Tuesday, August 3, 2010


by Pam Bachorz
teen sci-fi
249 pages
New York : Egmont USA, 2009

Oscar Banks is the ultimate role model in the idyllic town of Candor, Florida. At least that is what his father thinks. Mr. Banks has created Candor as his own unique way to deal with rebellious teens. Parents can also receive special help with various problem including weight loss, addiction, marital problems and so forth. You see, Mr. Banks gives his wealthy residents a new addiction, his subliminal message-filled music. From the moment a person moves to Candor he is constantly exposed to music and this creative form of brain-washing. Oscar Banks plays the part of the Founder's perfect son but really he knows the secret of the Messages and has created his own messages that keep him from becoming a Candor Clone. He runs a lucrative business right under his father's nose by intercepting the wealthy teenagers as they move in, providing them with his music then helping them escape town. Oscar is relatively satisfied with this set-up until Nia moves to town. Oscar definitely doesn't want her to become a living zombie like everyone else, but he doesn't want to send her away and never see her again either. His actions and the consequences of those actions have a fascinating domino effect that lead to an astonishing finale. A rather intense read at times but thoroughly enjoyable.

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