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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Currently a finalist for the BookLife Prize, hosted by the indie arm of Publisher's Weekly!

Professionally ruined, morally bankrupt and reflexively snarky, psychiatrist Derek Verbenk is a f*ck-up by even his own measure. Major errors in judgment have sentenced the once ambitious doctor to a career handing out prescriptions to rich housewives from his home office in Cherry C
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 7th 2017 by Self
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Jason Dias
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychological
This is contemporary fiction. Really GOOD contemporary fiction. There’s a paranormal element but it really just creates an unusual situation; it’s not really something that gets explored, goes to world-building, or has larger scale implications.
In 2018, I created a set of memes with the theme, #notyouDerek. “Derek” was just a name basically drawn from a hat, and I used it to troll motivational memes. When people asked who was Derek and why did I hate him, I’d just mysteriously respon
L.R. Braden
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would give this one a 4.5 if I could. The only reason I can't give it a perfect 5 is not because of the story or writing, but rather its need for a more thorough editing. I've long since resigned myself to the fact that all books are published with a few typos, no matter how eagle-eyed the editor, but this had too many to be ignored. Enough that I was repeatedly knocked out of the flow of my reading and had to flounder for a moment before finding it again. Most of the issues were simple-fix st ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A naturally gifted writer, the author weaves together the impossible with the highly probable. Though one of the two main characters has superpowers, the emotions, reactions and psychological drama (and damage) are all too real.

I volunteered to review an early version of this book and found it to be an entertaining look at the real world realities of having powers. We all know the maxim from Spiderman "With great power comes great responsibility". Transference adds an additional layer to that sa
Cassondra Windwalker
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Transference is more fable than novel, driven as much by repeat performances of the message as by plot. This actually works in its construct, however, because it's a very well-disguised comic book as much as a traditional story. The premise might sound preposterous in a synopsis, but the author incorporates it so seamlessly and unquestionably that the reader won't so much as hiccup. Emotionally challenging and often uncomfortable, Transference is a fast read not because it's simple, but because ...more
Jessica Lawson
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a hard book for me to start~ I read mostly kidlit, and to be faced with such a deeply flawed main character was very disturbing~ I think it was so disturbing because it also felt extremely realistic. I have no trouble believing that there are plenty of Dr. Verbenks out there. The writing feels effortless~ Jonuska truly is a character writer, but her plotting (both in the internal and external arcs) is equally captivating. As Janet enters the story, I latched on and couldn't stop reading ...more
Jessica Lave
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-2017
This was a fun read and went by so quickly! Trying to avoid spoilers, so I'll just say it's about a therapist who gets more than he bargained for with one of his new housewife patients who comes to him for medication and help with unusual symptoms. The story takes places in the Denver area which is always fun for me trying to guess where places are or trying to compare what they look like in the book to real life. #locallove

The author does a great job of blending humor and elements of fantasy,
Richard Hamp
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A refreshingly unique approach to a genre that has been glutted with tired retellings of the same stories over and over lately. Transference is a novel, above all else, about becoming more than you are or thought you could be. Both main characters have to fight back the demons they carry with them--though in very different ways--to find the person they could be. The power behind this story is that the author never fails to confront the reality of being a real person--Verbenk isn't a particularly ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get this book in advance, and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to rate it.

Ms. Jonuska has taken one small plot twist and allowed it to grow into a grand adventure. Each character is strongly created and the dynamic, sometimes deeply harsh conversations delve into many issues, allowing the characters to examine who they are and why they make the decisions they do. Yet even with it's sharp wit and depth, the book is a fun, easy read. You will love it.

Transference is a *strong* f
Helen Starbuck
Loved this book, about a male therapist with no sexual boundaries. It hooked me from the first line, "For a mistake that ruined his life, the sex should have been good, but no." It kept me laughing and was very touching as well. Highly recommend this book. ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
From the moment I read the synopsis I knew Verbenk will be entertaining and from page one, I couldn't put the book down. It's well written, witty, yet deep. The climactic setting and characters that jump off the page will make you forget where you are.

