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on September 26, 2011
Originally posted at My Cute Bookshelf.

Forbidden Mind is the story of Sam, a member of Rent-a-Kid. Rent-a-Kid is an organization and school that employs gifted kids. They take care of these kids that were left by their parents and use their powers for their business. Sam is months away from graduating from Rent-a-Kid. She just needs to complete one last job. After this job, Sam starts to see things at Rent-a-Kid are not what they seem, especially when when a young man arrives at Rent-a-Kid. The staff is keeping him apart from everyone, and he wasn't raised in the building. On Sam's birthday, she encounters the horrible truth behind Rent-a-Kid and its former students.

Wow, this book was amazing! First, the story was so original. I have never read anything like it before. I was so surprised by the things that were going on in Sam's life. I was rooting for her from the beginning, hoping she would do well in her situation. This book was also very fast-paced. I found myself not wanting to stop reading it. It was that engaging. The story, in my opinion, was more sci-fi than paranormal. I think the powers that the kids had, the setting and what was going on at the academy were more like elements of a sci-fi book. I actually loved that because I enjoy sci-fi stories.

As for the characters, Sam was a strong female. She knew what she wanted to do, and did it, even if she knew it wouldn't be the best for her at Rent-a-Kid. I found myself agreeing with her in everything and just wanting for her to be alright. She went through a lot in the story, but she never gave up. I loved that about her. Also, Drake was such a great character. He was nice and supportive, even if he wasn't in the best state. He did his best at all moments and I really liked that. There was also another amazing character that was very important to the story. I can't say much about her since it would be a spoiler, but I can say that she touched me. She was a supportive and amazingly sweet character. That's all I'm going to say, as anything more would be too much.

Overall, Forbidden Mind was an amazing and unique story. The sci-fi elements combined with the events that happened made this a surprising and refreshing story. If you're looking for a different type of book, this is the one for you. I highly recommend it. I can't wait to read more about Sam & Drake!
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on January 23, 2012
I was so disappointed by such a great premise being delivered so poorly. Every chapter needed to be expanded by three times, every character needed drawn out. It was like reading a great outline for a story, a skeleton. The setting of a school of gifted children being underhandedly used by a greedy corporate was unique and very human. The fact that these gifted and intelligent children never question anything or push outside the rules to discover the truth is unlikely, considering teenagers. Suddenly a random outsider shows up and asks one question and they have an "ah hah!" moment. The dialogue fell flat, characters were grossly underdeveloped and it felt like there were key elements missing. I read this in about 4 hours which is not a boasting of my reading skills but a criticism of the writing. The author needs to discover how to write in a way that makes the reader asks the questions in their minds, not just point blank write the questions for them. There were whole paragraphs, pages of sentences written in question form. Not engaging to read.
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on October 7, 2011
Forbidden Mind

I found "FORBIDDEN MIND" by KIMBERLY KINRADE on Twitter. I was happy to R&R this YA book for the author. She was super nice & the book seemed pretty cool. I WAS reading another book at the time (ENCLAVE by ANN AGUIRRE) & flipped through a few pages of "FM" & suffice it to say "ENCLAVE" was forgotten about for the next few hours!

"FM" opens up with our main character, Sam, a girl about to turn 18 that has the ability to read minds. She lives in an elite "school" AKA "RENT-A-KID" for kids with "para-powers". The kids are "rented out" to do jobs where their powers come in handy.

Sam has been very successful at eaves dropping on people's minds and finding out seriously damaging secrets that help ruin people, their lives, families, and businesses.

She has been preparing for her new life outside of the school. Once her 18th birthday rolls around she is free to leave and begin her new life. The one she has been planning with her best friends for years and years.

Right before her going away party her mind "links" in with another boy who is being held captive in the same school she freely walks around and lives in. Drake has exceptionally strong para-powers. His plea's of "HELP ME" do not go unnoticed by Sam.

