Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: POSSESSION by Elana Johnson

by Elana Johnson
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Simon Pulse

Placement in the Pile: Middle of the Stack, inching towards New Heights

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 brainwashed 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.

Alright, so this was another really hard one for me to review cause once again I have met Elana, I read her blog and I think she is made of fabulous. So remember that as I review, cause I really do want you all to give this one a try!

Possession is a bit of a wild ride. The reader is thrown into this world of literally "control or be controlled". I thought Elana's dystopic world was unique and really quite interesting. I like her use of technology beyond our current science, and yet the people still felt the basic needs of love and family.

I also really like the characters in Possession. Instantly the voice of Vi was strong. Her world was not being torn upside down by one decision, she had always been a bit of a rule breaker. It was just who she was. She has a strong voice and it is easy to like her. Jag was another favorite of mine. I have to admit I've always been a fan of the dark mysterious boys and Jag has it all, he's strong, secretive, hot, loyal...and yet there is a sense that he could disappear any minute.

Despite it's sudden beginning, which threw me off guard, the story between Vi and Jag is what kept me reading this book.

So there really were some great aspects to the book. But I wouldn't be a good reviewer if I didn't give my honest opinion that I thought the narrative was at times choppy in the action scenes. I'd be reading along, crazy action would be going on, and then all of a sudden something would happen, or something would be revealed as being part of the society, or even something as simple as all of sudden the action was over and I was pulled out of the story. My brain went "wait, what just happened?" I'd have to go back and try to figure it out.

I am all for revelations of big things taking the reader by surprise, but I don't think it should ever make the reader stop and be pulled out of the story and the narrative prose. And unfortunately I think the moments that were supposed to be big surprises weren't (besides the twisted ending!) and the moments that were just revelations of world building really messed with the flow of reading. This is the main reason I can't say I was in LOVE with POSSESSION.

I also kinda didn't like the ending, but as Elana announced on Friday there will be a second book, so I have hope! I can't tell you why, cause it would ruin the surprise. ;)

In the end this book is worth giving a try. It has some really great characters and unique world views. Fans of "thinking" dystopias like MATCHED will enjoy this book, but it also has enough action to entice fans of THE HUNGER GAMES.

Come back tomorrow for my interview with Elana! As I said she is made of awesome so you will want to read what she has to say.


We Heart YA said...

We're really glad that you gave an honest review despite your affection for the author. We hope and believe she would appreciate that too. :)