Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Possession (#1) - Elana Johnson

I've just been reading up a storm the last few days, haven't I? It's because I have ten (ten!) glorious days free from work, all in a row, which I haven't had since the day I started my very first job almost ten years ago. It's a beautiful thing. I've napped every day this week. A couple of times, I've napped twice in one day. In-between my naps, I wrote. And then I read. I dusted off the books I got for Christmas over two years ago, curled up under my comforter, and read. It's been amazing, losing myself in a book. I almost forgot what a great thing it was. I should write about that sometime--why I stopped reading.

But, anyway, this isn't about me. This is about a book. (Okay, well, it's kind of about me. Sorry.)

Title: Possession (Possession #1)
Author: Elana Johnson
Rating: 5/5. 10/10. Perfection in book form.

Get it on Amazon!
Find it on Goodreads!
(Seriously, go now.)

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:

First of all, this book isn't really about what you think it's about based on the summary. It kind of is, but I'm pretty sure whoever wrote the summary only skimmed the novel. Which is a damn, damn shame, because this novel is perfect.

Think of your favorite strong, sassy, slightly-wild, good-girl (YAY!) heroine. Then pair her with a rebel-WITH-a-cause-deliciously-gorgeous-guy. Now add another super-sweet-and-devoted-but-being-mind-controlled-guy-fighting-said-mind-control-for-heroine-guy just for good measure. Add an intriguing plot with twists and turns that the smart heroes/heroine figure out before you're groaning that the characters are stupid. Now add some amazing writing with a flavor that literally makes you feel like you're experiencing the book all around you.

Congratulations, you've just imagined what it's like to read Possession.

There were times I laughed out loud. There were times I was angry at the characters for being brats, or stupid. There were times I had to skim paragraphs of description just because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen. And then at the very end, I cried. I cried so hard I gave myself a headache. Not because the book is bad. And not just because I found the ending heartbreakingly beautiful and tragic. But because the book was OVER. I cried because THERE WERE NO MORE PAGES LEFT.

Side note: I should tell you, I immediately jumped online, still crying, and discovered there is one more book out there, with one more coming in April. I usually like to buy book-books of the books I love, but I am so desperate to read book two RIGHT NOW that I bought it on the Kindle. I also downloaded the filler e-books for the series. Well, .5 anyway. I couldn't get 1.5 to work.

Then I went online and researched the writer, found her blog, and fell a little bit in love. You can check her out, too. (I'll be linking to a few of her posts that is especially poignant for me right now, working on book two/three of The Quest of Dai, but later. They are so good, they need their own center stage. I'm actually thinking about printing them and carrying them around with me.)

So, you may be wondering why I am sitting here at the computer, writing about the book instead of rushing off to book two.

A couple of reasons:
1. I'm a little ticked book two is about different characters, with the mains from book one only peripherally involved. (I'm a spoiler-a-holic, so I read the reviews first.) People seemed to like it, but for me, I'm already in love with the mains. I don't really want to read about new people, because...
2. Book one was such an emotional roller coaster for me that I'm still trying to get rid of the headache (I took three Advil!), and I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready to pick up the second one yet. I'm actually not kidding. I mean that with complete seriousness. The triangle of which boy to choose--Zenn or Jag--just about destroyed me. Usually I'm like, "Yay boy one!" or, "Yay boy two!" but in this one, I was just torn.

The author said she intended for Possession to be a stand-alone book, and never meant to continue it. (I assume wild popularity is what drove her to it.) And it's true. Possession as a stand-alone would have been poignantly tragic. (Am I giving too much away here?) But it would have been perfect. The ending would have been just right.

Final note:

The first ~50 pages of the book are Jag and Vi trapped in a cell together.

Take a moment. Re-read that sentence. "The first ~50 pages of the book are Jag and Vi trapped in a cell together." There. I copied it for you.

How. The HELL. Do you manage to make the first 50 pages of a book about two characters trapped in a cell together interesting? Ms. Johnson, I bow to your awesomeness. I can't even make two pages about traveling interesting, and you managed to make 50 pages of two characters trapped in a room together page-turners.

Yeah. They're page-turners. The whole book is a page-turner. Apparently I lost four hours to my life to this book. And I'm about to lose four more to the second one, because my head is finally calming down.

Final thoughts? Read this book. Right now. Stop reading this blog, and go buy the book. You're welcome.