Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Book Description via Goodreads:

E-ARC, 416 pages
June 7, 2011, Simon & Schuster

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about 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.

Source: S&S Galley Grab (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Vi was incredibly talented, naturally funny, loyal but short-tempered with a tendency to be violent. After losing her father and her sister, she was convinced that the Thinkers got rid of them. She started breaking the rules, rebelling in her own way until one day she was arrested and imprisoned with a stranger.

Vi was involved in a love triangle with a Goodie and a Baddie. Zenn was Vi’s best friend and match. He has always been there for her, listening to her and protecting her. He was her comfort, her joy and her future. Jag was the Baddie that she met in prison. Mischievous, funny and alluring, he captured Vi’s attention and curiosity. He was not as 'bad' as she thought he would be. Jag was just different and he filled her with things she had never known and feelings that she has never felt before. It was like a heart tug-of-war for Vi as she fought to remind herself of Zenn and her future with him and as she started to fall in love with Jag. I favored Jag over Zenn. I thought that even though Vi has only known him for a few weeks, he has changed her and her life in ways that Zenn could never do.

In a world where control was highly valued, Vi needed to decide whether she wanted to control or to be controlled. She needed to figure out who she was and who she would believe in. But what if being good and being bad meant different things in different places, according to different people? To be controlled meant to bow down to the Thinkers and to be tied to their words. Vi wanted freedom. But to be free would mean to be bad. Could she really turn back from everything she has known? I loved how Johnson highlighted freedom, beliefs and resistance in this novel. From the perspective of a curious and rebellious teen, her black and white society was dissected, explored until the gray in between these two sides bled and showed itself. The advanced technology was one of the things that I liked in Possession. Everything was made easy for them, a hundred times easier than it is for us. The ‘tech’ that I loved most was a square tube that could produce any food that you desire.

The unpredictability, fast pace and Vi’s fun narrative made Possession a quick, enjoyable dystopian read that might appeal to readers of Inside Out and Outside In. It has parts that romance readers and paranormal readers will also like. I have read not-so-good reviews on this novel, particularly about the novel being confusing. The thing is, I think that in this novel the author gives us the stimuli and the freedom to think. I guess that we should fill those little in between spaces with our own thoughts.


If you want to read Possession, you can win it here (for International readers) and here as a part of the S&S Dystopian Prize Pack (for US readers.)


  1. I'm reviewing this later this week!!! I LOVED this too... but it WAS hard to keep everything straight! I hope there's a sequel... it can't just END there!

  2. This is the first review I have read on this book and I am definitely putting it on my wish list. I love how you talked about the way the author blurred the lines between good and bad. I also really enjoyed Inside Out so your comparison is another reason why I really want to read this one. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Mischievous, funny and alluring? Um, yeah. I can see why you liked Jag more! Wow, great review! I've read some mixed reviews too, but you know I trust your taste in books, so I'm super excited to get my hands on this! And how I adore dystopians! Really like that piece of tech you mentioned too... any food?! *stomach rumbles in joy*