Review: OPEN MINDS by Susan Kaye Quinn

| Monday, December 5, 2011
Today's Tune: Christmastime

As far as I'm concerned, Susan Kaye Quinn has done a great service to self-published YA lit. OPEN MINDS is a book that was clearly treated with care, plotted with skill, and edited with interest in producing a clean product. All self-pub and indie authors should take note: this is what a quality self-publication should look like. Hell, this is a book written with more finesse and mindfulness than I've seen from some traditionally published works.

While not without its flaws, this story is an intriguing page-turner with (generally) likeable characters and wonderfully high stakes. Kira is a sympathetic protagonist with a lot on her shoulders, and she performs admirably. Quinn is not afraid to take risks. While I openly admit that I'm not a fan of love triangles, this (sorta kinda) triangle was handled in a way that didn't make me want to pull my hair out. Though I felt that the story might have tried to pack too much into this first installment and got a little convoluted toward the end, I never felt lost or like the plot got away from the author.

I did notice at least one, maybe two, typos and a few spacing errors, but they were easily overlooked. Overall, the writing was clean and grammatically sound. I had a bit of an issue with (slight spoiler) Kira's relationship with Simon, who I felt edged a little into manipulative/abusive behavior during their courtship, but this was acknowledged and I felt was done intentionally. There was a slight flavor of insta-superpowered heroine who masters her super special skills quickly and easily. Still, in the end, I thought Kira had to face enough external hardship that I didn't feel she was let off too easy.

All in all, a great first installment and an entertaining addition to the futuristic/science-fiction section of YA. I look forward to the next installment. I'll state here that this is the first "indie" book I've read that I'm actually heartily recommending, picky reader that I am. I think Quinn has set a great precedent.


{ prerna pickett } at: December 5, 2011 at 9:05 AM said...

yay for Susan! I need to read this!

{ Old Kitty } at: December 5, 2011 at 9:41 AM said...

I really like your very fair, very considered review! Hooorah! Take care

{ Alex J. Cavanaugh } at: December 5, 2011 at 5:01 PM said...

Good stuff for Susan! I haven't had a chance to read Open Minds yet.

{ We Heart YA } at: December 5, 2011 at 6:01 PM said...

Awesome! Thanks for the review. Susan seems really nice and we know lots of her friends on the blogosphere, but it's great to read someone's honest opinion about her work.

{ Carol Riggs } at: December 7, 2011 at 5:31 PM said...

Great review, Steph! I read and enjoyed OPEN MINDS too, and like you, I'm a picky reader. :) Yes, better than some of the traditionally published books I've read lately.

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