When Sam quickly realizes what the school REALLY has in store for her, and who Drake really is, together they hatch a plan to free themselves and take down the people who have been exploiting them and their powers for years and years.
So begins this fast paced tale that has you eagerly flipping pages into the wee hours of the night. This book draws you in hook, line, and sinker!

Sam and Drake, para powers aside, are teenagers you find yourself loving & rooting for from the get go. They have powers that are not "normal" but their reactions and the way they handle their situation is what had me eagerly reading page after page until the very end.

Kimberly Kinrade knew what she was doing when she penned this little gem. She gave us a refreshingly fast paced & thrilling YA book. It is not a cookie cutter model of what's on the shelf around it either. From the cover to the contents it is a perfect package.
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on September 9, 2011
When I came across Kimberly Kinrade on Twitter via a Retweet asking about book reviewers, I replied by saying I wouldn't mind reviewing her book. When asked if I reviewed YA, my reply was that no, I hadn't done so but could "try". I hadn't read YA books in many years so was a bit unsure how I would take to it. I started Forbidden Mind 2 hours ago (with inevitable interruptions) and have just finished. Miss Kinrade is an exceptional writer and I believe she will have a very successful future ahead of her.

Sam "lives" in a place called Rent-A-Kid. What goes on in this place? Well, kids with paranormal powers - from mind reading like Sam, to mind control as with Drake, walking through walls to being able to tell when somebody is lying - are literally being used and abused! However, they believe that because of their unusual powers, their parents gave them up and this organisation took them in, educated them and helped them control their powers. When they turn 13 or so, these kids are sent out on "assignments" where in truth, people are renting them for specific jobs - like spying. They are led to believe that once they reach the age of 18, they are free to live their lives as they please. Not so. Close to Sam's date of release and after being hit by her "uncle" for threatening him, she ends up in the clinic for treatment. As she is signing out, something catches her eye - and she feels that all is not well. This is when she unexpectedly connects to Drake's mind and hears the words "help me". Why is this boy here? At first, Sam thinks that Drake must have done something bad to be brought here and held against his will, but he soon has her convinced that her life at Rent-A-Kid isn't all she has been led to believe. Why are they really there? Did their parents really give them up? Was it for their protection? Drake has turned her world, as she knows it, upside down. Sam is lucky to have someone to turn to in the form of her two best friends Lucy and Luke (who are twins). Together, can they break free and expose Rent-A-Kid for what it really is? This story had me thinking (as it should) about all the horrific things that go on in real life such as human trafficking and child prostitution. What goes on at this organisation is sickening. It also made me wonder, where on earth can all these children that go missing daily in real life, really be? Perhaps, somewhere similar to Rent-A-Kid?

