by Amy Kathleen Ryan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547248899
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Amy Kathleen Ryan reads huge numbers of books and magazines but has not had success in reading minds, though not for lack of trying. She always knew she wanted to write, and thus earned an M.A. in English literature and graduated from the New School Creative Writing for Children Program. She now lives with her family in Colorado. This is her second novel.

Read an Excerpt


It isn’t easy being able to read minds. People think up some pretty nasty sewage. Like the other day—I’m walking home from school when I come across an old guy walking his smelly Doberman. He’s definitely a candidate for this year’s Stodgiest American Award. Black suit coat, gray pants, white stuff in the corners of his mouth. He takes one look at my thick legs in their fishnets and my skirt that I made out of Mylar birthday balloons and my tank top that barely contains my ginormous boobs and finally the eyeliner I cake over my eyes because it makes me look dangerous, and he thinks: Ugly bitch.

Well, it’s true. I’m a bitch. And I’m ugly.

I could shed a lot of light on human nature if people knew that I read minds. Scientists would study me. I’d be in some lab strapped to a table and they’d put a huge machine around my head to measure my brain waves, and they’d nod to one another and say, “Fascinating. Fascinating.” And they’d all have really big pores and very white skin, because scientists never go outside. That’s why I don’t talk to anyone except for my Aunt Ann about my powers. The last thing I need is researchers sticking needles into my brain. If you’re wishing you were psychic, too, believe me, you do NOT want to know what people are thinking. People are mean, nasty, selfish slobs, and 99 percent of the time their brain vibes hurt your feelings and you have to go around trying not to remember that Gusty Peterson, the cutest guy in school, looked at you yesterday and thought, Sick.

I don’t like Gusty Peterson anyway. He always wears baseball caps backwards and extra-big jeans, and he tries to walk with a loose, tough- guy swagger that makes him look dumb. He’s a jerk-off. Too bad he also happens to be so gorgeous that when you look at his perfect tanned face and blond curls your eyes water. That’s one more thing I can tell you about human nature: beautiful people are the last ones you want to befriend. Beautiful people float through life thinking that it’s perfectly natural for others to gaze at them adoringly, and open doors for them, and defer to their opinion about whether or not the streamers for the prom should droop in the middle. Doesn’t anyone understand that beautiful people are stupid? That’s why nature made them beautiful, so they’d have some chance of surviving in the wild. And how do they survive? They use people and then they drop people, and they float away on the currents of their own gorgeousness to the next poor girl who thinks that being friends with a beautiful person will somehow make her beautiful, too. I’ve got news for you: hanging around beautiful people just makes you uglier by comparison.

I learned all this from my ex–best friend, Hildie Peterson—Gusty’s sister. She is one of the most gorgeous people in the whole world. She’s skinny and petite. Her eyes are slanty like a cat’s and her hair is light blond and glossy, so when you first see it you think that color can’t be natural, but then when you get closer you realize that it’s totally natural and you feel even worse about your mousy brown. She has never had a pimple in her entire life, and she’s been doing gymnastics since she was four years old, so she glides like a swan. She’s practically a freak, she’s so beautiful. I used to like her, when she didn’t understand how pretty she was. That was until we hit high school, and suddenly the entire lacrosse team was asking her out. They loved her so much, they practically carried her on their shoulders through the hallways of the school. Did Hildie ever look back at me—her big-breasted, psychic, slightly freaky friend—as she drifted into the stratosphere of popularity? Would you?

