Pam Bachorz’ Character Debut Party

Candor by Pam BachorzAnother great debut on the Autumn 2009 Kids’ Indie Next List, CANDOR is high on my TBR pile. I snagged an early copy from Pam’s publisher at the ALA conference this summer and I can’t wait to get into this story. First, bring on the dystopian YA. Second, when I first read the premise, it totally reminded me of this “model community” near Disney called Celebration, Florida. I had dinner there for a work thing a few years back, and all I can say is… Stepford, anyone? Then I read that Pam actually lived in Celebration for several years, which is how she got the idea for CANDOR in the first place. Which makes me wonder if Pam herself has been indoctrinated by the “Messages,” too…

It’s a small world after all! It’s a small world after all! It’s a small world…

*Ahem* Anyway — guess you’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about (and to assess the author’s mental resilience)!


In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town’s founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar’s built a business sabotaging his father’s scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they’re turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?

Then he meets Nia, the girl he can’t stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

Oscar’s 2009 Debut Party

Fasten your tinfoil hats, people. Here we go!

The Guest List

Any other isolated misunderstood YA characters are welcome to attend. But I’d really like to see Oscar and Holden Caulfield kickin’ it. They could compare notes on how to survive in a privileged world of conformity that you know you don’t belong in. Although Oscar and Holden have very different coping mechanisms.

Ahh, yes. The scene where Holden calls a prostitute to his room comes to mind… For the record, CATCHER IN THE RYE is my favorite YA book, so any party where Holden’s a guest? Consider me there. And as for Oscar — any friend of Holden’s is a friend of mine.

The Party

Small, with plenty of space to spread out and get away from other brooding, troubled YA characters who might be annoying you. We’re heading away from Candor, Florida, the town where Oscar is trapped. For once I’d like the guy to have a chance to see more than picket fences and manicured swamp.

As far as party themes, Oscar would dig any party that lets him break out of his perfect disguise and be himself, especially if he gets to do it with his love, Nia. So the only theme would be that you get to do whatever you want. And away from home, guests can load up on M&Ms and other goodies forbidden in Candor, Florida.

No M&Ms in Candor? Not even peanut butter ones?


The Guest of Honor: Oscar

He’s tossed his usual disguise/uniform of pressed khakis and a Candor polo shirt. Maybe he’s got a pair of faded jeans and a t-shirt with a design inked on it by Nia. She’s an artist. His theme song? Yellow by Coldplay. That song tells you everything about Oscar and Nia.

Pam’s Advice for Oscar on His Big Debut

Hey Oscar? See if there’s some kind of escape hatch at the end of the party… whatever you do, don’t go back to Candor…

Seriously, Oscar. They don’t even have freakin’ M&Ms there. Sometimes you just gotta say… WTF?

In the mean time, I think it’s safe to remove the tinfoil for now and join me in sending a big congratulations to Pam and Oscar on the debut! But do it quietly — we probably shouldn’t draw too much attention to Oscar, since he’s like incognito and all. Still. You should totally get this book. CANDOR is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound and other Web retailers.

Pam Bachorz grew up in a small town in the Adirondack foothills, where she participated in every possible performance group and assiduously avoided any threat of athletic activity. Pam attended college in Boston and finally decided she was finished after earning four degrees. Her mother is not happy that Pam’s degrees are stored under her bed. Pam lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband and their son. She likes to read books not aimed at her age group, go to museums and theater performances, and watch far too much television. She even goes jogging. Reluctantly. As far as she knows, Pam has never been brainwashed. Or maybe that’s just what she’s supposed to say. Visit Pam online.

1 thought on “Pam Bachorz’ Character Debut Party

  1. Oooh. I put this on my TBR pile a few months ago after a brief description, but I had no idea it sounded this cool! Can’t wait to read. Though I’m not normally a fan of dystopian, but hey, big brother conspiracies weigh out my dislike of dystopian. bring Candor on 🙂

    Thanks for blogging about this!

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