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Mind Over Monsters

(F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,051 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Beatrice Alexander is no ordinary schoolteacher--she can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing skill she hasn't yet mastered or embraced. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top-secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threateni ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 8th 2011 by Midnight Ink (first published October 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  1,051 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
Romancing the Dark Side Review:

A light-hearted and fun unconventional tale of the paranormal where two worlds of monsters collide!

Beatrice Alexander is an ordinary school teacher with extraordinary powers. She psychokinetic and knows the ability to move objects with her mind isn't exactly "normal" so she tends to keep to herself. When she accidentally hurts those closest to her, Beatrice is approached by a secret organization of the FBI, the F.R.E.A.K.S., the Federal Response to Extra Sensor
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I had this novel for a very long time, but it took me a little while to get into the story. I had bought it after reading some nice reviews and I finally started it.

Beatrice always had a gift that put her on the margins of society. It always made her a little strange, but since she rescued one of her students who was about to be crushed, something has come out of her. Her power has become more powerful. So when a man comes forward to offer her a new life, o
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mind Over Monsters is very well written with characters I love and can’t wait to read more about them. I’ve not read many books where the author titles each chapter but I really like it, cause it sets the tone for what’s coming up and with a chapter entitled “A Machete Is a Girl’s Best Friend” you know that the book is freaky funny.

Mind Over Monsters is a great urban fantast read with mystery, some gore (it’s going to get messy when you start cutting up zombies), and there is also a little roman
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite, first-reads
My reviews can also be found at:

First I would like to thank the author, Jennifer Harlow, for sending me this book! I won it in a goodreads giveaway and she was nice enough to also send me an awesome bookmark, a list of songs on the playlist for the book, and a very nice card/note.

Let me begin this review by saying that this book pretty much rocked my socks! I love all things paranormal, so when I started in on this story I quickly discovered that I'd hit
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is intriguing. Beatrice’s fellow squad members include a reticent werewolf, an obnoxious vampire, an elegant pyrokinetic, a teleporting teenager, a baby-faced psychometric and a blind medium. Bea’s first case with the group involves evidence of a necromancer in the small town of Bridge Stone, Colorado: he or she is raising zombies, but why and can they stop him before anyone else falls victim?

I wanted to like this book. It’s a first novel and there is definitely potentia
Stephanie (Bookfever)
The author, Jennifer Harlow, contacted me to review this book. First of all, a huuuuuge thanks to her for that. If she hadn't I probably wouldn't have read this amazing book any time soon. I almost didn't accept the review request even, but the synopsis drew me in. And also because she sent me the print book had a lot to do with it because I usually only get ebooks because I love in Belgium.

At first I wasn't sure I would like it, but after reading the guest post she send me, where she interview
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
PJV Quickie: ‘Mind over Monsters’ is one of my favorite surprise reads of the year. Fun, witty and a bit of sexy, the characters are over the top enjoyable and the story is interesting and suck-you-in good. Hello Jennifer Harlow. It’s nice to meet you. Can I have some more?

Review: Jennifer Harlow introduces to a fun mix of characters and at their center is Beatrice Alexander. Beatrice is a schoolteacher who has an inexplicable talent of moving things with her mind. She has never been comfortable
Diane ~Firefly~
Great book. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I really enjoyed the story.

What I enjoyed:
* Beatrice. Her life is changed when she saves a kid and ends up joining the FREAKS squad. Now she is the newbie and on an investigation that quickly gets out of hand and she holds her own.
* The squad. They have very different personalities and powers and are all really interesting characters.
* The mystery. They are called into a small town after two people are mutilated by "animals". Where it all le
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. A fun and silly paranormal Scooby gang mystery except with real zombies who eat a few people. The main character tries pretty dang hard, she fights for her right to fight quite a bit and runs headlong into danger a bit much, but she meant well. The story moved fast enough to keep me interested, though i confess I rolled my eyes once or twice. But it retained my interest and I had a rollicking good time reading it.
It was darker than I expected from the cartoony cover.
Morgan Silver
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read the first three books in three days, so I'm writing this knowing what will happen in those next books as well. These were all enjoyable reads. It was so easy to get lost in the story.

