The Mind Readers, Book 1

Rated 4.18/5 based on 17 reviews
Cameron Winters is a freak. No one but her family knows that Cameron can read minds. When Lewis arrives, he tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a place where she meets other Mind Readers. But when the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs.
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About Lori Brighton

I have a degree in Anthropology and worked as a museum curator. Deciding the people in my imagination were slightly more exciting than the dead things in a museum basement, I set out to become an author. My first book, a historical romance, was published by Kensington in November of 2009.

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Review by: Merissa Sheppard on July 11, 2016 :
I know Lori Brighton as I have read some of her books before, although not in the YA genre, so I was willing to give this a go. I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book with all its twists and turns and cliffhanger ending!

The characters are all fully dimensional and have their own individual flaws which just makes the read more pleasurable. Cameron is hard to define as there were parts in the beginning where I didn't really like her but as the story unfolds and you see how she deals with her power and how hard she is trying to fit in, the things she does and says start to make more sense.

Lewis is also a great character and the two sides of him were perfectly described. I found myself completely alongside Cameron as she tries to discover more about herself, Lewis, Aaron and the whole "mind reading" business in general.

So many interesting characters who I want to know more about, the red herrings, the continuing story ... I want it all. Books 2 and 3 added to my wishlist!!! Wonderful writing.

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
(review of free book)

Review by: Cyndi Goodgame on March 05, 2014 :
Loved the series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Miranda A on Aug. 06, 2013 :
I do love a book that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more!
(review of free book)

Review by: esther azim on Nov. 18, 2012 :
Good read. would have loved a free continuation
(review of free book)

Review by: Beverly S on Sep. 13, 2012 :
My thoughts:
I just finished reading this and wish book 2 was already out!
The author does a great job of building suspense and leaves you wondering throughout the whole book - Is Aaron really the "good" guy that Lewis believes he is? I, always the cynic, thought from the start there was something fishy with him - but of course that seed was planted when Lewis and Cameron get to the mansion and there are armed guards at the "gate" to the property - - - that is never a good sign.
I really enjoyed the characters. The high school friends that Cameron has are well done and totally believable. The grandmother is great, not super mushy but you get the impression that there is so much more that you don't know yet. Cameron is a great character - searching for the answers to many of life's questions.
I fell as fast for Lewis as Cameron did - and I am sure I was just as disappointed later in the story. I wasn't sure what to think of Maddox - still not...
This is a wonderful story about what is right and what is wrong - - and what a person is willing to do or sacrifice for what they believe.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Katja Rinne on May 05, 2011 :
I was very taken by the books blurb, and I was eager to see what Brighton had done with mind reading. Also the cover is purely gorgeous.

Even though I enjoyed the story, there was several things I disliked in it. Right in the beginning I had a hard time relating with Cameron, and understanding why she even wants to be friends with Emily. All the possible reasons are shallow, and it doesn’t make her any more likeable.

The beginning of the book had a lingering feeling on it and I would have liked it to continue to the end of the book. Unfortunately after Cameron leaves with Lewis, the pace speeds up, and I felt like missing lots of potentially interesting stuff. In my opinion it would have done the book good, if Cameron being with the other mind readers and learning her skills would have gotten more space in the book. The amount of happenings in the end makes it feel a bit rushed and we’re introduced to characters we never really get to know at all.

At first I got a bit Edward vibes from Lewis, but he proves to be a bit more crookier than that. I did like the complexity of the character, and I felt sorry for Cameron for falling for him. I loved how Brighton made it all make sense later, why Cameron had so easily trusted him in the beginning. What it comes to other characters, I think Brighton is a bit too fond of stereotypes. But I think the antagonist was relatively well done, and I liked the twist at the end.

I don’t know really. I want to read some reviews from true teenagers about this one, since it seems to me, that there’s some YA books that I like very much, and then there’s some like this, that doesn’t do it for me at all. I found Cameron to be shallow and childish most of the time, and actually the only character I found likable was Caroline, and her we don’t really see that much. For me there was also lots of things, that I just couldn’t believe, for example why didn’t her grandmother teach her how to shut others out (wouldn’t that have saved them from a lot of trouble?), and then the “dorm” in the cellar (can’t say more without spoiling).

