Title: Open Minds
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: Mindjack Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Dystopia
Summary (from Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
You’d be forgiven, from reading the first few chapters, that Open Minds is about surviving high school and navigating the strange world of boys with a little bit of superpowers thrown in to make things interesting. What unravels after the obligatory boy drama, however, is a downward spiral into a dangerous world where the “bad” and “good” guys are pretty much the same as each other, and it’s difficult to know who to trust.
It’s very clever how Kira gets drawn into the conspiracy, how each choice she makes puts her further into danger, while manipulative other characters use her to further themselves. I was glad, too, that when Simon, Kira’s boyfriend, plays her, she doesn’t immediately forgive him and go back to making out. YA Heroine who realises her boyfriend has been a tool for the win.
Some things are lingered over, while others are brushed past when I would have preferred it the other way round, and the slang is a bit of a twee way to immerse the reader in Kira’s world – a world that’s otherwise well imagined and realised. But in terms of presentation and editing, you wouldn’t know this book was self published.
So, overall, this was a tense story, once the initial section was out of the way, with a resolution you’ll have seen before, but remains a satisfying solution to the conspiracy problem. The characters and the world were interesting, and it’s the first time I’ve truly been tempted to purchase the sequel to a Self Pub. Maybe when I’ve got through my impressive review backlog!
Susan’s Website: http://www.susankayequinn.com