At seventeen, Claire Harper’s life has taken a turn for the worse – her mother has just died, leaving her an orphan, and her status as a privileged member of society has been revoked. In the caste-system her society lives by, she has been relegated to the lowest rung until she pays off her family’s mountain of debt. Not only that, but she has microscopic cameras filming her every move. Then she meets Darren, a mysterious boy who turns her world on its head, and who teaches her that life is something that must be lived.
What I loved:
Claire, for openers. After being dealt a bad hand, she is determined to reclaim her life, regardless of the cost to her own well-being. This leads her to making rash, flawed decisions, which are well-written and seem perfectly in character for almost anyone in her position. Her chemistry with Darren is undeniable, and their scenes together oozed with a desperate sweetness that I found very endearing. I also loved the steady buildup of tension as the plot shifted into a psychological thriller, where Claire begins to doubt her own sanity after yet another tragedy strikes.
What I didn’t love:
I had hoped that the payoff to the story would be as good as everything that led up to it… but sadly, the climax left me a little underwhelmed. I wasn’t entirely sure how the plot would resolve itself, though I did have a feeling it would incorporate elements of the story that were touched on early and then barely after that, as well as one character painted as trustworthy but turned out not to be. While I’m glad the book ended on a positive note, I wish the payoff could have been a little better.
My Final Verdict:
Twisting Minds is an enjoyable stand-alone story that fans of the dystopian genre will enjoy. Though the society within its pages is more akin to that of Hunger Games than The Walking Dead, there are definite parallels to the world we occupy today. The two MCs are well-realized, the voice is fantastic, and the book is impeccably edited. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, maybe others will be.