Everything is perfect in the town of Candor, Florida. That's what the people pay for, after all. Oscar Banks is the son of the town's father, and is viewed by everyone in Candor as the golden boy, the perfect child, the one that everyone should act like. That's what everyone thinks. They have no idea that Oscar has an underground business sneaking teens out of Candor, giving them subliminal messages of his own that counteract the ones that are being piped through Candor. Then he meets Nia, a new girl in town, and he is willing to risk everything that he's worked for in order to make sure that she gets out. This time, though, there are complications that could be fatal for everyone involved.
I found Oscar to be a really intriguing character. He's bright, charming, entrepreneurial, and has a dark edge to him. I wasn't really sure why he was willing to risk everything for Nia, the mysterious newcomer, given how little they knew about each other and how she acted with him. The book does ask you to accept a lot of things without really thinking about them (maybe this is true of dystopian fiction? I haven't read a lot of it). But I really liked the concept of how a place like Candor could come to be, and how people would react to it. One of my favourite characters is Oscar's ex-girlfriend, a former beauty pageant contestant who occasionally finds her old/true self bubbling to the surface.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson