Dystopian novels are taking over the young adult book world. Since Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, readers have developed an insatiable appetite for these dark and thrilling stories. Possession, the debut novel by author Elana Johnson, is an interesting new addition to this fast-growing collection of novels.
Vi knows the rules, but that doesn’t mean she will follow them. In her world, the Thinkers control everything from clothes to food to whom people marry and the thoughts people think. In her world, free will does not exist, yet Vi refuses to be controlled. However, the Thinkers are not easily ignored, and they are determined to make Vi one of them, even if it means brainwashing her future match and best friend Zenn.
After what seems like an innocent kiss in the park with Zenn, Vi is arrested and taken away, without a word as to why. In prison she is faced with a choice: Join the Thinkers or run away with Jag, a fellow prisoner. Jag is egotistical, charismatic and unpredictable — everything Zenn is not. Despite her reservations, Vi escapes with irresistible bad boy Jag and finds herself caught in a whirlwind of surprising events. Along the way, she discovers deeply hidden secrets about herself, her family and the men in her life.
This dystopian love triangle is a bold new offering for young adults. Vi, the main character and narrator, is snarky, sarcastic and likable. She is strong-willed but still unsure of her world, which keeps her believable. Johnson’s fantasy world does not quite achieve the cohesiveness that others have, but it is still intriguing. The writing is average, but the story moves quickly and is easy to read. Teen girls will enjoy this fast-paced romance. The unexpected ending will leave readers blinking in surprise and hoping for more.
Possession‘s companion novel, Fugitive, is slated for publication in June 2012.
Rated: Mild. Mild foul language is used throughout the book.