Wouldn’t life be great if it was easy to make the “right” choices? If you had everything you needed and everyone was always happy? If crime was non-existent and the streets litter-free?
That’s life in the town of Candor, from the book CANDOR by first-time novelist Pam Bachorz.
The catch? Your thoughts aren’t your own. They are sent to you via messages broadcast non-stop at a frequency only your sub-conscious can detect.
Oscar Fairbanks, son of the town’s Founder, is the only person who’s figured out how to trick the system. That’s because Oscar creates his own messages, which he listens to every night to battle the town’s broadcasted ones. And he’ll sell these special messages, along with a chance at escape, to new teens coming in who aren’t yet indoctrinated.
That is, if they have enough money.
Friendless, with only Candor’s teen look-alikes in their button-up shirts and khakis for company, Oscar meets newly-arrived Nia. Her brazen and rebellious nature fascinates him, and soon the attraction he feels for her, unlike the sway of the messages, is something he can’t resist. Now Oscar is presented with his greatest dilemma: should he help Nia to escape and lose her forever, or try to keep her safe in Candor, but risk losing her in a different way?
Bachorz has created a stunning debut novel, both provocative and compelling. The façade of the “utopian” town, the fast-paced, tension-filled narration, and the engaging voice combine to draw the reader in, making us care about Oscar—even as he uses the people around him as if they were no more than the puppets they’ve become. But will his fight against the messages be enough to save Nia from Candor?