Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: Mar 27, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
She reads minds.
He controls minds.
Together, they might get out alive.
Sam thinks she’s months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.
Only Sam isn’t normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.
Drake wasn’t raised as a ‘Rent-A-Kid.’ He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.
When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn’t a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.
To survive, they must work together.
But will their powers be enough to save them before it’s too late?
When I first read the synopsis on this, I was intrigued. It sounded like a twist on the X-Men comics, but instead of the kids being superheroes, they’re hired out by the rich and famous to help them become more rich and famous. The kids have lived in this school since birth, and don’t know any differently than their life as a Rent-a-Kid. These special kids with powers are hired out as early as thirteen, and are told that if they keep quiet and do their job they can leave the school at eighteen, attend college and live a normal life. Sam is a few weeks from turning eighteen and has just returned home from her last job and is tying up loose ends before she leaves to start her new life. Sam is considered unique and powerful, since her ability is to read minds. Not only can she read what you’re thinking in the moemnt, she can seek out every thought you’ve ever had. Sam inexplicably becomes very sick a few days before her birthday, and has to spend some time in the infirmary. While there, she connects minds with Drake, a boy around her age that she’s never seen before and is being held against his will. Drake also has a mind ability, and his is even more dangerous in that he can force minds under his control.
Meeting Drake forces Sam to question the reality that she’s lived with her whole life. Did her parents willingly give her to the school to raise? What really happens when kids turn eighteen and leave the school? Sam is forced out of her bubble, and she and Drake soon learn why he’s been kidnapped and why they are thrown together.
Forbidden Mind is actually a novella, and I typically don’t like novellas. I’ve only read a handful that I’ve really liked, but for the most part they leave me feeling incomplete. I guess in this case it was a good thing it was a novella, because I probably wouldn’t have finished it if it was a full length book. I felt that the book only touched the surface of the story, and I really wanted the author to dig a little deeper on some of the plot points. I was really interested in the idea of the school and the kids being hired out for various jobs, and I think it would have been a really great book if the focus had been just on that. Or those ideas and Sam finding out that the school isn’t really what it seems. Instead we quickly jump from the school, to Sam meeting Drake and finding out that she’s been lied to all her life, and then to Sam and Drake being taken together. And then it just gets weird. Like Breaking Dawn-ish weird. The story was going okay up until it then, and the sole focus of the book was on this Strange Event. Everything went downhill from there. I’m not entirely sure why the author chose to take the story in this direction, but I wasn’t a fan.
I also struggled connecting to the characters. The story is told from Sam’s point of view, and I didn’t really like her. Well, I kind of did at the beginning of the book, but then she got hormonal and emotional and I ended up not liking her at all in the end. We don’t even “meet” Drake until the end, as most of their connection takes place in the conversations they have in their mind. The romance also didn’t make sense. It felt rushed and thrown together, and if the Strange Event hadn’t have happened, I’m not sure if they would have gotten together on a normal day. I could never manage to find a way to care about the characters and their fates. I didn’t feel any chemistry between them, or between me and them.
My Summary: Forbidden Mind wasn’t a success for me. The writing was choppy, and the jokes and banter that was supposed to be funny just fell flat. I didn’t like the characters, couldn’t bring myself to care about them and the idea that I was really interested in – the kids and school – was only touched on briefly. It was disappointing, to say the least.
My Rating: D