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"A dark, dangerous and twisty near-future mystery from the incomparable Michelle Jaffe. Don't miss this book!"—Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times Bestselling Author of Blue Bloods

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of ...

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"A dark, dangerous and twisty near-future mystery from the incomparable Michelle Jaffe. Don't miss this book!"—Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times Bestselling Author of Blue Bloods

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist, MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching who?


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sadie Ames is a Minder. Privileged and high achieving, she has won a prestigious fellowship from the Roque Mind Corps to study a fellow human being in the most intimate way—by entering that person’s mind. Ford is a Subject: impoverished, enraged, and ignorant. He doesn’t know that Roque Industries, via its community health outreach program, has planted a chip in his brain that allows Sadie to ride along, looking out of his eyes and experiencing his every thought and emotion. The premise is enticing, though Jaffe’s exploration of it is laden with exposition and slow to unfold. As a character, Sadie is little more than her over-packed college application, and her observations (and judgments) of Ford take too long to coalesce into a plot. While Jaffe (Ghost Flower) plausibly sets up the mind-reading conceit, such effort is not invested upfront in her characters. It takes a couple hundred pages to get past the stereotypical prim nerd and angry thug, and readers may struggle to invest in Sadie and Ford, despite the mounting danger around then. Ages 12–up. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Jan.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Diane Colson
Sadie Ames lives by the rules. Her thoughts channel down clean lines of logic, which is why she is so perfect for the coveted Mind Corps Fellowship. As a Mind Corp researcher, Sadie will experience Syncopy, which allows her to live within a subject’s mind while her own body is placed in stasis. Sadie’s subject is Ford Winters, an angry young man who is grieving the recent murder of his older brother. Despite her determination to remain objective, Sadie finds herself drawn from her surveillance perch to interactive involvement in Ford’s life. At first she only offers helpful hints on his hygiene (“At least put the seat down.”) but as she gets to know him, her feelings deepen. Sadie knows that loving Ford is dangerous, yet, for the first time in her life, she does not want to control her emotions. The concept of two people sharing mind space is always intriguing, and Jaffe does a good job establishing a structure for this premise. The Mind Corps, for example, is convincing as a benevolent scientific organization that has its own dangerous secrets. The ruined, futuristic depiction of Detroit is sadly credible. Sadie’s placement in Ford’s head, however, is uneven. As the book progresses, Sadie’s inserted presence slows the suspenseful pace of Ford’s life. Readers may wish that the material had been stretched over more than one book, as the ending is comparatively rushed. Nevertheless, there are some great plot twists in this futuristic adventure. Minders is an excellent recommendation for fans of the current sci-fi/romance trend. Reviewer: Diane Colson; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this genre-bending story, Jaffe offers a world in which the thoughts and decisions of individuals are observed and monitored by an organization known as the Dynamic Corporeal Suspension System. Sadie Ames, a rich girl from the suburbs, has been accepted into the Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she trains as an Observer. Her job is to enter the mind of Ford Winters, urban bad boy, and monitor his life from the inside out. Sadie unexpectedly finds herself deeply drawn to Ford, and when he makes a terrible decision, Sadie must choose between her duty as an Observer and her growing attachment to a boy she's never met in the flesh. The enticing characters and high-tech suspense will appeal to readers who enjoy science fiction, mystery, and romance.—Katie Wilkinson, Gar-Field High School, Woodbridge, VA
Kirkus Reviews
This highly original science-fiction thriller sends a privileged, overachieving girl directly into the mind of an angry, poor boy who seems to be her polar opposite. Sadie comes from a wealthy family in the suburbs of Detroit in a nebulous near future. She wins a coveted spot as a Minder in an experimental program that connects her mind with that of an unsuspecting subject. As she rests in stasis for six weeks, she literally lives inside the mind of Ford, a boy from inner-city Detroit, seeing through his eyes and watching his thoughts and emotions. Ford has a job tearing down Detroit's old buildings, but he tries to save what he can of beautiful architectural elements. However, he's also trying to learn who killed his brother--a dangerous proposition. As Sadie watches from within, she begins to fall for Ford. She becomes so involved that she begins to make connections with him that have never before been achieved by Minders and in fact cannot tear herself away. Jaffe creates an absorbing experience not only for Sadie, but also for readers, as they immerse themselves in her thoughts. Her worldbuilding includes timely, topical dystopic elements: In place of police, Detroit has the Serenity Services, and the streets have been named after corporations and their products. The thriller plot combines with contemporary class concerns for a thought-provoking and suspenseful read. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595146588
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publication date: 1/30/2014
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 264,587
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: HL820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Jaffe is the author of the young adult novels Ghost Flower, Rosebush, Bad Kitty, Kitty Kitty, and the adult thrillers Loverboy and Bad Girl. She has always dreamed of becoming either an FBI special agent or a glamorous showgirl.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2014

    Set in the near future, Minders captivated me in a way few books

    Set in the near future, Minders captivated me in a way few books do. Sadie Ames, a gifted, highly intelligent teenager, has to spend six weeks as an observer in Ford Winter's mind. Although she prides herself on being cold and analytical, can she remain objective?

    Completely engaging and moving forward all the time, this book is a true page-turner. As it starts with Sadie being interviewed, it immediately gives the reader a good insight into Sadie's personality. She clearly wants to do well but she is determined to remain the perfect objective observer and ultimately succeed in the mind corps program. 

    Ford Winter, still trying to deal with his brother's murder, is a troubled young man with a whole lot of anger inside him. Sadie needs to decide whether he is too troubled or whether he is, deep down, a good, caring, and above all, innocent person. 

    The way in which the author portrays the human mind as well as the subconscious, is simply incredible and brilliantly imaginative. She masterfully blends Sadie's perceptions with Ford's thoughts and actions while keeping it simple to understand for the reader. 

    Most of the time I felt like I was right there in Ford's mind with Sadie. This made for some nail-biting moments, instances of deep sadness, and several laugh out loud opportunities.

    Although Sadie is not supposed to get involved, she finds herself drawn into Ford's life within the first week; a mistake that almost costs her her place in the program. In the end Sadie must make decisions which no teenager should have to make.

    For a read that will take your emotions on a fascinating, often suspenseful, and sometimes very sad ride inside Ford Winter's mind, I recommend Minders as an absolute must read. (Ellen Fritz)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    This book was so good. I really enjoyed every minute of it. Sadi

    This book was so good. I really enjoyed every minute of it. Sadie was understandable and easy to relate to.
    Ford was...
    Oh Ford. I loved everything about Ford and still think about him months later. I had a dream about Ford Winters. That's how awesome he is. Hot, careless yet sensitive, loving, and a badass, Ford couldn't have been better developed. The story was also exceptional. Plot twists, character developement and background were all well thought through and executed well. I only have one compalint about this book. Please, rewrite the last two chapters! That was such a let down. Totally depressing, and quite thoroughly maddening. I have decided to act like they never happened and I finished the story for myself.
    Other than that, this book is incredible and I would recommend it to everyone 14 years and up. READ THIS BOOK.

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