“Never keep secrets from your parents. Trust your parents with everything.” In the town of Candor, Florida, secrets and trust-however blind it may be-rule all its residents. After spending time on a yearlong waiting list, families flock from all over the country to move to Candor, the ideal place to raise a family. But the majority of them don’t know what they’re getting into.
The residents turn their trust, and their hard-earned cash, over to Campbell Banks, the town’s founder. In return, they receive a beautiful house, a cozy town, and a life free of problems. Even their children begin obeying the rules-every single one. But Mr. Banks didn’t count on what Oscar, his teenage son, would think of all this. Overcoming the subliminal messages pumped throughout the town, Oscar sees Candor for what it is-a community of mind control.
Oscar successfully frees several young adults from Candor by supplying them with his own homemade messages and guiding them to freedom. But that freedom comes at a price. Oscar risks the possibility of one of his clients exposing him, or worse, his father finding out.
Then Oscar meets Nia Silva, the rebel daughter of the newest family to move to Candor. She’s different than any of the other girls that live there. She’s exciting and daring, and Oscar feels alive in her presence. He has to decide if he’ll let the messages take over her mind and risk losing her forever, or if he’ll divulge Candor’s secrets to her and risk revealing everything he’s built for himself.
Oscar surprises everyone with the path he chooses. Compelled to save the only woman besides his absentee mother who’s ever loved him, Oscar begins a fight that has the potential to change him-and Nia-forever. Candor proves to be a page-turner for any reader who picks it up.
Author Pam Bachorz has scripted a fabulous debut novel, earning herself a Junior Library Guild Selection, as well as a Fall ’09 Indie Next pick. Although the relationships between characters could use a bit more development, Bachorz develops plot, a Stepford-like setting, and intriguing puppet-like Candor residents that keep the reader’s attention. Candor is a story about surviving childhood like you’ve never read before.