Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Author: Elana Johnson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Hardcover: 416 pages 
Published: June 8, 20711

Amazon Summary: 
"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."

My thoughts:

I literally just finished Possession about 15 minutes ago. I'm still...confused.

Let me start off by saying I love Violet and I loved Jag. Every time Jag and Vi kissed  my 16-year-old-self (ok, ok) I got a little jealous. Vi was slightly annoying with her wishy-washy-ness between Jag and Zenn, but she is only 17/18 so I can understand that and forgive her for it.

I really enjoyed the mixing of paranormal and dystopian elements. I really wasn't expecting that, and even though I'm not usually a huge paranormal fan, I thought Vi's powers were really interesting. I did however feel like Vi's powers were somewhat of a cop-out? I felt like every time a complication arose Vi conveniently found a way out. Instead of fleshing out an interesting plot twist with dialogue or an explanation of what was going on, we were just given a quick-fix to every problem either with a change of scenery, a newly discovered paranormal ability or a random piece of tech.

I did not like how we were thrown into Jag's dreams at random. There was hardly even any indication that they were going to sleep and then all of sudden we are immersed in a dream with a completely different narrator. The first time this happened I re-read the page like 5 times. I seriously thought that my galley was missing a page or paragraph. 

I think Elana Johnson's imagination is way creative. I have to give her props for coming up with something pretty original when the last few Dystopians I've read have all started to blend together with their familiar elements. I loved the ideas behind her story and could see where she was going. There were so many amazing elements that I loved, but I just wish I could have understood everything better.

What would make this book a hundred times more enjoyable for me? A glossary and a map. For real.  I spent most of the book going HUH? WHAT? Badlands, Freedom, GoodGrounds, Fire City/Realm/something I can't remember? I was so confused trying to figure out where I was going, and who was bad and who was good and my gosh there are so many characters and what's Jag's brothers name, Pace, Baldie, Hawk? Who are these people? Are they dead? No, they're alive? Leaving? Staying? Teleporting? WHAT!!!!???? As you can tell there's no shortage of action in the book.

I am definitely interested in reading the second book (Fugitve) in the series. However, I read in an interview with Elana Johnson that it will be a companion novel (similar to The Forest of Hands and Teeth series) and will not be a sequel. That's kind of  MAJORLY disappointing to me because Vi and Jag really grew on me. (Plus the ending?! Seriously!? WHAT! Cry! Can you say cliffhanger?!).  Hopefully we will see more of them in the next books.

I was waiting for the point in the book where everything would start to make sense for me, but it never really came together. Every time I would start to grasp what was going on, something would totally throw me for a loop. I have read tons of reviews that gave this book 5 stars, some rated it in the middle and even a few that REALLY felt it wasn't for them. I'm somewhere in between. Not bad, not good....ambivalent.

Judge a Book By It's Cover:  Love and adore this cover. It's simplistic and beautiful. I can see now what the cover illustration means. Plus I love the font of the author's name! 

  3 Stars! 

Author Elana Johnson: Blog / Twitter 

*Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The links in this review are not affiliate links.


  1. Thank you for your honest review.

  2. This was a great review and I love the honesty in it, how you liked some things but cited that there were other's you didn't. Up until now, I've only seen 5 star reviews, so it was refreshing to see someone give it 3 stars with well thought out reasons behind why they were. I truly appreciate that, you don't have to slam a book to be honest about it and you don't have to gush about it to crazy epic levels to love it either. This was a very nice rounded balance, between that and I appreciate it. It helped me decide whether I wanted to read the book or not and I think I might, to figure it out for myself what I think. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

  3. I keep hearing the same things about this book. That the idea behind the world was great but the execution was lacking and that things were often confusing. I think I will be passing this one up because I think it will be like Luminous, it had a good starting point but just fell apart. Thank you for your honest opinion.

  4. I think she should continue the possession as a series. but i love the book jag n vi chem:D

  5. OMG! i literally just finished the book about an hour ago and search to see if there would be a sequel. when saw that there wasn't i started to cry!!!!! hopefully the author will do the same thing as the wicked lovely author and keep switching character points of views in each book to keep it interesting........if not i will start crying....again!!!