Book Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession by Elana Johnson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: June 2011
ISBN: 9781442421257
Source: ARC provided by publisher


When Vi is arrested for walking with her match Zenn, she isn't certain just why it is such a big deal.  While she's imprisoned, she meets Jag, a dangerous bad boy that she's strangely attracted to.  The Thinkers want Vi on their side and they will do anything to get her, even brainwash Zenn.  Can Vi figure out what is going on and why they want her so much before it's too late?

Things I Liked:
This is a complex and interesting sci-fi dystopian story.  I loved the future tech stuff and the world that Johnson developed for her characters.  It felt pretty unique from other dystopians, though keeping several of the same elements, of course.  I liked Vi for her feisty attitude and her unwillingness to ever give up.  The book had a lot of intriguing elements that provoke thought and probably some good discussion as well.  I liked the control or be controlled aspect as well, since it wasn't black and white, but all kinds of gray areas.  Fast-paced and intriguing, Johnson created a different and scary world here.

Things I Didn't Like:
The biggest problem for me was that the action started right off and no explanations were given.  I felt like I had no idea or concrete concepts about this future world.  I really struggled to understand even basic structure of the goodgrounds and badlands and Thinkers and what anybody was even talking about.  This would have been ok if things had been explained later, but I honestly thought there was not enough info to give me a good grasp on things ever.  I came away from the book still wondering what had happened.  I think a good dystopian or any book introducing a new place needs a balance between info-dumping and withholding info.  This went too far on the withholding end for my taste.  Another minor squibble was that I just didn't like Jag.  At all.   

Reminded me of the Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

And a bit like Candor by Pam Bachorz

s-factor: !@
some, but not too much

mrg-factor: X
some implied, nothing described

v-factor: ->
a little bit of fighting

Overall rating: ***

I've seen mixed reviews of this one - which way do you feel about it?

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