Controlled By No One (Possession – A Book Review)

Author: Elana Johnson
Published: 2011

On Goodreads


My Rating: Full bolt Half bolt

In a world of control or be controlled, never trust the one you love.

In this world, there are rules. You must follow the rules or be deemed a baddie and put in the Badlands. That’s the best-case scenario. Worst case? You end up as the Thinkers’ play toys.

Vi isn’t having any of that. She doesn’t truly follow the rules and she blames that on Zenn, or the way he makes her feel anyway. How much trouble can one girl get into for touching a boy…or kissing him? Then the Thinkers brainwash him and she’s locked up. In comes egotistical Jag, the only person who might be able to help her. In lock-up for selling illegal tech, he and Vi break free and save Zenn before he’s taken over and controlled by the Thinkers.

This is a game of control of be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


Voices haunt Vi’s mind and she’s stuck with Jag, her cellmate. He’s not all bad, just strange. He’s agreed to helping her escape lock-up after a couple of bogus rules being broken. Though, rules are what keeps this society going, she doesn’t care. They’re busting out of their jail cell and heading to the Badlands-a shot at freedom. Vi won’t do it without Zenn, though, her match. Not all is as it seems and all is upside down.

I’m so sorry, but this book just wasn’t for me. Nope. Nope NOPE.

Vi, Jag, and Zenn make and intriguing triangle. They do. Buuuuut, I don’t know what they look like and how they’re portrayed really throws me off in to strange territory. I like strange, unique and creative. They can really amp a story. Here, I didn’t get that at all. I couldn’t get a full glimpse of what they looked like and I didn’t understand them that well either. From Jag having an uncontrollable infatuation with Vi’s hair and Vi’s ‘Vi speak’ (which I didn’t understand because there was no real intro to Vi Speak), I was a lost puppy. Their actions felt incredibly awkward and random for me. The romantic triangle between the three of them felt forced, but I also couldn’t envision Vi with either of them. She was witty and honest, but incredibly erratic and easily annoyed. Jag was too easily offended and slightly creepy. Zenn…this guy, though in love with Vi, didn’t appear to be in love.


With all of the regions that make up this dystopian landscape, from the Fire region to the Water region to the outlands of the Badlands, I was amazed. That’s a whole world and it sounded so cool! Sounded…There wasn’t much in the way of imagery, so I’m not entirely sure what it all looked like. The Badlands was just about the only place I got a good look at and it was wicked! Mad Max meets The Bad Batch. And if you aren’t familiar with either then go and watch them. I’m serious. GO!


The flow was really great. I enjoyed how fast the pace of the story was. It really embraced how it feels to be on the run. There wasn’t a chance to take a breath and that made everything that much more intense. My attention was totally captured. I couldn’t peel away.

The way that the characters were interconnected was very nifty, too. From time to time, people can drop into other people’s dreams. It was freaky! And incredibly personal. I would feel violated if that happened to me. LOL. However, when it came to these part or others, I just wish the transition had been easier.

I wish I enjoyed this book more. My problem was that there wasn’t enough. Yep, I’m being greedy, bookworms. I just couldn’t enjoy it that much. Everything felt half built from the character to the world they lived in. I was so into getting into the Dystopian scene. There are more books in the series, but I don’t think I’m going to read them. No sense since I wasn’t very fulfilled.


“People don’t return from the Badlands.” (Vi, p. 2)

“I don’t dream. At least I didn’t used to.” (Vi, p. 42)

“A lost future with Zenn. A possibility of finding my dad in the Badlands. And the excitement of a different future. With Jag.” (Vi, p. 96)

“Apparently in the Badlands, you can blow things up and then get a coffee.” (Vi, p. 125)

More to come soon…


P.S. Song today? It’s My Life by No Doubt.

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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