June 1, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 416
Series: n/a
Review Source: S & S GalleyGrab

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.

My Thoughts:
I wasn’t sure what to think when I started this book. Some people have loved it, and others, well, they have not. I went in hoping I would be part of the crowd who loved it (obviously! you never want to dislike a book), but unfortunately this was not the book for me. I found it completely confusing. There were so many scenarios and so many random paranormal-y abilities, I just didn’t know what to think. It also felt like pieces of technology were thrown into the story when they were convenient instead of being described ahead of time and then used in appropriate places.

One huge point of contention I have with ‘Possession’ is the extremely weak “heroine”, Violet. Vi flails around a lot, letting other people control her. It feels like she is a possession of the literally controlling “love interest”, Jag. I’m not sure what redeeming qualities Jag has except for his really cool hair (seriously. Hair is described a lot in this book). He continually lets Vi down and gets pissy at her when she doesn’t do or say what he wants, which is annoying enough to begin with, but then he also keeps secrets from her the whole time, seeing no problem with that. Violet, to her credit, gets mad about this over and over again, but then she just lets him manipulate her again and again, forgiving him each time because they “love” each other. Even though she starts off the book supposedly loving this other guy, Zenn. Sigh.

This book is a very strange combination of ‘Matched’, the ‘Uglies’ books, and ‘The Giver’, except without the engaging characters and interesting plot line. I wasn’t the biggest fan of ‘Matched’, but at least it made sense. This book throws you into the action straightaway and gives little to no explanations for anything that’s going on in the world. The writing was generally good, except I hated how Vi continually started her thoughts with the word ‘Yeah’ -- as in, ‘Yeah, I wasn’t doing that’ or ‘Yeah, I loved him.’ Yeah, it got a bit annoying. And then there was Jag calling Violet ‘babe’ all the time which just totally made me cringe with its cheesyness.

Meh. I just definitely wasn’t feeling this one. I made it to the end because I wanted to see why people loved it so much, but otherwise I definitely would have stopped reading it about 120 pages in. Despite so much action happening I was really bored almost the whole time, PLUS after all that reading (400-ish pages) there is a mega cliffhanger! I can’t believe the story just stops. Usually a cliffhanger would entice readers to go on the next book, but with this one? It’s okay, really. If I feel the need to find out what happens next I’ll read some spoilery reviews on Goodreads once Book 2 comes out.

So. As with any negative review I feel obliged to say that there are definitely people who loved the stuffing out of this book, so maybe you’ll like it too. Check out the link to Goodreads below to read some of the positive reviews.

ETA: I just read that 'Possession' is supposed to be a standalone. I... I don't even know what to do with that information. This makes me like the book even less, knowing there's absolutely no resolution at all for the characters.


Find Possession by Elana Johnson on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca


  1. Wonderful review, Ashley!
    Just reading the synopsis on goodreads reminds me a LOT of MATCHED, so I'm glad you saw it too. Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts, and I think I won't be reading this any time soon.

  2. I was confused quite a bit in this one as well Ashley! I kept hoping the more I read, the more things would make sense but that didn't seem to be the case. I did like the characters though, but you're right that Vi definitely did flail about for a good portion of it:)

  3. I started this one recently, but put it down in favor of a different book. The first chapters haven't grabbed me, and the reviews are scaring me off.

    I can understand your frustration it - the style was kind of jumpy to me. Not sure if I will read it before the galley expires. Too many books, too little time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ashley!

  4. I'm with you completely on having no idea what was happening. I could have used more explanation. And the "yeah"s bugged me too.

  5. Too bad it didn't work for you. I hate when books are confusing. Oddly, this review actually made me want to read the book more. Probably because it's the most interesting review I've read.

  6. Thanks for the review Ashley! Honestly, the plot summary already confuses me which isn't exactly a promising sign. It's too bad that you couldn't give Possession the benefit of doubt after all in the end though and you found it disappointing... -.-

  7. This post makes me even more happy I started following your blog; I appreciate honest opinions about books to the point of obsession. Seeing a negative review or two on a blog assures me that the blogger is honest! So Kudos to you for telling the truth!!!

  8. I love the premise for this one, but I've seen a bunch of reviews that are quite the same. I'm not sure I'll jump to read this. Fab honest review :)

  9. I don't know what to think. I've seen some good reviews and some bad ones. I do have this in my reading pile so I guess I'll have to read it and see for myself.

  10. Everyone is saying it's confusing...so I don't think I'm going to read it. I was hoping for amazing. I didn't like Matched either, another reason for my probably to not read this! Thanks for the great, honest review.

  11. I had some of the same issues you did with this one, Ashley. The dynamic between Jag & Vi was troubling at times, and I often lost the direction of the storyline. (And then there was that ending, which didn't make any sense for a standalone.)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...