Lori Brighton / YA Paranormal
Smashwords / December 2010
Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth …that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers. But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.
How many of us at some time in our lives wished that we could read minds and know what other people were thinking? I know I was one and I’ve often wondered how much easier my teen years would have been knowing whether the boy I was crushing on liked me or how to avoid annoying the school bullies. I remember thinking how perfect my life would have been so when I was asked to read THE MIND READERS, I couldn’t help but smile. Here was my chance to see how my life “could’ve been” like with such a gift and as I settled down to read, it didn’t take long for me to realize how naïve I was. Having such an ability may seem like a gift but for those that have it, it also has some pretty difficult consequences. Just ask Cam Winters.
Every day she is bombarded with the thoughts of others, thoughts she wishes she didn’t have to hear because not everyone has good and pure intentions. Once again, she is placed in a difficult situation – she overhears something where people could get hurt but after years of having caution drilled into her by her controlling grandmother, Cam has no other choice but to walk away. She longs for the time when she can be free to make her own decisions but continues to go through the motions of life until something happens that changes everything. With her BFF, Cam finds a dead body lying on a beach and as much as that freaks her out, it pales in comparison to hearing the voice of the killer in her mind – “I killed her”. Frantically looking around a dark stranger catches her eye but he disappears only to surface again as Lewis, the new boy in school with a secret agenda. He knows all about her and has come to take her to be with those just like her. To a place where she can be free and not worry about constantly making a mistake and revealing her secret. Excited about all the possibilities, Cam leaves with him but soon realizes that not everything is as it seems and that she may just have to take the biggest risk of her life. With her new found freedom will she do what she knows is right or will she do what she’s always done and ignore it? Some may say it’s an easy decision but having fallen in love with Lewis, Cam’s heart is also on the line and her decision will have lasting consequences. THE MINDREADERS doesn’t just tell the story of a newly found love painfully tested but it also holds the reader in suspense until the very end because you never quite know what’s going to happen. Nothing is what it seems, things always change and some risks need to be taken.
Straight away I made a connection with Cam. My heart really hurt for her because there seemed to be this resigned feeling surrounding her. The opening scene shows her having to deal with lewd thoughts from a pervert and the whispering of a gunman. Guilt and her were constant friends because once again she wasn’t able to do anything. Just one word and her secret would be exposed and her life in real danger. Her grandmother is controlling, her BFF is a self centered brat and poor Cam realizes that her life isn’t her own. The beautiful thing about Cam though was that there did come a point where enough was enough and I loved watching her take a stand, of seeing her refuse to put up with the garbage people did around her. I could empathize how difficult it was for her to always feel like she didn’t truly fit in so when Lewis showed up and offers her understanding and acceptance, I cheered when she took the risk and followed him. What I loved most about Cam was the change I saw in her through the book – she went from someone who hides to a strong girl who stood up for what she knew was right. She ran the risk of losing everything and I loved the bravery she showed because she refused to be manipulated.
Lewis was the boy I wanted desperately to kiss and forcefully smack at the same time which made him a lot of fun to read. I can only imagine how amazing he looked to Cam when he turned up at her school and he definitely had a strong protective vibe to him that I absolutely LOVED. He instantly took her under his wing, wanting only the best for her and had a very anchoring influence over her so it was a shock when he seemed to bounce back and forth when she started to question her surroundings. One moment I was swooning over him and next I was screaming at him but as frustrated as I was, I couldn’t help but love Lewis and feel deeply for him. He really was caught in a hard place and making the choice between loyalty and love is difficult, especially when you add his parents death into the equation. I could almost hear his struggle through the pages as he battled with what to do, feeling that either way he would be disloyal to someone he loved. Each scene with him was filled with different emotions and again I didn’t know what to do, swoon or scream, cheer or cry. There was so much going on under the surface with him and I can’t wait to see what happens next because he has so much potential, so much growth, and so much emotion. I loved the sighs and turmoil!
This was an amazing book from beginning to end. I really appreciated the way the author opened the story by showing just how complicated and difficult being a mind reader was. It gave the real sense of how it must be every day for Cam and just how miserable life must have been. I loved the flow of the book and just how invested I became in the story because I could feel my body reacting at certain moments and when I was finished the very first thing I thought was “OMGSH there has to be more.” That’s something I’m beginning to see as a trend with Lori Brighton’s books – I never want them to end because reading each one is an emotional rush. THE MINDREADERS has a lot to offer its readers and I suggest everyone go out and get themselves a copy because it’s not an experience you’re going to want to miss out on. Happy reading!!