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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Title: Possession (ARC)
Author: Elana Johnson
Series: Possession #1
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Release Date: 06/07/11
Reviewed by: Sara
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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.

Plot: 4 Stars
Once I got the hang of the tech and its vocabulary, I really enjoyed the world that the author built. The technology and terms for said technology could have easily been confusing, but the author's choice of terms weren't too complex. The technology also wasn't too out there; many of the devices described may not be that far from existing for real. The different areas of the city were also interesting, and I liked how the reader got to learn about each as Vi did. Vi spend the majority of the novel being pulled in different directions; between the voice in her hear, the Thinkers trying to catch her, and the resistance, it was amazing at times that Vi could think and make decisions. There were some aspects to her rule-breaking and abilities that I figured out, but there was also a lot to this world that took me by surprise.

Pace: 4.5 Stars
I could not put this novel down. And considering I was on vacation at the time really tells you something. We were at the beach for a week (and I'm not the biggest fan of the beach), but I could have been a bit more social. Instead, I had my nose in this novel for about three days of the vacation. I even brought it with me to the beach when my friends dragged me out there. Vi takes the reader on a wild journey as she is on the run and trying to escape, all the while figuring out who she is and what she can do. I was often blindsided by the turns this novel took, and couldn't wait to see what was around the corner.

Characters: 4 Stars
Vi was a very strong character, but her flaws made her a great character. She didn't follow the rules as well as other teenagers, but as you learn about her past you realize that may not be a totally bad thing. Vi is faced with some big decisions in this novel, and she does her best to do what is right for her. From what we learn about Zenn through flashbacks, he seems like the perfect boy for Vi, but the Zenn we actually meet is not the same boy. I wish we could've seen a little more of the past Zenn before he becomes brainwashed. I absolutely loved Jag from the moment he was introduced. He had an attitude that fit his character's past, and he gave Vi a hard time while she was adjusting. There were a large amount of smaller characters to keep track of, and there were a couple points in which I got them muddled a little. But in the end, it didn't affect the story for me and I figured out what was going on.

Cover: 4 Stars
The best part of this cover is the bright, saturated teals and purples of the butterfly. The image of the butterfly in the ice cube is striking, and it's symbolism makes you think without giving anything away. I also like how the colors of the text match the butterfly without taking the eye away from the image. I'm not the biggest fan of large amounts of white on covers, but when I saw a finished copy on the shelf I liked it more because the white background is slightly glittery and shiny. There is a lot of empty space around the main image of the cover. It may have been a little more balanced if the ice cube and butterfly were a bit larger, but I can understand not wanting the image to be too large and overwhelming.

Overall: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I won an ARC of this novel from The Apocolypsies.

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