Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Posted on 05/29/2011 in Book Review / 0 Comments

Review: Possession by Elana JohnsonPossession by Elana Johnson
Series: Possession #1
Published by Simon Pulse on 6/7/2011
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher

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 brainwashed 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.

This was a great book, very captivating and intriguing.  It embodies the dystopian genre perfectly: oppressive government control under the guise of benevolent agendas.  The story is big on labels, which fit it well: you have the Goodgrounds and the Badlands.  Those in the Goodgrounds are “Good” and those in the Badlands are “bad” (obviously).  And then there is Freedom, a separate province that trains the Thinkers of the Good society.

That’s where this book is interesting; the government is so completely in control, they do your thinking for you.  Thinkers are powerful and control everything. They can even intrude upon your thoughts and wishes, communicate with you and erase your memories.  And that’s where and why I think this book is interesting.  That you aren’t safe even in your thoughts, in your own head, is scary and sad, especially when citizens don’t question it. The characters were a bit weak.  There is a lot of back-and-forth between Jag (a Baddie), Vi (the protagonist) and Zenn (Vi’s Goodie boyfriend who works in Special Forces).  The name Zenn for a Goodie character isn’t lost on me either…I found the irony in his name pretty witty.  But I was fully prepared to give Possession a 3-star rating because the characters don’t carry the book all that well.  There are also a number of what seem like narrative jumps, where I had to backtrack to figure out what was going on and who was telling the story.  It led to a little more confusion than I would have liked.   However the plot in the second half of the book saves it and brings it to a 4-star read. Be prepared for plot twists, this book is full of them.  The ending is bone-chilling and I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

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Jennifer is a bona fide book nerd. She thinks "bookworm" sounds gross and secretly gains pleasure at the pained looks her husband often shoots at her personal library. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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