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Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

 
TITLE: Possession
SERIES: Possession, Book #1
AUTHOR: Elana Johnson 
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PUBLICATION DATE: May 8, 2012 (first published June 7, 2011)
FORMAT: Paperback, 432 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781442421264
Toe the line between rule-following and rule-breaking in this tense and twisted start to a smart and sexy dystopian trilogy.

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.     But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous—everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.     This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

MY REVIEW:

This is a Young Adult Dystopian novel, which is reminiscent of Ally Condie’s Matched.

In this dystopian world, we have the Thinkers (aka the “Greens”) are the ones who do the thinking for everyone else. They broadcast transmissions, which sounds to me like a form of brainwashing. The Goodies are the ones who follow the rules, and they live in Goodgrounds. The Baddies are the ones who don’t follow the rules, and they live in the Badlands. The Baddies prefer to think for themselves, and they are also called “free thinkers.” There are robots called “Mech,” who work for the Thinkers and there is a lot of other technology or “tech.” I found the world-building to be a little bit confusing, which was slightly frustrating because I felt as though I was missing information that was crucial to the story.

Violet (“Vi”) Schoenfeld is a 16 year old girl, whose has had a bit of a rough childhood. Her father, Lyle, was abducted by the Baddies and taken to the Badlands seven years ago. He designed high-class, top secret tech for the Thinkers in Goodgrounds. Vi’s sister, Tyson (“Ty”), was last seen three years ago when she was 14 years old and was offered a job working with the water rangers, which is the highest ranking job in the society. That left Vi with her mother, who makes it no secret that Ty is the favoured daughter. Home life is not so good. Vi’s best friend and matched romantic interest (by the Thinkers) is Zenn, who is a Special Forces agent. Even though it is forbidden to do so, they have kissed and met after curfew.

One night, Vi gets caught with Zenn while walking in the park after curfew. She is arrested and brought to The Institute where she is held in a jail cell with a boy named Jag Barque. I thought it was very strange for persons of the opposite sex to be held in cells together! Vi and Jag end up falling for each other, but their romance is complicated by Vi’s feelings for Zenn. After Vi and Jag escape from jail, we learn about why these two teenagers are so important to the Resistance, which is the movement of society that is against the Thinkers.

It is hard not to compare the book to Condie’s Matched because they are both dystopians that feature a love triangle with a “good” boy versus a “bad” boy, and the girl is torn between her “match” and the bad boy. I liked Possession, but I didn’t fall madly in love with it as I did with Matched. I liked Vi and Jag together, and Johnson did a great job portraying the chemistry between them. I didn’t feel the chemistry so much with Zenn, though. There is a lot of humourous banter between Vi and Jag, and I loved Vi’s sarcastic sense of humor. I enjoyed the interesting plot developments after the escape, and it feels like Johnson is building up for some great drama in the next book in the series, Surrender.

My favourite quote:

Jag's brother, Pace, tells Vi that she is Jag's "Choker." Vi asks Jag what a "Choker" is.

Jag to Vi: "Vi, a Choker  is someone who fills you up," he said, his soft voice reaching to the furthest parts of my soul. "Fills you up so full, you feel like you could choke."

Well, that was the absolute perfect thing to say (damn him to hell)." 

Overall, I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to reading on in this series!

2 comments:

  1. Nice review! I have this on my TBR list. I have to get moving on this series. Elana has so many out now between the two books and the two short story companions.

    New follower. http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly! I'm reading one of the short stories now, and I have to buy the other one yet before I read Surrender!

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