THE MIND READERS
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from author for review
Cameron can read minds. She doesn't understand how or why, she just knows both she and grandmother have the same ability. People must never know about it though. They won't understand. The incident in Michigan proved that.
Cameron is going through her day to day routine, tolerating her popular but extremely shallow best friend while knowing exactly what she's thinking at all times. The murder of a classmate changes everything for Cameron though, and brings her into contact with Lewis, a handsome outsider who knows of Cameron's ability.
As she spends more time with Lewis, she realizes he shares her gift, and wants to introduce her to his mentor Aaron who he claims can help Cameron understand and focus her ability in a way her grandmother has denied her all these years. Unable to resist learning more and finding others like her, Cameron leaves her grandmother behind and enters a world far more dangerous and infinitely more complicated than she could ever have imagined.
The Mind Readers introduces us to the limitless possibilities of the human mind and all the unfathomable potential lying dormant there, just waiting to be tapped and put to uses beyond our wildest imaginings. No longer confined by the parameters of rational understanding and believability, the characters in this world find themselves capable of not only reading thoughts, but also related abilities such as telekinesis and emotional influence, making us pause to wonder if just maybe people with similar gifts might actually be among us. Though we sit in awe at Cameron's abilities, secretly pondering what we ourselves might be able to accomplish should such a gift be plausible, we are also exposed to the guilt that accompanies this exceptional power, and the burden Cameron bears knowing the thoughts, motivations, and dark secrets of everyone within a mild radius of where she's standing. We join Cameron as she ultimately must weed through the cacophony of everyone else's opinions and judgments and find not only herself, but her place in the world.
The influence of others is a constant barrage for Cameron, as her grandmother constantly attempts to stifle her gift while Lewis encourages her to not just accept her ability, but also expand it, focus it, and use it to its full potential. Despite the unavoidable influx of unwanted information from those around her, she does a beautiful job of maintaining her autonomy, managing to formulate her own thoughts and opinions through all the noise. Though she does have the frustrating tendency to run from her problems as opposed to facing them head on, this reaction is understandable given the context and the desire she must have to be alone in her own head. She maintains a wariness when presented with the opportunity to control her gift, never fully letting her guard down though it slips now and then with Lewis, almost as though our voice is one of the many she can hear as we encourage her to be vigilant with her suspicions, and we are able to smile in satisfaction when she seems to heed our warnings.
Because this story is written from Cameron's point of view, we are limited by her interpretation of the events and find ourselves as thoroughly confused at times as she is. We want so desperately to believe Aaron and Lewis have nothing but the most honorable of intentions, but a niggling sense of unease remains prevalent, prickling us in caution when they try to convince us of their story. This constant indecisiveness and suspicion on both Cameron's part, and therefore ours as well, adds realism to the events as were we in Cameron's shoes ourselves we wouldn't have the gift of any absolute truths granted to us through the benefit of another person's perspective, we'd be only left with our own instincts, questions, and observations as she is. We know no more than she does, and find ourselves lost in the churning sea of conflicting information and questionable allegiances, struggling to understand while still hesitant to fully believe what we're told.
Though the confusion does seem to be intentional, a little more information toward the end of the story would have been welcome. We are given a lot of the how's of Cameron's gift as we watch her training with Lewis and Aaron, but we are denied the most of the why's of their battle with the enemy. The end is left wide open, and if you're the type of person who wants to walk away from a story fully informed, you may be frustrated by your lack of knowledge. Overall, this is a very interesting read with strong characterization, though it's lacking just a few valuable pieces of information to help it stand alone without the need for a sequel.