Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Minders

MINDERS
Michele Jaffe
Young Adult/Dystopian
400 pages
Razorbill
Available January 30th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.


MY THOUGHTS
Minders is a nebulous story, clarity coalescing and dissolving from one chapter to the next, dancing fluidly through the grasp of our fingers as we observe Sadie’s observation of Ford. We come to realize, however, that much of the beauty of it lies in the hazy area between full understanding and incomprehension, allowing our minds to fill in the pockets of space Ms. Jaffe leaves open, welcoming us into her story so we feel as though we had a hand in the telling of it simply through our bond with Sadie and Ford.

The setup of this story is particularly fascinating for the effect it has on our relationship to the characters, our connection to Ford formed through Sadie’s knowledge of him, and even more interestingly, our connection to Sadie formed at a slower pace through her reactions to Ford. We know very little of Sadie before she steps into Ford’s mind, but as she discovers what his emotions feel, taste, and smell like and begins to really see him from the inside out, we begin to see her, Ford’s mind every bit as much a window into Sadie’s emotional makeup as it is his own. As she oh-so slowly begins to fall for him–easily taking us with her into the unknown–we too begin to fall for her, the pair of them inexorably linked for us; as much a single unit as they are separate entities.

The romance then is so beautifully unconventional, Sadie privy to things no teenage boy would likely want a young woman to experience with him, and because he’s completely unaware of her presence for majority of the book, the relationship is strictly–and at times painfully–one-sided. As a result, there’s a special type of heaviness that winds its way through this story, Ford’s stunning mind a maelstrom of guilt, anger, and shame, and absolutely teeming with repressed memories regarding his late brother, each chapter seeming to draw both Sadie and us closer to him and push us away at the same time. He does things that cause Sadie pain, our knowledge of his complete lack of awareness regarding her presence and feelings doing nothing to alleviate the sting of marks left in the wake of his actions, and though we can hardly blame him for his decisions, we can’t help but hope Sadie will find a way to make herself known.

Minders will not be a story for everyone, there’s almost a muted quality to it since we’re experiencing everything with Ford through Sadie, but in many ways our connection to each of them is even deeper given we have access to pieces of them they likely would never show anyone willingly. We’re inside their heads trying desperately to locate the path that will instead lead us to their hearts, often getting tangled and lost along the way, but we’re left with a strong sense of hope and a hesitant smile, comforted in the future we think we see for the two of them.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Michele:

  
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

40 comments:

  1. I have never given this book much thought to be honest. But.. I love how you describe the relationship between Sadie and Ford - it sounds , well interesting:)

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    1. It was very interesting Danny! It was just such an unusual relationship, and she so clearly loved him and he had no idea she was there. It was kind of painfully beautiful:)

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  2. Wow! I was already regretting not snagging this off of Edelweiss, but now I'm totally kicking myself! I have a feeling it will be part of my book buying in February.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it Christy! I was clearly a fan:)

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  3. I was really intrigued by this book even though it sounds like it's not going to end happily, but I'm keeping my hopes higher now because of what you said about their future.

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    1. I was really pleased with how everything ended Chel, so take comfort in that:) It was just such a different book, and I loved that about it.

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  4. This one looks absolutely great. Firstly, I love the cover of this book and the story looks super nice! I should've definitely gotten this one off edelweiss, but I was super busy! Glad to read your review :)

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read it soon Sandra:) I'm looking forward to whatever Michele writes next.

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! Your description of the romance in particular has me sold. I have an ARC of this, so I'll hopefully get to it really soon because this one definitely seems like a keeper. ;)

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    1. I thought the romance was just so different! She knows him literally inside and out, but it's all one-sided for the longest time. I was fascinated throughout:)

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  6. That's just such a crazy concept that I think I like it! Can you imagine actually learning someone from the inside out, like Sadie? Both creepy and cool. I read the blurb but it didn't blow up my skirt so I moved on. But I might have to give it a second look.