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Vibes 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
LoveatFirstBook More than 1 year ago
When I first saw the book Vibes, my initial reaction was "Okay, this book might be pretty good. Messed up teen who can read minds... sounds interesting." So I thought, why not? I wasn't expecting much from it but I decided to read it anyway. And I'm glad I did. Vibes is a funny and a great book for any teen girl who is the mood for a romance. And on top of that, it comes with a twist. She can read minds :) I highly recomend this book for girls mostly. Guys wouldn't really find it enjoyable because it's more of a sappy love book filled with teenage girl problems :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vibes is one of the most riveting books I've read in a long time. It sends out the eternal message of life: Judging gets you no where. Be happy, and be you. It was hilarious, admittedly weird and negative toward the beginning, and absolutely mind-boggling throughout its entirety. After the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down. And even after I did, it kept me up late at night thinking over the contours of its pages. Ryan shows a dark and new perspective of love and life I have never read before, and it was was much more than refreshing and original. If you read this book, your reading much than words on pages.
-Sabrina More than 1 year ago
Vibes, is based on a girl named Kristi and she is simply and complicated girl. She gets Psychic vibes, about people, and one on the ones that annoys her the most is Gusty Petersons. The hottest guy in school is calling her, Sick. A new kid comes to school, his name is Mallory. His face is covered with acne. But he enjoys the same things Kristi does, and then they start hanging out and they get closer and closer. Then they get asigned Charactor Education Partners, and Kristi has been paired up with Gusty! So you have to see what will happen next. Then after all that is happening her dad decides to come back after leaving Kristi with her mom, 2 years ago.
I am a gir at a meer age of only 12 1/2, and i would recamend this book for anyone over the age of 13. The moral of the story would be not to judge people, even if you get phycic vibes about them.
This book you will NOT want to Put DOWN! i read over half the book just yesterday, and i for one dont like reading. I wasnt even forced to read it i just chose to.
This is now one of my favorite books, and i just have to say that, Amy Kathleen Ryan is the Master of Book WRITING! You go Girl!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Kristi Carmichael thinks she has all the answers, which is part of why she stopped caring about just about everything two years ago. She knows all about her workaholic mother, absent father, and why the incredibly cute Gusty Peterson would never want to have anything to do with her. She can even understand the romantic thoughts and strange fantasies her friends Mallory and Jacob have for her. Of course, being psychic can have that effect on a person. Part of having all the answers is being chronically unimpressed (definitely how Kristi feels about her free-spirited high school) and always playing by her own rules (that's covered by the padlock on her bedroom door and the cat she hides inside it, not to mention the found wardrobe). But as the school year progresses, Kristi finds a lot of things happening that she didn't see coming--even with all the answers. The sudden return of her father, attentions from not one but two boy at school, and other surprises leave Kristi in a tailspin as she wonders if, maybe, the vibes she's been getting were more bogus than psychic all along. Such is the premise of Vibes, Amy Kathleen Ryan's second novel (and the subject of a rumored movie adaptation according to Cinema Blend--although the fundamental inaccuracies of the basic summary there do leave me wondering about the accuracy of the rumor). I realy liked this book. The fact that Kristi is psychic is treated as a normal event--not a big deal, no worrying about why she can read minds--which I enjoyed since mind reading usually supersedes plot when it crops up in non-fantasy books. At 249 pages, the book goes by fast but the story is still deep. A strong point of Ryan's writing are the characters she has created. In the beginning of the novel Kristi and also the new boy at school, Mallory, are deeply troubled, something both teens try to deal with through anger. Kristi doesn't mince words when she tells readers all of the reasons she has to be angry (there are a few). However, as the story moves forward and Kristi realizes that reading minds isn't the same as understanding what people are thinking, she also learns that there is more to life (both good and bad) than she had first thought. One theme that the novel deals with well is self-esteem in that Kristi does have much at the start of the novel. Seeing herself as fat and ugly, Kristi doesn't find herself very surprised when she hears the word "sick" in Gusty Peterson's head whenever he thinks of her. Kristi's low opinion of herself is hard to shake even in the face of positive attentions from Mallory and, of course, her family. To some readers it could seem over the top, but the truth is I was right there with Kristi and when those things came up in the novel, it felt like Ryan was quoting a page from my own life. The other theme that was handled really well in Vibes is the absent father issue. Kristi misses her father terribly, and in many ways does idolize him, but only until he shows up again. Then it becomes apparent that there was more to her father's leaving that even a psychic could have guessed. In summary, Ryan blends a lot of different themes and genres to create a new kind of story that readers (teen and otherwise) are sure to enjoy.