Mostly this book made me frustrated, since the story had so much potential, but it ended up just annoying. I had no trouble finishing the book though, since even with all the things that annoyed me, the story itself kept me reading, and I wanted to know how it ends. I liked the “Six Months After” bit, and I might read the sequel, if it ever gets published. Apparently the first book takes rounds in N.Y. with editors at the moment, so might be a while if it goes to traditional publishers.

I think this is a nice book for teenagers who can really relate to Cameron, but others might have some difficulties to truly enjoy it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Iben Jakobsen on March 20, 2011 :
The first half of the book had me a bit dubious. Cameron was a bit too accepting of anything these perfect strangers told her and, having never been a big fan of romance or teenage obsession and girls falling for guys solely because they're beautiful, that also put me off it a bit. However it's all explained and it was quite a revelation to both me and Cameron what comes next.

The main characters are quite well fleshed out, and I loved the struggle of emotions between Cameron and Lewis in particular. However it got a bit trivial trying to discern who's truly the bad guy and who you can safely trust, and I feel that the mind reading capabilities were also over-used. Maybe I just expected differently, but it suddenly almost felt like I was reading an X-Men comics, where people can do all sorts with their minds, rather than just being "limited" to reading the thoughts of others.

Some weak points throughout the book, but overall I really liked it and the final cliffhanger just hooked me utterly. There'd better be more coming!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: jen4777 on March 19, 2011 :
Cameron can read the mind of others and her grandmother can too but its been drilled into her from a young age that she can’t reveal her ability and not use her power to intervene. But the murder of a fellow student and the appearance of a mysterious boy in town pulls Cam into the world of the mind readers where she finds out that there others with powers like hers and they are being hunted.

Cam has this amazing power yet instead of using it to help others and do the right thing she uses it to blend in, make friends and keep her attention seeking best friend Emily happy. That really bugged me about her because she knew what kind of person Emily was yet was friends with for all that time. It isn’t until Lewis comes to town that she starts breaking out of her shell.

So basically there’s two sides vying for the mind readers and they both seem like they have ulterior motives. SPI is supposedly hunting and going after mind readers while Aaron is taking them under his wing and “protecting” them. Both sides seem shady and Cameron doesn’t know anything--just what she’s been told so hard for her to trust either side. Like Cameron I didn’t know which side was good and which side was bad but I definitely think there’s more to SPI than meets the eye.

The ending’s a cliff-hanger and well it keeps the reader hanging. I have no idea whats to come but I hope we get some answers in the next instalment. If you’re looking for a lighter paranormal read with mystery, suspense and romance then I suggest The Mind Readers.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Joli @ Actin' Up with books on Jan. 24, 2011 :
The Mind Readers is the first young adult novel by Lori Brighton and the first book by Brighton that I have read. I was immediately drawn into the story of Cameron when I first heard her voice describing the thoughts of the people in the diner she was sitting in. She hears one man describing how he wants to kill his girlfriend and another is thinking about robbing the diner. Before either man does anything, knowing that only one of them will actually proceed with his plan, she gets up and walks away.

After years of living with her grandmother, Cameron knows when to use her mind reading ability and when to keep it a secret. Exposing her abilities had only caused problems for her before and she kept them hidden from everyone. But when Cameron and her friend discover the body of another friend washed up on the beach, Cameron must use her abilities to find out who killed her friend and help protect whoever may be next. At this same time Lewis, a mysterious new guy, comes to town and he may just have a few dangerous secrets of his own.

The story opens with the mysterious murder but lends itself to so much more. In exposing the murderer, Cameron's abilities become common-knowledge in her school and instead of becoming the hero, she is ostracized by her friends and classmates. In what seems like a rash decision, Cameron leaves town with Lewis to learn more about her powers and find solace with those who are like her. This is where the story really begins. Not knowing who to trust and what to believe, Cameron begins to question if she has done the right thing by leaving her grandmother. Who are these people she is has chosen to live with? Is she ready for what may be coming her way?