Forbidden Mind is beautifully written and worth your reading time. I just wish it would have been longer and in saying this, what I really mean is that - it was good - it was very good.
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on March 19, 2014
T liked the plot, felt that the characters were almost ready to blossom and become real when they were cut of. It was almost as if the author feared the places those characters could take them. I hope this chopping of developing characters does not continue in #2
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on September 26, 2014
I don't understand why this has so many four and five star ratings. Two stars is a stretch.
I am one of those people that rarely writes reviews, but the shock I felt at the ratings after getting 60% of the way through the book compelled me to say something.
*There are light spoilers.
First of all, this book has some very deep, dark, twisted abuse scenes in it, which are graphically described and absolutely inappropriate for a YA book. Yet, the tone and flow of the book is far too juvenile for anyone over ten years old. The tone of the book makes me think of a fifteen year old trying to sound like a grown up.
The story invoked no emotion. You couldn't connect to any of the characters because the author hopped from one topic to the next so quickly, you didn't have time to feel anything about anything. And while the topics moved fast, the topics were boring, so the book seemed to draw on and on (especially for the first 30% of the book). You could easily skip a chapter or two and not miss anything. It read more like a book report than a novel. I was difficult to keep myself in the story.
Secondly, there's the instalove thing. The two protagonists Sam (who can read minds) and Drake (who can control and mold minds) meet psychically when Drake makes a silent plea for help and she hears it in her mind. They "introduce" themselves, and in the next paragraph they are sharing every hope, dream, fear, fantasy, and secret with each other. Ex: "Within twenty-four hours of near non-stop talking, Drake and I had formed a bond that I'd never found with anyone else, even after years of friendship."
In the next paragraph Sam tells her friends about Drake, and her best friend (Lucy) cautions Sam about letting a stranger into her head. Sam tells her that she knows Drake very well and trusts him completely. Lucy then accuses her of being in love with him.
It's so juvenile and unrealistic, it brings you out of the story every other sentence to marvel over the immaturity and ridiculousness .
(I don't know why some authors think that young adults can meet someone and within a day be in love, with a deep completely trusting, down-to-the-soul, sobbing in your arms over my lost dreams, I-can't-breathe-without-you kind of emotional bond. That doesn't happen. And writing "insta-love" relationships, feels a bit like you're mocking us.)
What are we at now . . . Thirdly? The author explains everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. (Except for the things you wished would be explained.) The reader doesn't have to get involved in the book or connected to the characters because there's no point. We don't have to think for ourselves. If there's ever a question, she answers it. If there's a conflict, she immediately fixes it. If there's a choice, she immediately makes it. It left nothing to figure out, to hope, to anticipate, to draw me into the next page.
The two star rating (which is generous) is because of the plot. It had promise. It was merely poorly executed. I wouldn't describe it as "original," but the concept of a school full of super-powered kids who were used and hunted for their powers was one that hadn't been done so many times that it sounded like an interesting read. However, aside from characters, it did closely resemble main concepts of the X-men, Mutant X, The Tomorrow People, Dollhouse, and even Nikita movies and shows.
"Fourthly" makes this sound too long . . . but the book was nearly clear of spelling errors, but every few pages, there were jumbled sentences that had the wrong words that made it difficult to figure out what the sentence was supposed to have been.

I would recommend the author: Find a strong editor, go through the entire book and take out each word and sentence that is not vitally necessary for the story to be understood. Go back and find the moments that you want to STAND OUT (the moments that are supposed to mean something, the moments when your characters take on new levels) and expand them. Sam seems a little bipolar with standing up to a bully one moment, to falling to tears over how much she misses her teacher the next. Pick what personality you want your character to have, and stick with it, develop it, build it until she's so complex she could be sitting next to you telling you what to write, what she would say. Same for Drake. Your story should be more about the characters than the circumstances. If you can write deep, emotional, complex, lovable characters, you can write a book with any plot.

I would recommend to potential readers: Disregard the five star ratings. Definitely don't get this book if you have to pay for it. The characters are boring, the dialogue falls flat, and its predictability has a strong possibility of putting you to sleep. And if you are between the ages of 0-14, go get your mom and tell her I said it's an "R" rated book and have her read it first.

PS. Sam's two best friends (Luke and Lucy) are brother and sister (twins), so why are they sharing a room in an enormous, very wealthy, state of the art facility/campus? And why do they coordinate their dress and bowtie color for dances like a couple?
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on May 28, 2013
I didn't realize until the end that this is part of a trilogy. I hate that. Unfortunately, though I did finish this book, I am not compelled to buy the other two. The story just wasn't that interesting.
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on November 24, 2012
The storyline had great potential, and the characters were likeable. I did find myself rooting for them, much as I rooted for Jarod in The Pretender and Max in Dark Angel. This was an ok book, a quick read, but definitely not something I'd want to pay money for. I'll see if the library has the next in the sequel, but if not, I'll probably never read the rest. Although I enjoyed the book, I am curious why it won awards, as the writing was not exceptional.
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on April 24, 2014
This book should be made into a movie! The combination of sci-fi, and paranormal make this a very refreshing story. Sam is a gifted girl with the super power of mind reading, a member of Rent-A-Kid, an organisation that takes gifted children away from their parents and using these children's super powers for their own financial gain. The children believe that they would leave the organisation when they turn 18... I am looking forward to reading the Forbidden Fire and Forbidden Life.
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on January 23, 2016
I was pleased with many aspects of Forbidden Mind . The romance, the characters, the plot, even the writing. It wasn’t a hard book to read and although I always try, I couldn’t find anything to truly gripe over.

