For the first time in months, I was sucked in by a book so good, so engaging,
that I didn’t want it to end.
When was the last time that happened to you? When you picked up Twilight last winter? When your book club read The Time Traveler’s Wife? Because this book is a Young Adult novel and a science fictiony novel too, but it’s so finely written and deliciously creepy that you forget that the target audience is high schoolers about two sentences in.
Candor is the name of the novel, and its author is Pam Bachorz, a seriously gorgeous (check out that photo) fellow parent in Silver Spring. She even lives in my old neighborhood. I used to be nonchalant about this fact, but after reading her book and realizing that this best-seller-level-gifted-studios-should-be-optioning-the-screenplay author is going to be HUGE, I’ll now be all butterflied tummied when I next run into her.
“OMG it’s PAM! In my Safeway! OMG! She eats cereal and buys toilet paper, wow!”
Well, in the novel Candor, protagonist teen Oscar Banks is greeted in his hometown market with this same reaction. See, everyone wants to be just like Oscar. He’s the perfect teen, with the perfect dad, residing in the most perfect town in the country. But Candor, Florida wouldn’t draw any comparisons to Mayberry if people knew the truth:
The kids are being brainwashed by a means so sick and so slick, it makes Orwell’s Big Brother look like the Boy Scouts.
And just like Candor’s got everyone fooled into thinking this sicko place is paradise, Oscar Banks has everyone fooled too – in reality, he’s the only one that knows how to beat the brainwashing system. He’s content to use this for his personal advantage, but then he meets HER.
To get a sense of the town’s perfection, and how crazily talented is Bachorz, click over here to the Candor website. It’s written like a real promotional website for the fictional town – genius. The town motto? Welcome to Candor, where we’re always listening! Parents of preschoolers, be sure to check out the video about the Brannigan family that is now PERFECT since moving to Candor, and left those mean competitive preschools in their old town behind. Hilarious.
You all have got to read this book. It’s YA and sci-fi and thriller at its very best. And one of you will find out for yourself: Bachorz is giving away a signed (SQUEE!) advance proof copy. Which will be worth a fortune someday. I am already insanely jealous of the winner.
If you’d like to win, go to the Candor website and leave a comment below with what aspect of the site creeps you out the most. I’ll randomly draw the winner on Friday night 10/9.
But if you can’t wait until Friday or stand the one in 40 or whatever odds, I don’t blame you. The book’s that good. You can pick up a copy here, and Politics and Prose will send you a signed copy if you request. (In fact, I’m requesting one of those signed ones for my teen-who-has-everything brother’s birthday right now.)
Thanks Pam for your art…and the nightmares. I’ll never listen to my iPod the same again!