Possession by: Elana Johnson

Book: Possession
 
Author: Elana Johnson
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopia/Sci-Fi

Synopsis:

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout 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.

Why I read this Book:

YA debut 2011 challenge and a review/recommendation form the bookinistas.  It had been vaguely on my radar but after the Veronica Roth Delirium episode I have been on the hunt for all things YA dystopia released this year.

Reaction/Review:

I think the last line of the summary is the most descriptive of the book.   Not that the rest isn’t accurate as well, but accurate in a much later in the novel bringing perspective to those words kind of way.  To the point that I was really confused at the beginning of reading the book.  Still am confused and finished it.  BUT I still immediately want to pick up the next book in the series.

This book has great voice. VERY typical teenager kind of voice and she nailed it spot on.  Now I haven’t been a teen for enough time to be a little distanced by them and my main point of reference to their behaviors is based on what I have reading other YA novels or watching TV.  My understanding is that this author is also a teacher.  Now I don’t know what grade or anything but I’m going to assume she has contact with teens, and that would defiantly influenced the voice of this novel.  I found it very strong but sometimes a little short and confusing.

There is a lot of cool stuff packed into this novel.  The world building alone demands a closer look.  I felt really confused though by it because a lot of the stuff that’s going on to Vi is normal, but in reality it really isn’t.  And it kind of makes me question her as the MC.  Why doesn’t she just fess up about her ability to sense tech, is it because she’s scared, or because she assumes everyone else can do it?  I didn’t understand this.

And why would Zenn have her break the rules to come and see him.  Why didn’t he go to her and break the rules.  Sure I understood at the end of the book, but at the beginning this was a huge bone of contention to me.

I think my primary problem was the withholding of information.  I didn’t understand why there wasn’t more honesty.  And by the time I understood why things were happening the way they were well it was much much later in the book, so I had to read through a lot of confusion first to get their.

Also the love story between her and Jag.  I just didn’t get it.  She is with Zenn but then she is attracted to Jag.  And holly wow was that another point of confusion and eyebrow rising.  They also spent a lot of time bickering and being mad at each other.  And holly crap does that ever remind me of high school.  Okay so maybe it is way more realistic high school romance than I have previously encountered in YA reading and that is why I was confused.

Like I said I was very confused.

What I really like is the look at Good Vs. Bad and is good bad and is bad good in their world.  I really liked how she took these ideas and turned them on their head.

Now that I know Elana Johnsons style I think I might have a better time of going with it.  Also she packs a lot into small spaces and I think my reading style may have caused me to miss some key information.  I read slowly, because I like to enjoy what I am experiencing but in some cases I had to re-read parts to make sure I caught all the little nuances in the one sentence she had constructed.  Like things other authors would take a paragraph or two about she managed all in one sentence. Her writing is tight.  But it also caused me to loose a lot of stuff.  You need to pay attention 100% of the time and then some.  And also be okay with not having all the info you require and having people (characters in the novel) purposefully withhold stuff from you.

Final Thoughts:

Honestly though, I still want to read more. Despite all the confusion I want more of this world.  I think there is lot of brilliance to this series.  Her next novel set in the same world is supposed to be a companion novel.  And I am really kind of excited about that.  The idea of getting more of the world but from a different perspective really thrills me.  Not that I don’t want more of the same characters’ but some times it’s nice to get a different POV on it.

Rating: 7/10 (possibly an 8 but I was, as you can tell from above, really confused)

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