midnighttwilight101 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Kristi has an interesting power, she can read minds. Overall she is a very weird girl, she loves opera, thinks she can read minds, and she created clothes from different materials she finds (old umbrellas, her dad's old medical scrubs, and a plastic pool tube). She is a self proclaimed bitch, and loves to blast her opera to tune peoples thoughts out. Her dad left her and her mom two years ago, she thinks because of a malpractice suit filed against him, but finds out the real reason sooner than she wants. She feels her mom helped push her dad out, and takes most of her aggression out on her mom. It's hard for her to deal with the problems in her life while she hears what people are really thinking.This book is different...very different. And i don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The beginning of this book made me really mad, but after a few chapters it got better. I didn't really like some of the imagery, most of it geared toward her "ginormous boobs", but the storyline was great. This book was very riveting. I liked how intense it was at some parts, you actually feel intensely horrified along with Kristi. Through most of the story i didn't like how underdeveloped Kristi's psychic power was, but later in the book that was addressed and i was able to understand a lot better. Overall i liked the storyline, and how it was written, so i would recommend this book.
bandit1 on LibraryThing 26 days ago
this book just made me laugh and cry and made me feel alot of emotions. it was written in a very good way! i loved how she made the girl read minds and in the end interprete them in a great way.
kperry on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Kristi can read minds. This may sound cool, but she doesn¿t get any enjoyment out of it. For the most part she just hears people thinking:1 - how strange everyone thinks she is.2 - what guys think about when they look at her large chest.3 - her mother wondering why Kristi avoids her.Kristi¿s life took a dramatic turn two years ago. Her father left, her best friend moved up the popularity ladder and left her behind, and Gusty, the boy she was totally in love with, made it pretty clear he didn¿t want anything to do wit her. Pretty much the only thing that gives her any pleasure is listening to operas, designing and making her own clothes, and her cat, Minnie. She has worked herself into a nice, comfortable rut.Several things happen at once that shake up her world. Her father comes back from Africa, a new boy enrolls at school and appreciates her creativity, and Gusty turns out to be her partner for a huge school project. Everything she thinks she knows comes into question.Kristi is a fantastic character. Her hilarious, sarcastic attitude and witty remarks will leave the reader giggling out loud several times throughout the story. You¿ll want everything to work out for her.Amy Kathleen Ryan does a great job capturing the insecure feelings of a solitary teenager. The progressive high school, Journeys, is a wonderful backdrop for this unique story. Click here to visit the author¿s website for contests and great writing advice.
airdna on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Kristi is tough, sarcastic, creative, and tries not to care what people think about her. Even though she knows exactly what people think about her....since she's psychic and all. Kristi's voice is sharp and witty and she has moments of insight and self-awareness that make her likable (if overly self-deprecating). The rest of the characters are not as well-developed and the plot is a bit contrived and predictable. You won't need psychic abilities to know how things are going to turn out at the end, but this is a fun, frothy read nonetheless.
df1a_laurenM on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Vibes is about a young teenager, Kristi, who can read minds. It is a very quick read, and it is very interesting. I really enjoyed reaading Vibes and i love the main character, Kristi. Kristi is an outcast, but she is her own person and doesn't care what other people think about her. She is very independent and isn't afraid to speak her mind. Those traits make her a very funny character, and when i read the book i felt like i was actually there, so the author was very good at describing every detail. I think anyone who is looking for a good short book should read vibes.
