Surrender (Possession #2) by Elana Johnson

Posted on 06/10/2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

Surrender (Possession #2) by Elana JohnsonSurrender by Elana Johnson
Series: Possession #2
Published by Simon Pulse on 6/5/2012
Genres: Dystopian, Science-fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: select
Source: Purchased
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The thrilling and seductive sequel to Possession puts love on the line in a dystopian struggle for independent thought.Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.


All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.


Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque…


It’s been a couple of years since I read Possession, so I felt a little a lot behind when I began Surrender.  In truth, I should have re-read Possession, but who has time to re-read things anymore?  Not this girl. I think, because it had been so long, I was especially aware of the lack of recapping, which is typically welcome in series novels, but in my case, I struggled to remember what had happened.  Since the point of view changes as well, I was no longer in Violet’s head, and had a harder time connecting with the characters again (plus, most of them were new). Surrender was still great.  Johnson provides a lot of technology that we kind of have to accept in Possession; ways to be controlled through Thinkers, machines that just make your food, etc.  It’s a very dystopian society (especially considering they don’t allow free-thinking!).  In Surrender, she backs up the tech by explaining the societies and cities that think up the tech, as well as the government that controls the people.  She also gets very, very detailed with the rebels. Some things that didn’t jive with me: Violet’s brainwashing lifts way too easily.  It seemed like Zenn put forth a lot of effort to unbrainwash her, and then Raine steps in and voila!  Violet is herself again. And why does it seem like every YA dystopian never involves a whole helluva lot of adults?  Almost always, the adults are the bad guys and the kids are trying to overthrow them – which I don’t mind, but they can’t do it by themselves.  Let’s be honest about that.   But I liked Johnson’s version of a Dystopian society: Everything about Freedom and the Goodgrounds screams “We know what’s good for you, so we’re going to make all your decisions instead of you.”   One line that stands out is:

The General Director believed those select people should lead the talentless.  They had the means to do it.

Just because you have the ability, it doesn’t mean you should.  And yet, the people in the government want absolute control.  Even over your mind.  

Part of me wanted a dietary plan of my own choosing.

And your diet.  The leaders of this world are the perfect villains because of these things.  There are two types of dystopian “bad guys”:  the kind who unwittingly lead and think they are doing the right thing and refuse to deviate from that path because of their conviction, and the kind who don’t care who they harm to get what they want (which is usually power).  Which one do you think these people are? I think what I liked most is that the rebels weren’t just fighting; they also made efforts to teach basic survival skills, and things as simple as sewing, because once you rely on someone to provide you with something, they have control over you. Gunner and Raine.  Oh my.  I loved how Johnson ties these two together, and yet keeps them apart.  It is so obvious they are a match, and yet each are matched to other people.  The interactions between them, the barely-there touches of the hands, and even the competition between them on occasion made me yearn to see them together.  Oh but that ending with them!  How can you do that to me, Elana?!   Overall, Surrender was a good novel.  I did find it hard to keep up with in parts, but that’s also a bit my fault, too, because it had been so long between Possession and Surrender.  Still though, this was a great sequel to the first novel, and I can’t wait to move on to Abandon!  

“Some things are worth fighting for.”  He was right.  I’d fight for freedom.  I’d fight for choice.  I’d fight for Raine.


I purchased this book with my own money. I was not compensated for this review in any way. Please keep in mind that if you decide to purchase this book through one of the affiliate links on this site, we receive a small commission for your purchase. Blurb and book cover is courtesy of Goodreads under the Fair Use Act.
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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. 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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