Brighton has written a fantastic story about paranormal abilities. Every face-paced moment is filled with tension as I, like Cameron, questioned is this really happening? Who is lying? Who can be trusted? The Mind Readers, likely written as a first of a series, allows for so many possible ways for this story to continue. Filled with characters who definitely have their own stories to tell, I cannot wait to read what will happen next.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: v vb on Jan. 24, 2011 :
I liked how the different facets of mind reading and mind control are touched upon in this story. Nice balance of character growth, action and romance. Would like to know more about mr grey eyes...
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: wanda flanagan on Jan. 22, 2011 :
This book will carry you away .I highly reccommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal.From beginning to end this books grabs your attention and keeps it
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: A.M. Harte on Jan. 17, 2011 :
First of all, look at that cover! Yes, I’m as guilty as the next person of judging a book by its cover, even when said book is an ebook. Particularly for indie publications, many authors don’t seem to think of investing into their design — a serious mistake (please, no more 3D videogame people!). The Mind Readers immediately creates a good impression with that cover alone: it’s eye-catching, looks professional, and I’d like to know who made it. Give me a good cover and I’m more likely to be forgiving about other mistakes… not that I found much to complain about in this novel.

The Mind Readers follows the adventures of Cameron Winters, a small-town teenager in Maine who struggles to fit in with her peers at school. It doesn’t help that Cameron has a secret she must protect at all costs: she can read minds. Then Lewis Douglas arrives and shows Cameron exactly who she could be if she embraces her hidden talents. Tempted by the possibility of freedom, Cameron follows Lewis to meet others of her kind… only to find herself caught in a deadly power play.

Part murder mystery, part paranormal adventure, The Mind Readers blends romance and intrigue into an escapist novella that will leave you hungry for more. The action kicks off when a student’s body washes up to shore and Cameron hears the thoughts of the killer in the crowd. With her talents, she’s the only one who can identify the murderer, but she’s been trained from a young age to hide her gifts and do absolutely nothing to expose them — even if it means putting other people in danger.

The story thus raises an interesting moral dilemma: is protecting yourself (at the expense of others) right? Cameron’s domineering grandmother seems to think so, even though the guilt eats away at Cameron’s heart. It is only when Lewis arrives, and shows Cameron how she could live her life differently, that Cameron begins to take a more proactive approach and uses — rather than hiding from — her talents.

I have to admit, Cameron was a little annoying at the start: whiny, a bit of a pushover, and using her mind reading talents in order to be friends with the ‘cool’ kids, who love how she always says the right thing at the right time. But the discovery of other mind readers gives Cameron the confidence boost she needs, and she becomes stronger and more self-aware. By the end, the seedlings for a kickass heroine have been established.

The supporting cast is a little mixed. Lewis intrigued me, particularly because he’s a lot more than a sweet love interest, and has unexpected depths. The dangerous Maddox caught my imagination too, as did Aaron, who runs a school for mind readers which made me think of a darker, twisted version of X-Men. What had me hooked was that I couldn’t tell who was telling the truth, nor who I should be rooting for.

Unfortunately, many of the other characters missed the mark with me, particularly Cameron’s high school classmates who all seemed a little too shallow. I also found it a little unbelievable that many of the male characters were incredibly good-looking; while I expect that in a romance, I found it odd in a YA.

My only other nitpick is the ending. Cameron grows so much during this novel: her experiences have shaped her into a stronger person ready for the future danger she will face. I won’t say much to avoid giving spoilers, except that it was a little bit of a disappointment to find Cam back to almost exactly where she started, even if she’s a changed person. However, I must admit the frustrating killer cliffhanger sweetened my disappointment and left me looking forward to reading the next in the series.