Sam was a great female main character. You do have to wait a couple of chapters before she develops as a character, but it’s worth the wait. It was well placed, well written, appropriate, and I loved it. She ignored the consequences that may arise, even to her immediately physical health, and pushed until she did what she thought was right. That is true character development. I respected her after seeing that and it truly was the stepping stone for all of the growth that would take place. She didn’t cry much which was rather nice. Sure there were tears and sobbing every now and then, but overall she kept herself focused on the many tasks at hand without having a mental breakdown every two minutes. Would I blame her if she had had mental breakdowns? Nope. But the fact that Kinrade didn’t make her have three million in the course of five chapters was awesome. The way she handles her powers are amazing, there is constant self-control and it’s evident throughout the plot. As Sam learns things about the place that she has been for the past 18 years, which the she and the students call “Rent-A-Kid,” she doesn’t immediately believe that she must be everyone’s savior. There was no: “I am the only one who knows. I must save everyone.” or “I sobbed for the loss of my innocence. I now knew something so great, so powerful, that I had to do something. The task was completely and solely up to me and I felt the weight on my shoulders.” Nope. She included people (the ones she trusted) and didn’t try to save her world all on her own. That is a characteristic of a leader.

The other characters like Drake were pretty well-rounded as well. Drake especially had depth that I was really enjoying. His backstory was raw and emotional and so was he in the way he was completely realistic given his past. I loved how he interacted with people, with Sam, his integrity, and some of the thoughts he has. He handled things in stride, even when disoriented, and thought logically but didn’t shy away from his emotions. It was amazing to see a male main character be vulnerable and even emotionally open. The absence of ridiculous scenes where the male is ranting to himself about how he can’t say this or can’t say that with no reason (or it is implied/said that he would be seen as a ‘girl’ or ‘baby’) was wonderful.

The plot was excellent, maybe a bit condensed because of the length of the book, and there were some plot pushers, but I did like it. I didn’t mind the pace, I felt it was appropriate, but if a bit more chapters were added in so that I could have received more information, I wouldn’t have complained. As I said, I did like the pace, but some things happened too quickly. (Going to try really hard not to write a spoiler) In one incident, both Drake and Sam go from absolute disgust, outrage, and horror to almost immediate acceptance and suddenly love (not towards each other). It was weird because of the type of circumstance it was and I don’t think that if I was either Sam or Drake, I would’ve have been okay with everything as quickly as they were. Besides that, the romance didn’t feel forced since the bond wasn’t formed physically first. Maybe the ending was a little bit odd, but I can’t say I have anything to gripe over.

Before I finish up, I have to talk about one last part of Kinrade’s writing. Remember how I said Sam didn’t take all the responsibility on her shoulders and run with it because she’s the heroine? If I was forced to name one thing I adored about Forbidden Mind, it is that Drake and Sam worked as a team (along with some others). As a matter of fact, today I had a complete conversation with a good friend of mine on how so many heroines absolutely must be the leaders and there’s no room for anyone else to help. This wasn’t how Kinrade wrote his book. Instead, Drake and Sam are a team and work as one. No one claims leadership over the other and they respect each other as equals. The Young Adult genre needs to see more of that kind of hero-and-heroine action.

Would I Recommend Forbidden Mind? Yes. Forbidden Mind is an easy book to read and enjoy. It lacks many negative things that I’ve ranted about in previous reviews and includes even more positive features that I find myself often begging authors to include. Plus, it’s at the low price of free, how can you beat that?
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