Open Minds: A Futuristic NSA? A review

Mindjack Trilogy

Image courtesy of Susan Kay Quinn’s website

When I read the blurb on Bookbub for Susan Kaye Quinn’s second book, Closed Hearts in her dystopian young adult Mindjack Trilogy, I clicked on the link and it took me to Amazon. I found where the first book (Open Minds) was offered for free. That was a great decision. Quinn writes about a future world of readers, jackers and skimmers.

It is a world of mindtalk, not skimming a book, hijacking a car, or bibliophiles reading books. Her writing style is easy to get into and hard to put down. Her character are believable. At times, I felt like I was Kira. Open Minds took me back to my days at Stone Mountain High. I was never the popular one. But, like Kira, I could get guys, even a little competition, though mine were from neighboring rival schools. I guess that is why on Facebook’s Classmates, everyone from Redan High thinks I went there.

One might think that a book about young adults is not for adults. That is not the case. Quinn addresses adult topics. Ones that have in a way been in the news lately, thanks to Snowden . Imagine a world where your life is monitored, not by cookies on your tablet or laptop or information given by your smartphone or cable provider to the federales, but by tapping into your thoughts. If you have ever had a sinus headache, you know when a jacker gets inside. It is pressure, building pressure if you resist. Even death for some.
The scenes involving the camp triggered thoughts about the Holocaust. My dad was overseas in Germany and Austria during WWII. He visited Dachau as part of the US occupation operation. Forty or so years later, I visited the camp. Horrific images are still there. I cannot imagine what he saw. He never talked about it. Is it what Kira and Simon and others experience? What her family went through during the early years? Maybe. If so, it is a world you do not want to live to see.
Open Minds is also a book about young romance, the innocent kind. It is the first blush of spring. Kira falls in love and as things often go, turns away from it and finds it again. In that way, Open Minds is lighthearted with touches of seriousness. It resembles Escaping Innocence by Joe Perone, Jr. The tension between teenagers and their parents is there along with the rivarly between teenage girls over popular boys, and the pranks and jokes of sharks, bully boys that prey on girls because…well…they can’t seem to find a niche of their own…It’s the “ooo…yuck” moment in every girl’s life.
Other than in the early chapters where I wished Quinn had defined the dystopian terms that do not exist in any dictionary, I could not find much to say against Open Minds. I am looking forward to reading Closed Hearts.