Kira is a zero – someone who can’t read minds or have her mind read, she is the lowest of the low, destined for a life of meaningless jobs because zeroes can’t be trusted. All she wants is to go through the change and become a reader – someone who can communicate telepathically and something that nearly everyone goes through in puberty. And then something happens, Kira accidently controls the mind of her best friend, she is not a zero or a reader, she is a jacker, able to access people’s minds and control them.
Open Minds is set in a future where nearly everyone can read minds; chemicals in the environment caused a change in the human brain, enabling them to access some dormant part of the mind that allows for mental communication. Now, with this premise I was sold, the idea really intrigued me, but the characters were bland and boring and the little bits of history that started filtering into the story just made me go whaaaaaat?! Apparently within ninety years there has been such this astronomical chance within society that reading minds has become the norm and zeroes have become the outcasts. I realise this is dystopia, I realise this is fiction, but am I really supposed to buy that this is how little we have evolved? This story in set in a futuristic America and I just don’t buy that society would have regressed in such a way. Quinn hasn’t convinced me about how this massive change happened and why, maybe the explanation was there but I missed it, because it was so unmemorable; I find myself not knowing and not really caring how the world ended up like this.
Kira, the protagonist, bored me to death. She doesn’t have an identity outside of being a zero and then a mindjacker. After accidentally controlling the mind of her friend Raf (who she luuuurves for all of five minutes before Super Creepy Simon appears) she goes in meltdown mode, thinking she’s going to kill everyone. I can understand that what happened was a shock but seriously, get a grip, Raf did not nearly die, he was barely injured so chill the fuck out. Cue Super Creepy Simon, who figures out what’s going on with Kira and tells her all about being a jacker who has been living as a reader. Kira thinks he’s a creep at first then suddenly he smiles at her and she all but swoons? Okay so he’s not a complete ass but STILL, don’t be an idiot Kira, by the sounds of it he’s never been in any way nice to you until now when he’s figured you’re a jacker and suddenly feels all ‘connected’ to you because you have this one thing in common. GET A GRIP PEOPLE. Kira also falls into the special snowflake category as not only is she a jacker but Simon can’t jack her mind; her mind barrier is ‘like nothing [he’s] felt before’. She’s a super jacker. Of course.
Despite all that complaining, Open Minds is a quick, easy dystopian read, but it just didn’t work for me. The story, the characters and the world building were unbelievable and unmemorable – I didn’t feel connected to it in any way.
Read: June 4th-8th 2014