In sum, I’d recommend checking out The Mind Readers. It’s a fast-paced entertaining YA ideal for fans of the paranormal.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Escape Between The Pages on Jan. 09, 2011 :
From the first page, the world outside the book ceased to exist and I was sitting in a diner hearing the pervy and violent thoughts of others. I began to feel Cameron's emotions and see things from her perspective. In truth, I was living vicariously through her. I felt her shame when she couldn't help others, her fustration when it came to her so called friends, her anger at her grandmother's controlling nature, her longing for the unrequited love, the warm and fussy feeling of a new love, the excitement of learning she was not alone, and the fear of those she cared about in danger. I am amazed of how well and how fast I was captivated by Cameron's character. Not to mention, I am in awe at how well the author wrote Cameron's thoughts, personality, and actions with such power, passion, and fluidity. The words flowed off the pages and into my imagination with amazing ease. I wasn't being told the story, I was living it.

I loved how Cameron grew as the story progressed, not only in learning to control her abilities, but the empowerment that came with it. She went from self preservation and hiding to standing up for and voicing her opinions on what was right, even if it cost her everything she cared about. She discovered that things are not always what they seem. And through the journey of discovery, confusion consumed, secrets were learned, betrayals revealed, and relationships questioned.

The supporting characters were also complex and interesting. First, there was the controlling and domineering grandmother, who would have loved nothing more than to have kept Cameron safely hidden from the world. There was also Emily, the supposed BFF, who took great pleasure in malisciously taunting her. Then came Lewis, the dark, seductive, and charming stranger who showed up and took Cameron away from the stifling life she had and brought her to others of her kind. It was easy to understand how she could fall in love with him. But, sometimes things that are too good to be true, usually are. Lewis had secrets and ulterior motives of his own. He introduced her to Aaron, who promised her father, to train her and protect her...or so he claimed. She also met the gorgeous and dangerous Maddox, the supposed enemy, who was being held prisoner and tortured in the basement. He spun a different tale. Who was telling the truth and who was the real villian?

Overall, it is said, "The best things come in small packages". This short story packed a powerful punch and knocked the wind right out of me. It was that amazing. The plot was filled with suspense, intrigue, and excitement and most of all, it was never predictable. I love stories that mess with my mind and consist of sides not of black and white, but shades of grey. Because of this element, I didn't know who to trust or who was right or wrong, and that made it all the more thrilling. As secrets came to light, betrayals revealed, and truths questioned, I was biting my nails and anticipating the turn of each page. Lori Brighton did an incrediable job merging believable circumstances with powerful emotions, engaging characters, and suspenseful intrigue and turning it into a compelling and thrilling tale. I hope that there will be another book to follow Cameron's the "cliffhanger that wasn't" left me fustrated, anticpating, and craving for more. The Mind Readers is a book to be savoured, but compulsion will cause you to devour it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: The Bookish Snob on Jan. 04, 2011 :
How many of us at some time in our lives wished that we could read minds and know what other people were thinking? I know I was one and I’ve often wondered how much easier my teen years would have been knowing whether the boy I was crushing on liked me or how to avoid annoying the school bullies. I remember thinking how perfect my life would have been so when I was asked to read THE MIND READERS, I couldn’t help but smile. Here was my chance to see how my life “could’ve been” like with such a gift and as I settled down to read, it didn’t take long for me to realize how naïve I was. Having such an ability may seem like a gift but for those that have it, it also has some pretty difficult consequences. Just ask Cam Winters.

Every day she is bombarded with the thoughts of others, thoughts she wishes she didn’t have to hear because not everyone has good and pure intentions. Once again, she is placed in a difficult situation – she overhears something where people could get hurt but after years of having caution drilled into her by her controlling grandmother, Cam has no other choice but to walk away. She longs for the time when she can be free to make her own decisions but continues to go through the motions of life until something happens that changes everything. With her BFF, Cam finds a dead body lying on a beach and as much as that freaks her out, it pales in comparison to hearing the voice of the killer in her mind – “I killed her”. Frantically looking around a dark stranger catches her eye but he disappears only to surface again as Lewis, the new boy in school with a secret agenda. He knows all about her and has come to take her to be with those just like her. To a place where she can be free and not worry about constantly making a mistake and revealing her secret. Excited about all the possibilities, Cam leaves with him but soon realizes that not everything is as it seems and that she may just have to take the biggest risk of her life. With her new found freedom will she do what she knows is right or will she do what she’s always done and ignore it? Some may say it’s an easy decision but having fallen in love with Lewis, Cam’s heart is also on the line and her decision will have lasting consequences. THE MINDREADERS doesn’t just tell the story of a newly found love painfully tested but it also holds the reader in suspense until the very end because you never quite know what’s going to happen. Nothing is what it seems, things always change and some risks need to be taken.

