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 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. (From GoodReads)
Candor was so creepy - especially because it seemed like it could be real. I really liked the story, even though I predicted the ending.
Most people think of tv when they hear the words "subliminal messages" (I did, at least). But there are auditory subliminal messages, and the words at such a low frequency that only the subconscious picks them up. This is what is used in Candor. There is always music playing, so the residents are always controlled.
What really creeped me out about the Messages was that if you stopped listening to them, you go through withdrawal, with some extremely nasty consequences. The fact that once you hear them you can never escape felt so suffocating. Even if you were listening to "good" Messages, like the ones that Oscar uses, you would still be controlled by something.
I liked reading Candor from Oscar's perspective because he had some funny commentary. Since everyone is forced to be nice, Oscar always had funny thoughts regarding this. I also thought he was very smart; he somehow figured out how to make his own messages and later get promising kids out of the town.
As for Nia, the romantic interest, she was okay. She didn't seem particularly special to me, but since everyone in Candor is the same, she stood out to Oscar. Sometimes I wanted Oscar to exercise some self-preservation in regards to Nia, because every other page I was sure he was going to get caught. Candor definitely keeps you on your toes.
This book even made it's way into my dreams: I had a dream I was being brainwashed. It's not pleasant, let me tell you. But it shows that Candor really did make me think. I really enjoyed this novel and thought it was so creepy. The ending is a bit predictable but that doesn't take away from the overall novel.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: Christmas gift.