I should start by saying I really HATE zombies, I really do. So I really hated reading about them and skipped the part where-through a vision-we feel what it's like to be ripped apart by zombies. Not fun. I also found it very unrealistic that there were so many and wanted it to be over. When she then used he
Mind Over Monsters was A LOT of fun! I would rate it 4.5 stars if I could, but when deciding which side of the .5 the rating should fall on, I leaned toward 4, but it was indeed a great book!

This book features so many different monsters! You see vampires, werewolves, necromancers, ghouls, zombies, people who can create fire, move things with their mind, teleport, etc - honestly a possessed easter bunny could have shown up and I wouldn't have been surprised. This book really reminded me of X-Men
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I got a signed advanced reading copy of this book at Book Expo America. Harlow was great, very fun to talk to. This was a decent book; it is one of those fluffy and fun sort of paranormal books. If you are into that you will like this book; it was a fun read just not all that original.

Beatrice isn't your normal elementary school teacher; she is telekinetic. After she almost kills her brother by accident she joins the F.R.E.A.K Squad (Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals Sq
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick and lots of fun, with first-person narration in an informal, personable style that brings you directly into a group of interesting people with special powers very much like X-Men and an investigation that leads them into plenty of major supernatural action. "F.R.E.A.K.S.," which is what they cheerfully call themselves, stands for "Federal Response to Extra-sensory And Kindred Supernaturals," and the squad with that name is a highly classified "offshoot" of what else, the FBI.

The story sti
It was cute. It was really more of a 2.5 star book because of all of the eye-rolling I had to do, but the series has potential and the narrative had a nice, smooth style. I like that the author is a fan of Jennifer Crusie and Sue Grafton but she didn't do such a good job of imitating either. The humor wasn't so bad, but the mystery was pathetic. Really awful, it made them all look just stupid. And the romance and the agent work suffered from the same issue - suddenly this ordinary and relatable ...more
Jennifer  (BTH Reviews)
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Despite having been written in present tense, Mind Over Monsters is a great book. It's a fun mixture of horror, action, and comedy. The problem becomes apparent right away, and the pace is kept up the whole way through the book.

To me, this book falls into the urban fantasy category even though the settings are rural, because the book focuses on her government unit's efforts to investigate and contain a zombie outbreak. If the main character had been an untrained civilian, I still wouldn
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review is about a novel that held my attention even though the overall subject, horror, is not my chosen genre. In many ways, the clever, new to me, author was able to make the book a 'cozy' murder mystery, even though she was penning about Vampires, Werewolves, Psychokinetics and more.

Thinking it over, since I am interested in Paranormal like the psycho-fields...I guess it was a good fit for me.

The murders were appropriate to the perpertrators of the crimes, although, a bit gruesome for me
Roxanne Rhoads
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous debut novel!

Harlow has created an awesome world where the good guys fight the bad- and they all happen to be "monsters"- or in this case the good guys are FREAKS- the Federal Response to Extra Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals.

Yup the government has their own top secret agency full of supernaturals that fight the paranormal bad guys.

Harlow's book is blend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick ass girl power style action, dry but witty humor, mystery, all wrapped in a paranormal book t
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
I loved this story! I'm not a huge zombie fan, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book.
The writing is wonderful. The author's use of the language is superb, giving her words life and making the scenes into images as well. I easily pictured every character and place in my mind through her vivid descriptions and attention to detail.
The characters are cleverly created and so very easy to invest in. As a licensed elementary teacher, I was thrilled to fi
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book. I wasn't sure it was going to wow me when I accepted the review request but I was pleasantly surprised.

It's a dark, gritty at times, laugh-out-loud funny urban fantasy. The main character, Bea, is snarky, smart, fierce but most importantly real. I could really relate to her and felt things through her eyes. She goes from shy, timid elementary school teacher to a kick-ass F.R.E.A.K.S. agent throug
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book-owned
Mind Over Monsters is a fun and unconventional tale that stands out against others in the urban fantasy genre. Harlow uses clever witticisms and great characters to ground the otherwise horrific nature of the story. If you’re looking for something funny and easy to read with a lovable spook squad then this is the perfect series for you. What a stellar debut for Harlow! Currently devouring book #2 as we speak…