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    1. I can't imagine being in someone's head. It would be so, so strange. And she has zero control, so all she can do is watch. That would drive me crazy I think! Loved this one though:)

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  7. You got MINDERS O.O
    Colour me ridiculously jealous! I've been so excited for this one for a while now, and I'm so glad to see a good review from you. The romance sounds utterly refreshing, which (let's be honest) is pretty amazing in this day and age. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I did! I may have done a happy dance when I got my hands on it. I was really impressed with how the story played out:)

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  8. The unconventional romance you described is what's intriguing me here. I will have to add this one to my TBR list. I love that cover, too…so eye catching! Thanks for the great review, Jenny!

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    1. Loved the romance in this one Christina! It was heartbreaking at times for sure, but I just kept rooting for Sadie to let Ford know she was there.

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  9. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one, but I have to say, I was never particularly interested in the book. Your review has me re-thinking my decision though. You make it sound fascinating. I think I'll wait for a couple of more reviews and make the decision.
    Lovely review, Jenny.

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    1. Glad I could make you pause and reconsider this one Nick! I really enjoyed it, it felt like something totally different to me and I just adored Sadie and Ford.

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  10. Sounds like a serious mind bender... I think I'd like it. :)

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  11. I almost requested this one and then didn't! Gah! Your lovely review makes me wish I had now.

    Great job Jenny!

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    1. Thanks Ali! Hopefully you grab this one when it's out, I'd love to know what you think:)

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  12. YAYAYAY, so glad you enjoyed this! I love Jaffe's Bad Kitty duology. Have you read it? It's a mystery with a good dose of humour.

    Even more excited about reading this now. Great review! ^^

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    1. I have not read the Bad Kitty books, but given how much I enjoyed this one, I think I need to visit her backlist!

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  13. I'm thrilled this dystopian has a refreshing premise that really sucked me in and now I'm eagerly putting it on my tbr. I like how this one is a bit muted but still engrossing enough to keep your attention. I'm really looking forward to reading this one after your stellar review, Jenny!

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    1. I just thought the whole story was interesting, from the way we get to know the characters to the unusual romance, it all just worked for me:)

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  14. Cool, I had not heard of this one before

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  15. This sounds like an unusual YA story. I've been sort of off YA lately, nothing really appealing to me, but this is original enough to capture my attention. I'm wondering if this is part of a series. Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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  16. I like these quirky reads and the idea of getting to know them through her abilities. Lovely review Jenny I am destine to add this one :)

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  17. Want! That is all.

    Seriously now, this is such an interesting concept, unlike anything I've ever seen before. Penguin does that sometimes, they publish weird books that aren't for everyone (I think Lucid was a Penguin release). This is a must read from where I'm standing.
    Thanks, Jenny!

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  18. Oh now where have you been little book. I want you right away *grabby hands* I might sneak into your house for a day or two Jenny. You won't notice me. The reason for that is that this sounds like something I'd love. I mean new and interesting idea and nice romance. Here I come. Great review, Jenny :)

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  19. This sounds like a book for me. It also sounds like a book that sweeps you away before you realize it. I love that you get so deeply involved with both even though you only get one POV. Oh you should know I like the unusual so I'm so adding this to my wishlist.

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  20. I am most curious about this one but I was hesitant to snap it up, now I wish I had. As always, a brilliant review, Jenny!

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  21. Initially I thought this sounded just like another book I have read but your review has convinced me otherwise. It sounds very different. And I love unconventional romances!

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  22. This book has the best synopsis ever! Even though I'm not an avid reader of mind fuck books :D but I'm very interested in this one. Sadie and Ford's relationship has to be one of the oddest yet interesting one in the entire ya. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Jenny. I'm definitely going to give it a try. Great review! :)

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  23. The plot of this one sounds so convoluted from the synopsis that I can't help but want this. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! Sadie and Ford's relationship seems pretty complex and I really like that you get into their heads and see pieces of them that you wouldn't be able to access otherwise.

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  24. Hmm, sounds very different and interesting depending on if you can connect with the characters. This one totally slipped under the radar with me. Great review!

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  25. Sadie and Ford's romance does sound rather unconventional, but definitely interesting! This is on my reading list, and I'm very excited to start it after reading this lovely review. :-)

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  26. This is a book I have been wanting to read. I love your review. So jealous you got this book.

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  27. WOW. This book looks really unique. It is a really interesting set up. I'm not sure how I'll take the romance. I think it might make me too emotionally sad for a while. But a very intriguing premise.

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