Straight away I made a connection with Cam. My heart really hurt for her because there seemed to be this resigned feeling surrounding her. The opening scene shows her having to deal with lewd thoughts from a pervert and the whispering of a gunman. Guilt and her were constant friends because once again she wasn’t able to do anything. Just one word and her secret would be exposed and her life in real danger. Her grandmother is controlling, her BFF is a self centered brat and poor Cam realizes that her life isn’t her own. The beautiful thing about Cam though was that there did come a point where enough was enough and I loved watching her take a stand, of seeing her refuse to put up with the garbage people did around her. I could empathize how difficult it was for her to always feel like she didn’t truly fit in so when Lewis showed up and offers her understanding and acceptance, I cheered when she took the risk and followed him. What I loved most about Cam was the change I saw in her through the book – she went from someone who hides to a strong girl who stood up for what she knew was right. She ran the risk of losing everything and I loved the bravery she showed because she refused to be manipulated.

Lewis was the boy I wanted desperately to kiss and forcefully smack at the same time which made him a lot of fun to read. I can only imagine how amazing he looked to Cam when he turned up at her school and he definitely had a strong protective vibe to him that I absolutely LOVED. He instantly took her under his wing, wanting only the best for her and had a very anchoring influence over her so it was a shock when he seemed to bounce back and forth when she started to question her surroundings. One moment I was swooning over him and next I was screaming at him but as frustrated as I was, I couldn’t help but love Lewis and feel deeply for him. He really was caught in a hard place and making the choice between loyalty and love is difficult, especially when you add his parents death into the equation. I could almost hear his struggle through the pages as he battled with what to do, feeling that either way he would be disloyal to someone he loved. Each scene with him was filled with different emotions and again I didn’t know what to do, swoon or scream, cheer or cry. There was so much going on under the surface with him and I can’t wait to see what happens next because he has so much potential, so much growth, and so much emotion. I loved the sighs and turmoil!

This was an amazing book from beginning to end. I really appreciated the way the author opened the story by showing just how complicated and difficult being a mind reader was. It gave the real sense of how it must be every day for Cam and just how miserable life must have been. I loved the flow of the book and just how invested I became in the story because I could feel my body reacting at certain moments and when I was finished the very first thing I thought was “OMGSH there has to be more.” That’s something I’m beginning to see as a trend with Lori Brighton’s books – I never want them to end because reading each one is an emotional rush. THE MINDREADERS has a lot to offer its readers and I suggest everyone go out and get themselves a copy because it’s not an experience you’re going to want to miss out on. Happy reading!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kathryn on Dec. 30, 2010 :
The first thing that I noticed about this book was that it was different from most YA books. Now I know that's vague, but I have my reasons for thinking it.

One thing that made it different was the fact that the story was about Cameron and her abilities and it stayed on that topic. In the beginning of the book there was a murder, but the book didn't revolve around the murder. It was a way to show Cameron's ability which led to us meeting Lewis. This was different because usually in YA an event that happens early on in the book is what the entire book revolves around, like solving a murder, but it was used to build characters in The Mind Readers.

I also found the romance between Cam and Lewis realistic. I think that they "fell in love" a bit quickly but it was what came after that that was realistic. After they actually went on a date and hung out Cameron saw they were actually different. *Slight Spoiler* And I was pleased to see she was strong enough to not change her beliefs of right and wrong to be with him.

