Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Read This: Possession

by Elana Johnson

The Short Story 
I think the less you know going into this book, the better. Don't bother with what's written on the back cover, either - I don't think it does the reader any favors. I went into the book after having read Jenny's review, which said Possession was "like a cool dream." That's all you need to know. If you liked The Maze Runner, and are cool with not knowing what is going on all the time, give this book a look. A book hasn't stuck with me this long after finishing it in quite some time.

Come for the...
questions. About 50 pages into Possession I was ready to write it off as another Matched meets Uglies type of dystopian book. "Big bad plots out nearly every aspect of your life with hoverboards" kind of deal. But by the end of the book I was convinced Possession deserves a prominent spot in YA fiction. Why? Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler.

It's hard to review this one because I don't want to give anything away. I will say that it made me think. I would love to do this book for a book club/discussion group sometime because I had so many questions. Who has the moral high ground in this story? How much of it are we supposed to believe or sympathize with? Are we really supposed to "buy" the relationships presented in the book? I'll put my spoilery thoughts in the comments.

Stay for the
hoverboards, technology, special powers, and the ending.

Don't think about this too hard
  • I gave this book five stars because it stuck with me and made me think, not because it was perfect. The main characters all have a level of immaturity in their speech, actions, and relationships. Which gets kind of annoying. (Who calls anyone babe? Besides that pig from the movie Babe?) These YA teens act like teens, not 30 year olds.
  • A lot of people have noted the lack of world-building and explanation of what was going on. If that is something that bothers you in a story, it will bother you with this book, too. I don't really care that much about world-building, so I was fine with it.

The Big Three
Language: a few mild, awkwardly placed swear words
Sex and Stuff: some kissing and longing, but nothing descriptive
Violence: fighting and blood, but not graphic


  1. Hmmmm, I felt like the whole thing wasn't very memorable and after a few weeks now I still remember it but sort of like a weird dream I had that is getting fuzzy. I'd love to discuss it too. I remember having a lot of questions while reading it.

  2. I've started this one and am liking it so far. Perhaps Elana will be at the blogger party and we can ask her anything! :)

  3. Jenny, that's interesting. I think I liked it so much because I thought most of the characters were kind of horrible people. Well, maybe not horrible. Just not very good. I didn't think I was supposed to really sympathize with any of them. They all felt equally bad to me. And I thought the ending was perfect, but probably because it was so different.

    Suey, that would be interesting! I'd almost be afraid to ask, though, because I like my interpretation and wouldn't want to know if I were off! :)

  4. I adored this book and I think the fact that the story (and especially the ENDING) kept you thinking about it for a long time after you turned the last page.

  5. I have never heard of this. Thanks for recommending it.

  6. I heard so many mixed reviews about this that I am curious to see what it's about. It seems people either love it or hate it. I am happy you enjoyed this though!

  7. Oooo I think you've sold me.

    Oh and btw, I'm a totallllll sucker for Matched and Uglies.

  8. I've heard quite a bit about this book, but I haven't picked it up yet. Great review!
    p.s. come check out my newest giveaway at Magic Is In Words!

  9. Jessi, I'm so happy we can fangirl together. :)

    Kristin, I don't think a lot of people have. Elana Johnson is a local author, so I don't know that a ton of people outside (& inside) of UT have heard of her.

    Selina, I can see how this book would either really work for someone, or really not. Hopefully you'll like it!

  10. Juju, there are definitely elements of Uglies & Matched in this one. If you liked the technology in Uglies, I think you'll appreciate a lot of things in Possession.

    Katie, thanks. I'll be sure to stop by. :)