Possession by Elana Johnson is about one girl's fight to control her own life.
There are plenty of other things going on the novel--a dystopian society led by Thinkers, a best friend/boyfriend who's been brainwashed, a Baddie named Jag with great hair and a dangerous disregard for the rules, enough missing family members to make any reader say, "What the heck?"--but the main struggle is Vi's bid for independence.
The jacket summary was golden. In Vi's world, girls are not allowed to walk with boys. Kissing? Don't even think about it. There's no wiggle room. What the Thinkers say is law, and you follow it. Period. Yet even with the voice inside her head telling her what not to do (the Thinker just won't shut up and let Vi think for herself), the teen still refuses to listen. Each time she breaks the rules, it goes down on her record, and this time she's broken one too many.
She's captured their attention--and they want her. But Vi's not the type of girl to be taken easily. She goes on the run with Jag, begins to fall for him. But with the constant threat of the Thinkers looming over their heads, Vi's not sure who to trust--certainly not Jag, probably not Zenn, maybe not even herself with that voice inside her head. Like the jaket says, it's a game of control or be controlled--but Vi's not sure she wants to do either.
The story was interesting. I've always loved seeing young female heroines stand up and take on The Man (aka The Thinkers). The romance with Jag was solid. He was sarcastic enough to match up perfectly with Vi, who had an instant and believable attraction to the bad boy. Jag was a rule breaker with a ton of secrets and a thing about hair, but like Vi, I was into him and his "Jag-winner smile" from the start.
The thing I missed was getting to see Vi and Zenn's relationship pre-brainwashing. From the summary, I thought that's where the story would start, but it wasn't. I know through Vi's thoughts who Zenn used to be, but I'd have love to see the transformation. As much as I liked Jag, I got the feeling I'd have probably been on Team Zenn J What??? Ninjas always go for the underdog people!
The book felt a little drawn out. I didn't think Jag and Vi needed to be running so long, and I wasn't a big fan of the final showdown. After all that evasion, I expected something more climactic, more struggle, more action (but that could've just been me). On the cover, there's a quote from James Dashner that mentions how much he loved the end. Well...I'm going to be honest and say it wasn't how I wanted it to go. (Don't worry; no spoilers here) Like I said, I was a huge fan of Vi and her strength, her will to save herself. In the end Vi made a choice--and it was her choice--but I thought she could've chosen better. For me, it felt a little like giving up L
There is a second book, though--Surrender--and I'm sure it'll be great and (hopefully) have a more satisfying finish. Good book, good characters, interesting world. I'd recommend it, and I'd love to hear what you guys thought about the end.
Have a great one,