Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I wish I could say that I loved this book.  I wish I could give it five stars; it has the potential to be a GREAT story, but I can't.  Will I read book number two?  You bet!  I will be waiting for it anxiously.  How can I make such scattered, mixed remarks about the same book?  Well, because the book is just that.  Scattered.

Let me explain...

I read this book while I was on a super relaxing cruise to Bermuda. I had been well looking forward to this for quite some time and actually waited until vacation time so I could read it without interruption.  I started off reading this with very high hopes and expectations.  After the first 75 pages, I was dreading writing my review because I was thinking it was going to be scathing (it took me several days to get through the 1st few chapters instead of an hour).  I really don't like adding books to my "Hate List" and I was thinking that this one would end up there.  I was having an extremely difficult time connecting with the characters and the story was rather disjointed.  I kept reading, hoping it would get better. (I rarely put down a book because I dislike it.)  After all, things can change...  Well, that's exactly what happened with this book.  By page 100 I was fully invested and reading as fast as possible to get to the next part.  

The pace of the story really picked up to the point of warp-speed; non-stop action right up until the end.  The plot pulled together really nicely as well.  As I gained understanding of the world they lived in, I felt like I better understood  some of the things that didn't add up early on.  I still have a lot of questions, mind you, but I'm much less confused.  The character development improved and I began to connect with the primary characters (although I'm still not sure if I like or trust some of them).  Vi, the protagonist,  especially had the ability to rub me the wrong way.  In some respects, I liked her; she was competent, persistent, and kick-ass.  In other respects, I couldn't stand her; she was very negative and impulsive and quite possibly mentally unstable.  She often reminded me of a sullen, pissed-off little sister that you just want to smack some sense into.  I really liked Jag, although I have a feeling we are going to learn things later in the series that will change that...

By the final chapters, I was sorry to see this book end. I ended up really liking the premise of the story and the way things seemed to be working out.  Yes, the beginning dragged and was very disjointed, which is why I can't give it five stars.  It improved so much after the initial bit, that it well redeemed itself though.  I think now that the groundwork has been put in place, this series will be awesome.  I just hope that people will think twice about putting it down early in.  I'm glad I didn't.  I anxiously await the second book, Surrender, which has an expected drop date sometime in June of 2012.

My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Grade Level Recommendation:  This books had some romance, a small amount of language, and a lot of (non-gratuitous) violence.  It would be appropriate for the average 6th grader and up (ages 12+).


  1. That's why I have so much trouble giving up on a book. Sometimes they totally get better, but that is much farther in than I often wait before giving up. But then I also think about how many books I have to read out there and it's a toss up of which side wins. I'll keep this on my TBR list!

  2. I have to agree with this review. The promise for a good story is there. The beginning and the ending are brilliant in my opinion. I LOVED the ending. Getting there however....I was annoyed. Vi as a character waffled too much. I didn't like or trust Jag. I think Zenn was my favorite of the 3 because he stayed consistent. I didn't buy the love between Vi and Jag. The whole story fell a bit flat. I never felt any real concern for the characters. I never felt like they were in any real danger. I loved the world and the Good vs. Bad and this isn't what you really think it is concept, but other than that, I was meh. That being said, I'll definitely read book two.

  3. One of my good friends read this book and felt exactly the same way you did. It took her a while to get into it, and she really struggled, wanting to like it, and it finally won her over towards the end. I'll check it out to see how I fare, and I always hate it when books have SO MUCH potential but then just don't deliver. Thanks for the review.


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