Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Minder by Kate Kaynak

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (June 18, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0984531106
ISBN-13: 978-0984531103

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place. Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control. A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey--especially once she meets the man of her dreams...


Living a dull life, Maddie is all but eager to get away from her know-nothing town in New Jersey; and from the devastating attack that haunts her, even though her attackers are dead. When she finds out about her dormant abilities, she slowly gets adjusted to the idea of being able to read everybody's thoughts; and even project some of her own. However, the latter seems to be an unconscious, distressing ability during her nightmares and the flashbacks to the attack. Who but the ultimately unique telekinetic would be able to calm Maddie's minder mind? After Maddie and Trevor form a bond that's rare, even among the G-positives--the people with the cool powers--they're connection is put to the test as the book builds up to it's major action scene. (And I say major because there's more than one action scene in Minder!)

Unprepared but nervously excited were just a few of the stirrings in me when I started reading Minder, and now all I can say is...I wish I'd heard about it sooner. Starting from the top and working my way to the end I had nothing but smiles and laughs for the feisty Maddie and her adorable Trevor; not to mention the other G-positives. See, that's what really did me in on this one. Since I have a psychology class, I could actually follow what the genetic aspects of the powers that the G-positives have in their system. I could even understand the terminology. That's when I thought that I would really enjoy this book. What some other YA novels try to grasp in their heroine protagonists can't hold their flame to Maddie's wild fiery. She's, I guess you could say, someone to be reckoned with if you know what I mean; not only does that quality make her realistic but also that's she's a genuinely protective person.

Minder's also had an unsubtle approach to some volatile scenes. I admired Kaynak's forthrightness when it came to some imagery that involved detailed morbid graphics. I really hope to read more of that around this genre. With this book specifically I only had minor disappointments--like the G-positives could have had more of an intricate background story and the relationship between Maddie and Dr. Williamson as a parental figure further explored--but overall I was fairly stunned and satisfied with this book; and I cannot possibly wait to get my hands on the sequel, Adversary.

Grade: B+/A-


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