Review: Possession – Elana Johnson

possession
Title: Possession
Author: Elana Johnson
Series: Possession #1
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Opening Sentence: “Good girls don’t walk with boys.”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

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.

Anyone looking through Possession’s online presence will notice very quickly how mixed its reviews are. Many people love it or hate it. But there’s also people like me… in between, and unsure about it.

Possession is a very good book in theory. The idea is engaging and not quite like anything else, but half of the potential must have been lost in translation, because the book I read, to be completely honest, flubbed. The story kept me going and wanting to know what happened next, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting more. This book was wonderfully fast-paced, but I fear the story sometimes suffered as a result. I wouldn’t have minded it going a bit slower if things would have been explained and thought out more thoroughly.

The writing didn’t do it for me. I feel like I could see way too much of the author in the characters. I don’t know anything about what Elana Johnson, but I get the feeling she like’s messy short hair in uncommon colors and guys who are “bad”, but good. (Sure, a lot of people could have the same type of interests, but that’s not my point.) I also wasn’t a fan at all of the “vi/jag-speak” nonsense. Maybe once or twice it would work… but it was used several times too many.

The characters… well, they weren’t terrible, but there wasn’t one character I felt connected to. Any one of them could have died and I don’t think I would have blinked an eye. Violet’s character (the writing of) made it seem like it was work to be sarcastic. The love triangle (Violet, Jag, Zenn) was only lukewarm and I wasn’t rooting for anyone. I would have loved to see more personality from the different characters.

As a whole Possession was interesting enough, but I’m glad I borrowed it from the library as opposed to buying. The whole production felt a little premature, like it needed more nurturing before it was released. There were a lot of unanswered questions, therefore the star rating won’t be moving any higher than two-and-a-half or three stars. The story has a ton of potential that wasn’t acted on and I can only hope it gets better during the next book.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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