THE STORY (From Goodreads):
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?
MY THOUGHTS:I'm in love with the free samples on Smashwords at the moment. Although lately I've started to think that it's a very clever marketing scheme though of by some corporate dark elves who know that curiosity and obsessiveness is my weakness. I must admit I was drawn to Forbidden Mind for superficial purposes. The premise of kids with super powers is one that I'm exploring in my novel as well. But that's beside the point for this review :)
From the very first sentence, I knew what I was getting into with Forbidden Mind. Sam is like a female super-spy complete with telepathic powers. The only problem for her employers is that she has a conscience.And she wants out. That's when things go wrong and the plot begins to twist in some very unexpected and somewhat disturbing ways. I can't go into too much detail without revealing spoilers but let's just say that Kinrade has a gift for upping the creepy factor of an organization that is largely faceless throughout the story. You can see why I liked this book. Forbidden Mind does what many books on telepathy leave out. It provides stream of consciousness insight into the minds of the people Sam is reading and for the most part their thoughts were very entertaining. Even though the powers weren't new, Kinrade puts her own twist on the classics and I loved her idea of the Rent-A-Kid program.
The Novella Trap
As much as I enjoyed how quick the story leaped, I feel like Forbidden Mind suffers from the novella trap. Too much plot condensed into too few words. There are a number of aspects (plot/relationships/characters) that could have been fleshed out a lot more.I'm a big fan of sling shot pacing but I have to admit there were parts of the story which moved too quickly even for me. Characters were introduced and revelations made only to be snuffed out shortly after. Much too early for their existence to have much on an impact on me personally. Though they don't physically meet until long after their psychic relationship blossoms, I still didn't feel like the connection between Sam and Drake was realistic. Thumbs up for non physical attraction romance (even though they're both hot, it's still YA remember?), thumbs down for what could be construed as insta-love.
Sometimes Less Is More
Novella trap issues aside, Forbidden Mind is without many of the other YA traps which knock off stars for me. There was no angsty teenage psycho babble, no love triangle, no TSTL heroine and best of all no secretly bitchy best friend. There was just plot, action and powers.
What more can I say? Despite being so short, Fobidden Mind was interesting and fun to read. I actually stayed up late into the night reading this one which doesn't happen that often anymore.