The main character, Bea, is snarky, smart, fierce but most importantly real. She goes f
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I wasn't impressed by the cartoon-y cover of this book, which made me assume Mind Over Monsters was going to be a fluffy (and sure, gory) urban fantasy. It IS light-hearted in many parts, with snappy, hilarious dialogue... but by the end of the book, what impressed me was Jennifer Harlow. She brought an appropriate level of gravity to the story, even as funny as it is, and made me truly care about her characters--most especially Bea and Oliver--even though I was resistant at first. Just goes to ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Fantastic first book in a new series. Our former 4th grade teacher who's gift (or curse depending on how it affects her life) is virtually Shanghaid into a Gov't agency under the pretense of learning how to control her "gift". From that point on she wonders if her name is really Alice and that she's fallen down a hole into Monsterland. You really need to read the book, I'm off to find the next one in the series.

I got it from my public library.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I admit I skimmed to the latter half of the book just to finish but at that point I was just forcing myself to finish. I like the premise of the book, it reminds me of a similar series that I really enjoy. Unfortunately I can not say the same thing here. The thing with 1st POV if I really can't emphatize with the main character, it doesn't work. I couldn't connect with Beatrice, she comes out very judgemental and immature. Might just give this series a pass ...more
Sandy Lu
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, Jennifer Harlow delivers both humor and horror in an action-packed zesty brew of fantasy, mystery, and romance. At turns vulnerable and ferocious, equally sardonic and sweet, Beatrice Alexander is a heroine that combines the best qualities of Buffy, Stephanie Plum and Sookie Stackhouse.

Of course, as the agent of the book, I may be biased!
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The characters are so interesting you just can't help root for them! It had me flipping through the pages like something was chasing after me because I could not put this book down! Great first book to the series!! If you love paranornal you will love this book! It has a bit of everything! ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Fluffy fun with light romance. Could be given to high schoolers.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF. I stopped at page 44. The first couple pages were fine but then it just kept getting worse. The main chick Beatrice can lift things with her mind which makes her abnormal. She almost accidentally kills her dick of a brother and then tries to kill herself. She woke up in the hospital and was approached by Dr. Black, a kindly old man that deals with paranormal things.

Naturally Bea is weary of this man but goes to him anyway after the episode with her brother. It was after this point that thin
~Cyanide Latte~
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love Buffy and other things like it.
Originally I'd stumbled across this book when I was reshelving others during the brief stint of time I worked in a library. The cover caught my eye pretty quickly due to the fact there are zombies prominent in the artwork, but I had pondered over it because something about the cover just seemed inherently fun. I gave it a chance back then, and I'm so glad that I did, because the guess of "fun" for this book was on-the-mark, and I was so disappointed when I had to return it to the library.

Leila Anani
Beatrice Alexander, A telekinetic school teacher gets recruited by the F.R.E.A.K.S Squad [Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and kindred supernaturals] - the paranormal branch of the F.B.I to solve supernatural crimes. She joins Oliver (a sexy vampire) Will (a hunky but grumpy werewolf) Irie (supermodel pyrokinetic) Nancy (Goth teleporter) Carl (preppy psycometrist) Andrew (African American medium). In this first case the team have to find a necromancer raising zombies to kill people.

I read a hel
Lea Day
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a suggested read to me from our library while it has been shut down during 2020 Pandemic. I am glad I took their suggestion.

I at first felt this was going to be a take on Men in Black theme but with supernatural twist. It turned out to be more than that.

I enjoyed learning about our heroine as she joins this group and their first adventure together.

Plan to read the sequel- the only downer is it appears the author had stopped writing this series but will read till they end.
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Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restles ...more

Other books in the series

F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation (6 books)
  • To Catch A Vampire (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #2)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #3)
  • High Moon (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #4)
  • Nancy Lake and the Case of the First Date: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Short Story (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #3.5)
  • The Sin Eater (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #5)

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“You're cute, but..."
He steps away from me, and I can breathe again. "Cute?" he spits. "For centuries women have wanted me, desired me. Royals requested me by name, and you think I am cute?”
“What’s that?”
“I believe it is called a Vicodin.”
My mouth gapes open, and I darn near tear up. “You brought me cake and drugs? If you included Casablanca, I’d have to marry you.”
More quotes…