy meets girl kind of story. Oscar was the only character that I liked. I couldn't even grow to like Nia that much...even though I was rooting for her. I wa...
I'm on the fence about Candor. I thought the premise of the book had such potential but it just ended up being a boy meets girl kind of story. Oscar was the only character that I liked. I couldn't even grow to like Nia that much...even though I was rooting for her. I wanted more to happen with the plot. The ending was a suprise. Candor is a descent read while waiting for your next favorite sequel to come out.

posted by 1762549 on December 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2014

    pforr_amanda@yahoo.com

    Add me please.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Loved it!!!!!

    Oscar is the cutest boy ever!!!! Well along with Four.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Jude

    The 15-year-old waited in the hall for people, looking bored. She wore a plain white button-up with black skinny jeans and white oxfords. Her dark hair was pulled into a messy bun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Hunter

    Comes in. (Need a lil help. Never seen divergence or read it)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Best book ever

    This book was so good i stayed in my room to read it there realy needs to ne a sequel so if ur dibatin wether or not to get it u should

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    i love this book she should make a sequel and this book should b

    i love this book she should make a sequel and this book should be made into a movie (I'm thinking Alex Pettyfer as Oscar lol)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2011

    Nicee

    I like this book but in my opinion i think it needs a better ending or a second part.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Surprise Ending

    I read this in my A.P. English class this year. It was a great read, and even though the ending was not what most readers wanted, it all added up with the rest of the story. How do I know? Well, my class had the great opportunity of a skype session with Pam Bachorz!

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A refreshing take on Dystopian

    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. :)

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Candor

    Is it possible to be bad in a town that is perfect? Candor is a model town where all of its citizens know what the right thing to do is and always do it. Subliminal messages make sure of that. The town is saturated with different music that is always playing, with subliminal messages hidden in them. The subconscious hears them and obeys. Everything is perfect in Candor. Everything except Oscar Banks, the beloved son of the town's founder, Campbell Banks. Oscar has everyone fooled, even his father, into thinking that he is the model citizen. He has perfect grades, a perfect girlfriend, and when he's not studying for an upcoming exam he's writing college admissions letters. But Oscar is a very cunning young man, he takes on new children in town as "clients" and collects a large amount of money from them in exchange for their escape from Candor. Then along comes Antonia Silva. Affectionately called Nia. He finds her outside skateboarding and immediately is interested. He finds it harder and harder to concentrate on being good when he's around her. He finds her interesting and doesn't want the messages to change her. Oscar goes through so much mentally in this book, always fighting the messages that tell him to be good, to be the model citizen his father thinks he is. Will Oscar be able to hold onto his facade with Nia around?

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  • Posted October 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Oscar Banks is the perfect boyfriend, the perfect son, and the perfect example of what every child should be like.

    Oscar's father is the founder of Candor, an exclusive community where everything is perfect - there is no crime, teenagers do their homework and obey their parents, and everyone lives a healthy lifestyle (since instead of ice cream the stores only sell frozen yogurt and instead of popcorn at the movies they only serve carrot sticks).

    Oscar plays the part of the model student perfectly - he has to in order to keep up his cover. Oscar has a way around the system and even developed his own business to counteract his father's effects on the kids in town.

    Subliminal messages surround the inhabitants of Candor every moment of their lives. Messages like Academics are the key to success, Keep Candor beautiful, Healthy breakfasts make for smart minds, and Avoid physical contact swirl through their minds, but Oscar has found a way to fight off the effects of the messages.

    One day a new girl moves into town. Nia is completely different from everyone else. She is wild and free and Oscar quickly becomes fascinated with her. Oscar can't stand the thought of Nia becoming like the other robots in town and starts to come up with a plan to save her.

    CANDOR is an intense story about the dangers of control and the insistence of perfection. Readers will be fascinated with life in Candor and won't want to put the book down. Oscar, even though self-serving at times, is a great character to get to know, and Nia and Oscar's relationship is heartwarming.

    In terms of contemporary science fiction, CANDOR is a winner.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Utterly intriguing!!!

    Like the headline states... "Utterly Intriguing!!!" This sci-fi story was a definite page turner. I kept wanting to keep going to see what would happen next!
    Our story revolves around an unlikely hero named, Oscar Banks. He is the son of the founder of Candor. In this town, it is constantly filled with special "Messages" created by Oscar's father to control not only the minds of the young, but the adults as well. Oscar is supposed to be controlled by these messages as well... but he is still able to hold onto his true self under the guise of complete Candor perfection... working the system... and fooling everyone around him, including his father. Now enter, Nia Silva, the one person who seems him for who he truly is and takes him just as he is. Once Nia comes into the picture... the story takes some pretty crazy turns! Sympathy, frustration, anger, and sadness just leaks out of you while reading this story. You can feel Oscar's desperation to hold onto himself.
    The premise of this story kind of had an echo of a modern day "1984". The story captivated me from the very first page. It makes you wonder... what messages have I BEEN FED?? Although the story ends with a total cliff hanger... I'm hoping its due to the author's plans to turn Candor into a series. Should that be true... I would not hesitate to pick it up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    Speechless

    This book has haunted me ever since I finished reading it. I really did not know what I was getting myself into when I started reading Candor. It was very hard to put down, and I found myself turning my bedroom light back on instead of going to sleep. Very emotional, this book really makes you think and pulls on your every emotion. A MUST READ for people of all ages!

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    Posted January 4, 2012

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