I hope there will be more from this local author!
Dan Jonuska
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Kept me in suspense. Nice use of descriptions. Liked the local twists she used. Looking forward to more from Kate!
Jenn Fields
Review pending, stay tuned!
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fun-read
A fun book with interesting twists. The author does a wonderful job of getting into her character's heads and keeping the reader guessing. ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Creative, amusing and fun read. Can visualize a TV series with the Telepathic/Therapist team.
Juliana Rew
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Transference” is a fast-moving urban fantasy about a psychiatrist whose new patient can read his mind. I wasn’t expecting much at first: neither the headshrinker nor the politician’s wife seem very likable: he’s a lech, and she’s a bitch (although If it’s played for laughs, this can be fun, as in the British tv series, “MisFits”). Jonuska expertly skewers many of ultra-healthy Colorado’s current fads, such as Starbucks, jogging, and almond milk, leading you to think the two may just have shallo ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhero
I love a good redemption story. Dr. Verbenks, the main character, is not the kind of man I would normally have much sympathy for--my old fashioned terminology would call him a lech. But the story gives him a satisfying arc including a bit of explanation for how he became who he was--a failed shrink who was lucky not to be in jail--and how he will become better through his friendship with Janet, a politician and crusader who suddenly develops telepathy and comes to him for help.

Janet's powers ar
Mike Kanner
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I admit that I bought the book because of the cover and meeting the author at the Arvada Bookfest.

The deals with the odd situation of a psychiatrist and the telepath he is trying to treat. Interesting concept which is well developed along with a set of characters with whom you can sympathize. Both are in roles that are partly forced on them and is part of their problem. It serves as a commentary about how individual lives develop the way that they do.

As a side note, I wondered how much of the t
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book on so many levels. First of all...Kate Jonuska is an amazingly talented writer. She did a beautiful job of making me love (and root for) her very human, very flawed characters. The book kept taking me by surprise; I found myself vacillating between anger, sadness, intrigue, suspense, and laughter. At one point, during an emotional stand-off between the two main characters, I felt shivers run up my spine and realized I was flinching and clenching the book tightly in my hands. ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If the cover doesn’t get you to pick up this book, then the synopsis will for sure. Transference by Kate Jonuska is the perfect book to read when you feel like maybe you aren’t doing the best in your life, because Dr. Verbenk will make you feel a whole lot better about yourself. Ha, that’s not the only redeeming quality of tis book, either. The writing is flawless, flows well, and gives off a vibe that makes you feel as if you are talking to an old friend.

The lowdown is that Dr. Derek Verbenk ha
Brian D Howard
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Transference, by Kate Jonuska, is a deep psychological superhero novel with some serious #MeToo content.

The main protagonist is Dr. Derek Verbenk, a psychiatrist who's got his own issues, and some of them have caught up with him. The rest all catch up too when his newest client is a telepath trying to figure out how to control her new "gift." And she's a senator's wife, to boot.

Having recently written a telepath character myself I really enjoyed seeing it from the mundane's perspective.

Kate mast
Happy Booker
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Transference is a telepathy tale about a psychiatrist, Derek Verbenk, who has been disgraced. He practices from his home and is almost doing better until a new patient shows up, turning this situation around. With a much-emphasized humorous touch, this novel is light-hearted yet very enjoyable to read.

Besides the humor, the story focuses on mental health, social isolation, and politics, which I found to be a clever touch from the author, it’s always hard to include topics such as the ones mentio
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy of this book. A fun read with harrowing moments, cringe-worthy scenes, and heart-warming ones.

Janet can read minds, don't ask her how and don't worry too much about why. Just enjoy it. The two main characters alternate between annoying and sympathetic, in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have
A fun story with with real world, obsessive, flawed characters. Considering most of the story is told through conversations on a psychiatrist couch, the spoken (and non-spoken) dialog had to be on point, and it was. I enjoyed this quite a bit!
Charlie Cooksey
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
You'll get angry, you'll laugh, and you might even cry a bit. It's a great read. I'm looking forward to more from the author. ...more
Antonia Malvino
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Sep 14, 2018
Dan Crea
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Jun 10, 2018
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Feb 28, 2018
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Kate Jonuska is a Colorado native with a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Denver who went into journalism after college to pay the rent. She has since wracked up a decade of experience writing features for top-notch regional publications, including the Denver Post, the (Boulder) Daily Camera, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and Boulder Magazine, specializing in food, fitness, travel, ...more

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