Monday, April 11, 2011

A Cornucopia of Dystopia: Review of Possession by Elana Johnson

Vi has always been a rebel, ever since They took her sister away. She stopped plugging into the mandatory brainwashing transmissions years ago, and she's not afraid to break a few rules: Good girls don't touch boys, good girls don't walk with boys, good girls don't cut their hair and dye it black. Yet, she never intended to end up banished from the Goodgrounds, her only home. When Vi finds herself sharing a cell with an odd boy from the Badlands, she knows there's more going on than meets the eye. What she can't fathom is why the government will stop at nothing to get her on their side.

In Possession, Elana Johnson constructs a rich world of power plays and tenuous trust. The utter vulnerability of the human mind is terrifying -- Vi cannot trust anyone, not even her own feelings, when the entire world is open to manipulation. Readers will find themselves enthralled by this psychological struggle for free will and personal agency. Johnson launches readers straight into the fight, setting a brisk pace without pausing for breath. At times it can become confusing, but there is never a moment's boredom.

The most compelling aspect of this world is Vi. She is sharp and sassy, full of fight and fierceness. She is strong, but she wages a complex internal battle between duty and death, good and bad, love and hate. It is easy to get lost in the densely packed plot, but Vi and Jag's relationship will keep readers entranced. Their bickering bond is hilarious and adorable. Though they fall in love rather quickly, it still feels real because they are both so self-sufficient and strong. For once, a teenage couple is on equal footing, butting heads whenever one crosses the line. Their banter is reminiscent of Beatrice and Benedick (my favorite Shakespearean duo) and adds spice to the novel, while their romance is absolutely seductive. Jag's cryptic comments can be frustrating at times, but his lack of bravado and willingness to be vulnerable will enamor readers.

The final pages of this novel sent me reeling. Unfortunately, there is no sequel planned for Possession and I am aghast at the open-ended conclusion after falling so completely in love with these characters and their story. Yet, despite this parting blow, the chance to meet Vi and Jag was worth the every step of the journey.


Disclosure: I received an advance galley of this novel from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.

This novel hits shelves June 7, 2011. Click here to preorder Possession by Elana Johnson.

Don't miss my author interview with Elana!

Part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.


Natframpton said...

I'm looking forward to this one

LHans said...

I really loved this book! She simply must do a sequel because I can't live with the way it ended! The characters were truly amazing and I want to read more and learn more about them!

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