Sunday, June 26, 2011

POSSESSION by Elana Johnson

Add it on Goodreads
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself. 

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn. 

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

The Afterglow

My new favorite word is techtricity. Elana Johnson's imagination is filled with perfect little details about Vi's and Jag's separate worlds. While reading, I was impressed over and over again by her creativity and cleverness. Possession is a dystopia, yeah, but it's also a character's internal debate over labels versus truth. What's good and what's bad, and can some things or people be both? All the while she's got voices in her head, her own and someone else's, trying to persuade her. For the intended audience (YA), it couldn't be more authentic and raw.

At times it was so raw, I almost felt Vi's pain. Maybe this was due in part to reading it on bed rest when I couldn't move without pain. My post-accident recovery somehow paralleled Vi's situation when she was trapped in a very tight place, threatened with pain if she stepped even slightly out of line. And of course, she wouldn't be Vi if she didn't push those limits. What you have to love about her is that she continued to do it, to fight for what felt right and true to her, even immediately after a barrage of intense pain.

She's a hero to root for. As for the two males who dig on her? I'll let you decide for yourselves when you read this, as I certainly recommend you do! But one is the clear opposite of the other in many ways, and we only have Vi's memories to tell us they used to be more alike before the Thinkers interfered. Hers isn't a clear-cut choice between two boys. It's muddied up by betrayal and misinformation, and memories she can't even trust anymore. That makes it a puzzle for the reader as well as for Vi.

Enjoy putting the pieces together!

Warning: the ending makes you want the next book immediately, but the next book is not a sequel; it's a companion. You've been warned.

Note to the publisher: Personally, I think Elana's working title, CONTROL ISSUES, was more apt for both the theme and Vi's voice. But the butterfly in the ice cube is perfect.


  1. Great review. I really loved this. As did my daughter.

  2. This book is awesome, as is Elana! I remember when she shared her query with me it was still called Control Issues.

  3. I've been thinking about picking this up. Thanks for the tip :)

  4. I have this one but have yet to dive in!!! I really should hop to it though! The cover art is beautiful and I always want to dive in but the chick lits keep calling!