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Suspicious Minds

(Stranger Things #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  6,651 ratings  ·  953 reviews
A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Cornerstone Digital (first published February 5th 2019)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lisa Phillips She could, but her intelligence would be insulted.
Pedro Vieira Yes, but you should see the netflix series for more insight, the book on is own can feel “weird” :)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,651 ratings  ·  953 reviews

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Out of the Bex
Feb 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t tell you this enough: Do not bother reading this book. Yes, that’s a hardcore heads up from one Stranger Things fan to another. It’s not what you hope it is. Not even a little bit.

Full ranty review to come on Youtube later this week.

If I were the sort of person to blatantly curse in my writing, this review would be riddled with four-letter words.

Suspicious Minds is a disaster of a book.

This is meant to be the backstory or Eleven’s mother during the MKULTRA experiments in 1969. I can prom
3 to 3.5 stars

Are you a fan of Stranger Things?

Have you seen at least a season of Stranger Things?

Have you heard enough about Stranger Things from your friends or seen enough about it online that you think you understand what it is about?

If your answer is no, step slowly and quietly away from this review. No need to go on. No reason to read this book at all. This book is the very essence of connection to source material, and proceeding without knowledge of that material is folly.

Now . . . I see
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"What a beautiful little piece of evil."

Suspicious Minds is a prequel to the Stranger Things show, and the story focuses on Eleven's mom, Terry Ives. It's set in the late '60s / early '70s in Indiana, and whether this is a Stranger Things book or not, I found it to be an easy story to get invested in. Terry and her friends are likeable characters, and the story is occurring amidst the Vietnam War and everything else that was going on - yet with a Stranger Things spin that makes it even more fun.
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
Very interesting storyline. I love the show and after rewatching all 3 seasons for the 7th time I wanted something new from this world so I looked to see if they had any books I was so excited to see this. I get the ebook and read it in about 48 hours. It was so fun and interesting to read about I loved what the writer did with the storyline and characters and I really hope she writes more on it.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read_2019, horror
I love the Stranger Things TV series and was very excited to see that the universe was being expanded to include a series of novels and comics with Suspicious Minds being the first official prequel novel published in February 2019.

The themes that make the TV series so appealing are prevalent here though with a slightly skewed focus. Rather than a bunch of kids goofing around with Dungeons and Dragons, fighting monsters real and imagined, and having to contend with the horrors of the upside-down,
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was disappointingly unexceptional, the pacing was slow, the characters lacked character and the plot felt drawn out and uninspired. I hate to be so negative about the book as I love the tv show but it isn’t a particularly good book and I fail to see why it has so many high ratings on goodreads.
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this book set before the events that take place in the Stranger Things Netflix series. I mean, I love Stranger Things on tv, but would I love a book set before Eleven, Chief Hopper, and Dustin and Steve’s unlikely bromance hit the screen? I wasn’t sure.

We learn all about Eleven’s mom, Terry, who is a college student when she gets involved with Dr. Brenner and his human experiments for nefarious purposes. At first it’s the chance to do something good for
Cameron Chaney
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Video review to come.

Stranger Things is a little television show made by a little company called Netflix. The series aired in 2016 and became an instant hit, spawning an endless valley of merchandise. It is to the point now that you could theme your entire home with Stranger Things merch if you really wanted to. And now you can add some Stranger Things to your library with Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds, a prequel nov
'Stay strange.'

I recall that this first Stranger Things tie-in novel debuted on The New York Times bestseller list, much as the Star Wars novels invariably tend to do. The point, I suppose, is that the vast interest in such pop-culture phenomena bleeds over into books, which is not a bad thing. The world always needs more readers.

(Remember that after The Return of the Jedi, Star Wars was pretty much kept alive by the Old Canon books, with Disney now having wiped the slate clean, and producing in
Sarah Esmae Wolfe
Sep 28, 2018 marked it as to-read


(read the first chapter here!
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019

I’m a huge Stranger Things fan so when I found this book without even knowing its existence I bought it immediately!!

It turned out to be a very interesting prequel for me even if there’s actually nothing that new to know.
It still was a good add to the whole ST universe and we definitely get to know more what happened before the Eleven “era”.

Nice characters and very easy plot, maybe too easy sometimes?! But it didn’t bother me much.

I know novel number two will be released soon and I’m defin
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader:

Suspicious Minds was not quite what I expected, but it turned out to be a wonderful read that gave a great backstory on Eleven’s mom, and how Eleven came to be in Dr. Brennar’s care and more about the origins of Dr. Brennar’s crazy experiments and meddlings with the natural world. Pretty much it was full of lots of the things we’ve wondered about since the show started.

Terry Ives is a college student in the 1960s and while the
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
The more I think about it, the more I like this book. It was fun; I enjoyed it a lot. And the characters were actually really cool. I'm keeping my rating at 4/5 stars, but after stepping away I can better consider how good this book was.

original review:
I don't really love reading books like this, like Star Wars books. It's always awkward to try to judge a book when its world and characters already exist. But this one was cool.

I'll just say it: I don't love Stranger Things. It's cool, it's f
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"'Monsters,' she said., 'of course my brain has them.' As long as they stayed in there, everything would be all right. Wouldn't it?"

Are you slowly rotting away while waiting for the next season of Stranger Things like me? If so, this first official novel may take the edge off temporarily. Suspicious Minds tells the backstory of Terry Ives. Sound familiar? That's right, Eleven's mother! It's set during 1969 in Hawkins, Indiana. Dr. Brenner is conducting LSD experiments under a covert operation ca
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay what can I say - but I am enjoying Stranger Things - the mix of 80s nostalgia (yes I am that old) and good old monster movie had be entranced from the first episode, when I saw that they had tie in novels on the way I was intrigued to say the least.