Overall this was a very good book. It was different from many paranormal YA books and put a new twist on mind readers. It also managed to be realistic in the areas of everyday life. The ending was, in my opinion, a cliff hanger, and I definitely hope there's a sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: p Holland on Dec. 20, 2010 :
Cameron can hear people's thoughts, and it's seldom a pleasant experience. Within the first couple of pages, she reads the thoughts of a man who's about to rob the diner where she's eating, but she gets up and walks away without warning anyone. She feels guilty for not acting, but she's been raised to keep her head down and not let anyone know about her ability. Her Grandma is paranoid about keeping her safe, and the two of them had to move around the country many times during Cameron's childhood, to stay away from people who would exploit her talents. Cameron's just surviving one day at a time until an unsolved murder crops up in their seaside town, and a handsome stranger named Lewis shows up and seems to understand her abilities...perhaps because he can read minds, too. Cameron's already-weird life will never be the same, and she's going to have to make some tough choices about who she wants to be and what principles shes going to stand for.

I usually prefer reading about heroines who are reckless in their defense of others, but Cameron's play-it-safe attitude changes over time. So much of her unwillingness to warn people about danger comes from the conditioning she's received from her Grandma. Cameron has a tense relationship with her controlling grandmother, and sadly, her strongest friendship, with rich n' popular Emily, is built entirely on lies. Cam's mind reading ability allows her to tell Emily exactly what she wants to hear, and Emily likes having a best friend who will flatter her and never compete with her for boys. Cam has a few other friends, but nobody really gets close to her until Lewis arrives.

Cam can't read Lewis' thoughts, and when he says he's also a mind reader, and that he needs her help, how can she turn him down? She's ready to learn more about her talents and to start helping people instead of always running away. Lewis takes her to meet other people with mind reading abilities, and she quickly finds that her powers are more extensive than she's ever dreamed of.

I thought this was going to be a quick, cute paranormal read, and was I ever wrong. It's quick, and has some cute moments and some funny moments, but the themes here aren't at all frivolous. Cameron's character development is very powerful and believable, and she has to make some very tough lose/lose decisions. She moves from (mostly) accepting that what her Grandma says is true to wholeheartedly accepting what her new friends say is true, to truly thinking for herself. Cam has this absolutely wonderful strength that is seldom seen in YA, and it's hard-earned, to boot. The ending of the book contains a nice parallel to the beginning, the love story is considerably more complex than it initially looks, and I simply can't wait for volume two.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Blodeuedd Finland on Dec. 17, 2010 :
Cameron lives with her grandma and hides the fact that she can read minds from her friends. But then a murder happens, and a strange boy appears, Lewis is mysterious and sees her. Soon she realizes that he can hear her too. He is just like her, and tells her to come away and learn how to use her talents.

My thoughts:
Lori has been one busy woman this fall. First her adult novel The Ghost Hunter and now a YA novel.

A lot is going on in this short novel, and I never know who to trust. First there is strange Lewis who pays her attention. He does not see her best friend, the hottest girl in school. Can she trust him? Can she even trust her own grand mother to tell the truth? Then there is the Mind Readers, and those that want them harm or? Until the last page I can't say for sure who to trust. But that is the point, it creates suspense, and I am always very distrustful. I never trust anyone in a book, cos who knows.

Cameron is a sweet girl, who just wants to be normal. Lewis, the guy falls for, is always so nice to her. Then there is the leader of the Mind readers, the man who always know what to say. Later in the book there is also another character, I am not going to say who, but that person was nice (oh see what I did there, said nothing at all ;)

There is romance, suspense, and more conflicts to come. Because at the end there is a cliffhanger, that is not a cliffhanger, but still feels like a cliffhanger. Confused, well, ok, it ends well and peaceful, but then something happens, something that could mean another book. And that makes me curious.

Final thoughts and recommendation:
It is sweet YA, so nothing big going on there. There is suspense and some action, but nothing too heavy. So if you want a sweet YA book, with a twisting plot and a paranormal theme then this one might be for you.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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