Recommended Reading: Whispering Minds by A.T. O’Connor

Note: the fact that yesterday’s post was about whispering is a complete, unplanned coincidence. Anyway.

I met Alexandra Tys O’Connell in the NaNoWriMo forums, and we’ve been internet buddies ever since. An interesting bit of trivia, because Whispering Minds began as a NaNoWriMo project. In 2009. And ever since she told me about the premise, I’ve wanted to read it.

So I was really excited to receive my digital copy of Whispering Minds a few weeks ago. (By the way, y’all shouldn’t consider my delay in reviewing the book an indication of my feelings about it–the day job is seriously cramping my style. But hey, better later than never, right? Right.)

So let us begin, as we always do, with the blurb:

whispering minds

 

 

By day, a terrifying blackness eats at Gemini Baker’s memories. Her nights are filled with unsettling dreams.

After the death of her beloved granny, seventeen-year-old Gemi is left with parents more interested in gambling than paying the bills, a best guy friend who’s looking for love at a time when she has none to give, and a dark childhood secret that just might be the key to her sucky life.

During her search for answers, Gemi turns to her cyber friends for support and quickly learns that nobody is who they seem. Not her granny, her friends or even herself. As her blackouts increase in frequency, a threat on her life has Gemi on the run…if only she can remember long enough to keep herself alive.

 

 

So what can I tell you about the novel without giving away all the secrets? How about a list:

  • Whispering Minds is not only O’Connor’s debut novel, but it is the first full-length novel to be published by The Elephant’s Bookshelf –a relatively new, independent publisher. The press has put out anthologies of short stories by many authors I known and love–and I recommend those too.
  • The characters are tender, flawed, and truly human. Most of them are so loveable I want to hug them and tell them everything will be ok.
  • The plot is full of surprising twists and turns. I love it when stories make me gasp and exclaim a lot, and this one delivered.
  • I read the whole thing in one sitting–not because it’s short, but because I needed to know all the secrets. So many secrets, y’all.
  • Reading it will make you want Chai tea. Or hot chocolate. And cozy blankets. Best to get all of that arranged ahead of time because you won’t want to interrupt your reading once you get started.

So now YOU need to know how you can get your hands on it if you aren’t lucky enough to be friends with the author like I am. You’ve got a couple of choices:

  1. You can purchase a kindle edition or a real, physical book from Amazon.
  2. Until November 15 you can enter to win a free copy on Goodreads.

One final note: I think Whispering Minds would be especially helpful for kids who are struggling with mental illness. There’s still a lot of stigma around needed psychological help, and it’s good for kids to know they aren’t alone.

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