Now after reading the first book (so far there are two - there may be more I do not know) I must admit I was not disappointed but at the same time it didnt totally re-ignite my passion for the series.

You see this is a prequel and like all prequ
Lauren Stoolfire
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, horror
Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond is not nearly as good as the tv series, but it's still a solid prequel. But then again, the tv series does set an incredibly high bar, doesn't it? Anyway, this first prequel novel follows 11's mother as she undergoes experiments at the lab and up to the point where she gives birth to 11. I enjoyed getting to know Terry a little more in this novel especially while she's right in the middle of everything. I'm definitely interested in continuing this prequel series. ...more
Teepa Prince
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim C
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

This book is a prequel to the popular television series that is on Netflix. In this one, we get the story of how Eleven's mother gets involved with Martin Brenner who is the doctor that believes he is "Papa" to Eleven during the first season.

I enjoyed this novel and one can tell that the author is either a fan of the series or has done her homework. She set a goal of making this out to be like the series and she accomplishes that while throwing out various easter eggs.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. I had barely no expectation, I just was curious because I enjoy the TV shows (even if it's also going downhill...), but I still was disappointed. Very thin story, stupid characters like it's almost impossible to be that dumb, the ambiance wasn't that good either, we didn't feel the period of time as well as we do in the TV shows (it could have happen mostly in any time period...) and it just didn't bring much to the experience. I won't continue and I wouldn't recommend it! ...more
I applaud Gwenda Bond for bringing Stranger Things to book form. I am sure that writing Suspicious Minds was a huge challenge, in that the Netflix series has such a huge following. Bond definitely did not stray too far from the source material. For this reason, some may be disappointed. As a fan of the show, I enjoyed reading the book. Suspicious Minds does take us behind the curtain and provide some facts that were not revealed in the show, but it is a seamless flow. A third of the way ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

For those of us who can’t get enough of Stranger Things, the good news is that Random House has partnered up with Netflix to publish a number of books based on the hit sci-fi horror web show. Of these, Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond is the prequel novel featuring Eleven’s mother, Terry Ives, who has been a figure shrouded in mystery ever since the series began. If you’ve ever wondered how she became a test subject in th
Brittany S.
Feb 12, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Marked as DNF 2/11/19: Admittedly, I didn't make it far with this but I was struggling right from the start. I just didn't feel like this translated well into a book at all. I'm not sure I've ever read an adaptation of a movie or TV show aside from the Clarissa Explains It all adult contemporary adaptation, which also felt clunky and awkward.

The Stranger Things TV show just has something special that does so well in so few words. I love that so many things happen in scenes witnessed, stolen mom
If you are at ALL a fan of Stranger Things, you need to read this prequel about El's mom and the other test subjects, also gives more insight into Eight. Definitely enjoyed this and the evilness of Dr. Brenner still made me cringe. Now I want to go re-watch Season's One and Two again before Three is out!

4 Stars
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
You can also find this review on my book blog.

When I saw this book on Twitter I just fanboyed so hard and had to request a copy! My wish was granted which I’m so grateful for! I love Stranger Things as a TV show and was very excited to read Suspicious Minds because of that reason.

Suspicious Minds is set in Hawkins, Indiana, in the summer of 1969. We are introduced to Terry Ives, who finds out that her friend Stacey is going to a mysterious lab to be a subject in an experiment. Stacey doesn’t
Ben Brown
As the first “Stranger Things” tie-in novel, “Suspicious Minds” is a solid, albeit unspectacular start to what will surely be the first of many “Stranger Things” novels to come. Detailing a year or so in the life of Terry Ives – Eleven’s mother – and set just prior to the flashbacks seen in the show, “Suspicious Minds” does, unfortunately, fall ever occasionally into the “YA novel” trap, oftentimes devoting pages, even chapters at a time to Terry’s romantic life. Thankfully, these sections of th ...more
Lucy Tonks
Apr 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
[EDIT]: more than two months after finishing this, i decided to lower my rating to one star

Nope, nope, nope. I picked this book up online bc i am a BIG Stranger Things fan and I wanted more. I won't lie, but I didn't have high hopes. BUT. This book started really good and I really taught, I would end up liking it, BUT NO. Like the first 80-ish pages were really good, but as I kept reading it, it became boring and the plot that we had was getting worse and worse. There were so many things that di
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has very different vibes from the Stranger Things show, but that does not mean it is bad.
It really reads as a YA novel, set in 1970 but with a very contemporary writing style (which can sometimes seem a little odd but you can easily look past it). You can definitely read this without having seen the show but of course the Stranger Things fans will love the nods to the show.

What I loved the most was that this is the story of a group of young adults who care for one another deeply (yes,
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
some ppl will say this was trash and don't ever read it if u like the tv series, and i see where ur coming from, but overall this book was cute and fun to indulge in. if you're looking for a dark and intriguing read like stranger things, this isn't it - this book is SOOO young adult. but im such a sucker for ya that im not bothered,, it was fun to meet terry, eleven's mom, and the crew and to see what unfolded the chaos that is el (don't we love her), the demogorgon, etcetera. all of the charact ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
The first book released for Stranger Things! Yes, please. But, bad news guys. It's not actually any good. Bond wrote this book like it was another one of her YA books should not be watching Stranger Things so I don't really know why you wrote a book about it exclusively for them. Do better Netflix! ...more
Aug 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
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Gwenda Bond is the New York Times bestselling author of many books. Her latest is the first official Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds. Next up is a rom-com duology, Not Your Average Hot Guy (Oct., '21) and The Date from Hell, coming from St. Martin’s Griffin.

Her previous work includes the Lois Lane series (Fallout, Double Down, and Triple Threat), which brings the iconic comic book characte

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