BookSpot on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Kristi Carmichael hates just about everything-her crazy, eccentric, hippie school, her mother, even her friend. But she also has a secret that helps alienate her from all those she can't stand, she can hear what others are thinking, she can read minds.And she can hear all the horrible things they think about how gross and ugly and fat she is. Including the hot, popular Gusty Peterson.This book did. not. work, for me. (or apparently the Amazon description person: "this YA novel is completely on the mark.") While it didn't bother that Kristi could read minds and it wasn't treated as some mental defect that needed treatment or counseling or whatever (it's a fiction book, I can deal with things being fantasy even in non-fantasy books), the book didn't work for me.By page 50 I not only had the book figured out, I was ready to give it up entirely because of how dumb I found where it was going. (By page 7o-something I'd taken to just skimming the pages until the ending.)Kristi had 'practical jokes' she liked to play on people so that she could then help them and hear their thoughts of gratitude but they weren't funny or cute...they were rather cruel, actually.Obviously, Kristi was supposed to 'reform' by the end of the book (learn from herself and all that), see how she wasn't actually observant at all, but I didn't feel she actually grew much at all.I saw her friends Jacob and Mallory remind me slightly of Ted and Hollywood from Absolutely Maybe (only this time I don't like them much).The mind reading was supposed to be used as a tool-I think for Kristi's devolpment and for her to deal with her father's leaving, her mother'd drinking, her best friend's abandonmnet, etc but like I said, I had this book figured out by page 50, didn't like the character, and didn't like the ending either.***Spoiler-ishIt was said several times how her best friend Hildie had quit being her best friend but I didn't really think it was explained well. I know they said she 'got hot' or whatever and the boys started following her but, well, it just seemed strange that that was that and it bothered Kristi as much as it did (the friendship portrayed didn't seem like it would just end for no reason and if it did, Kristi doesn't deal with it in the book)... It didn't seem to all add up for me. (But maybe that's part of the characters not working for me.)END****
EKAnderson on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Kristi Charmichael has issues. She goes to a "hippie-dippie" school called Journeys with classes like "Story as Cultural Artifact" and "The Language of the Universe" instead of English and Math. Her classmates don't get Kristi, or her "found" wardrobe (she makes her own clothes out of anything she can get her hands on). Her mom works 60 hours a week at the hospital and her father left two years ago and hasn't sent word. Worst of all, Kristi is pretty sure she's psychic. When a new kid starts at Journeys, it seems that Kristi may have finally found an ally, but he wants more than just friendship, and she can't seem to get over a boy who she knows is absolutely out of her league. Vibes is a decent read, and a neat take on ESP. While Kristi's character is particularly anger-driven, she is easy to relate to and it's not long before she softens. This may not win any awards, but it's certainly a fun book for the weekend.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Kristi is not exactly a nice person. But she has good reasons for that. Her best friend turned on her around the same time her dad left. She's forced to go to this hippy-dippy alternative school where instead of biology and English she takes "Explorations of Nature" and "Story as Cultural Artifact".Oh yeah, and she hears what people are thinking.And most of the time, they're not thinking very nice things.I really liked Vibes. Kristi's a complicated character and a bit of an unreliable narrator. She thinks she has everything all figured out, but when she's faced with a situation like, say, her dad coming home for a visit for the first time in two years, it's obvious that she doesn't have anything figured out at all. Readers learn more about Kristi and grow with her as she faces some startling revelations and begins to find her place in the world.
sarah1234 on LibraryThing 27 days ago
It was good but just a little fake, you couldn't really relate to any of the characters but It was still good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a touching tale about someone trying to fit in.Or maybe in some ways..... stand out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thats shes jut her self and her dont care attuded LOL XD i can read this book over and over
carolvo More than 1 year ago
A funny story about a revolted girl. It has romance and comedy. Guys wont like the book because of the sappy romance but most girls will enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story for first read, but not sure if I'd read it again and again. Worth the money, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
breakthesky More than 1 year ago
The main character, Kristi, referenced to her breasts constantly throughout the book. She usually called them 'gazungas', which I found completely immature and inappropriate at times. However, I did like the plotline, despite the fact in the end it seemed to get all mashed together. Maybe I'm getting too old for these types of books, late preteens and early teens would probably like it. To me, it was a book to check out at the library rather than buying and showing it on your shelf!
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Kyle Hamilton More than 1 year ago
ive read this book a million times and i still LOVE IT!!!!!!! one of the best books i ever read i let my friend read it and she loves it too hope u read it like it as much as i did:)
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