Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Oh Possession, debut novel by Elana Johnson, how I wanted to love you. Your incredibly gorgeous cover and interesting premise drew me, but ultimately I abandoned you after about a hundred pages of confusing and rushed action without context. Still, I thought perhaps I had judged you too harshly and returned to you two months later, making it to the very end while continuing to wish I had left what we had alone.

Dystopia is one of my favourite genres, so I was drawn to this story of a girl, Vi, who lives in a world where every action is controlled by the Thinkers. But Vi is a rebel, and she can't help breaking the rules, and is caught and sent to prison to be fixed. Apart from her lifelong friend and love Zenn, she ends up cellmates with the charming Jag and the two of them escape and go on the run, but Zenn remains in the back of Vi's mind- is she ready to leave him, and everything else she knew, behind? Or is there another way out of the controlling life she has always known?

Vi is a tough main character, hardcore in a way that reminded me of Ari from Darkness Becomes Her, only then she would suddenly have an emotional breakdown. Plus, the constant obsession with thinking about her own and other peoples' hair was just annoying. Although Vi has two love interests, I was indifferent to which one she ended up with because neither of them felt very real. A lot of the character development in Possession seemed superficial to me, and it is definitely a plot-based story. When it came to the plot though, despite being quick-paced and action-packed, I often had a hard time getting involved in the story because I was confused about what was going on. Often I felt thrust into a world with no understanding of how it became that way, so that I had many of the same world-building issues that I had with Bumped by Megan McCafferty. Maybe the novel simply moved too fast for the reader to really grasp the world it was set in, but although Johnson had some unique ideas I really wanted them to be flushed out more.

I wanted things to work out between Possession and I, but even the ending, although gasp-worthy, left me puzzeled, in a way making the entire book feel slightly pointless. I wanted things to be different Possession, but we never had the connection I craved and your action-filled content still left me longing for complex characters and a believable world. Your story left me confused, but the one thing I am sure about is that whatever I thought we could have, Possession, it was simply not meant to be. I just know there is someone else out there that can appreciate you in ways I never could.

Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Pages: 416
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab
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