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Suspicious Minds

(Stranger Things #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  46 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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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  145 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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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.
Sarah Elizabeth
Sep 28, 2018 marked it as to-read


(read the first chapter here!
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
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
Aug 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-tbr
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.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
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
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.
☕ Kimberly
While fans of the series will appreciate getting the backstory to Eleven's mom, Terry Ives it isn't necessary to have watched the series to enjoy this. Bond offered an engaging tale set during the Vietnam War and the drafts. The story introduces to Bloomington college student Terry Ives, and her classmates Alice, Gloria and Ken. Each is a participant in Brenner's tests and those tests, and the lab lead to abilities, discovers and danger.

If you love Stranger Things, you'll slip right in to this s
Michael Cook
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My biggest problem with Stranger Things is that there's too much pre-teen drama and not enough spooky stuff/weird government conspiracy stuff. I find myself far more interested in what's going on in Hawkins Lab than I am in what Dustin, Mike, Will, and Luke are up to. So, getting through the show is always a bit of an ordeal for me as I just want the weird, spooky stuff. So, when Suspicious Minds was announced as the first official Stranger Things tie-in novel, I was pretty excited. It sounded l ...more
Unseen Library
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

From acclaimed young adult fiction author Gwenda Bond comes this first official tie-in novel to the television sensation, Stranger Things.

It is 1969, and while America languishes in the midst of the Vietnam War, shadowy events with long-term implications are starting to take place in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The enigmatic Dr Martin Brenner has arrived at the Hawkins Nati
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Stranger Things ; therefore, I'm more than happy to read anything about it. I enjoyed reading more about Terry Ives, Eleven's mother.

Spoiler Alert ?
Although it was a fun read, the book didn't offer much new information-- just gave background to characters we already knew. I wonder if Terry's co-subjects will appear in season 3. Where are they now? They seemed important to Brenner's mission. Ken's character did not seem completely relevant to the plot, so I wonder why he wasn't cut from t
Alice Dragon
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I like the show (S1 a lot, S2 somewhat) and so I was excited to read this. But it had a lot of the same problems as Season 2 did (poorly thought out storylines, a lack of threat from the human villains). Terry was... well, kind of bland. Andrew was as well. He seemed sweet, but he didn't really do a whole lot. The other test subjects, save for Ken, were kind of dull overall. Their friendship was rushed, and the premise was hard to believe. That the government let them go home at the end of every ...more
Chris Wermeskerch
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a lot of fun. Provides some desperately needed on- and off-page diversity to the ST story telling team (as Jody Houser's comic series already did). The story is well-written and engaging, despite knowing where Terry and Jane will end up thanks to the TV series. Bond adds a subplot to heighten the drama and let this novel have a story with an ending for the novel, a great idea that a lot of tie-in authors don't consider.
Renee M. P. T. Kray
What an absolutely incredible book. Not only is this a great addition to the ST universe, it's also a novel that stands entirely on its own merits.

We get to follow Terry Ives (El's mom) as she gets involved with the MKUltra experiment that we hear about in the show. The main force behind that experiment is Dr. Martin Brenner, and he is just as creepy on the page as he was on the screen.

Terry was an awesome character, as were Kali, Andrew, Gloria, and Alice. Ken I still don't understand. He see
Jay Gabler
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Random House for the free book. The first official “Stranger Things” novel, “Suspicious Minds” tells Eleven’s origin story as her college-aged mother signs up for a psychology study that’s definitely not worth the course credit. Not as much fun as the show, but overall a satisfying Nixon-era prequel. ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well I finished this in a day. RTC!
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Started out with great potential but then it got too tedious and didn’t go anywhere. Even the ending wasn’t exciting.
Sep 13, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I had very low expectations for this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it an enjoyable read that was generally well-written. It took me a while to get used to Terry having a personality, since I was used to the catatonic version we see in the show. I was pleased with the personality she was given and the window into her life, and had mixed feelings about the mystery of Eleven's father (view spoiler) ...more
John Stanifer
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The short review: If you consider yourself a fan of the show, BUY OR BORROW THIS AND READ IT!!! A.S.A.P.!!!!!!!

The detailed review: This is a very promising start to what I hope is a series of at least ELEVEN novels based in the world of Stranger Things (sorry, not sorry).

Seriously, though . . .

Not only does this flesh out the backstory of one of the ST mythology's key characters, but I'd argue it does for the 1960s what the TV series does for the 1980s. While I've long been an '80s enthusiast,
Mark Adkins
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Suspicious Minds is a prequel novel to the show "Stranger Things", so if you are a fan of the show don't be expecting to see any of your favourite characters from the show. It is set in 1969 and is centered around 11's mother Terry Ives and how she became involved with the experiments ran by Dr Brenner.

As with most books based on TV shows and movies the enjoyment comes from reading about the franchise, if it was just a story not connected with a popular show it probably would not get released.
Brad Bell
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This being the first Stranger Things novel, and the first form of media to fill in some of the gaps from the TV show, I was quite excited to read it since I love the show. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was both a good story on its own right and fun to read about characters who have either only been glimpsed or mentioned in the show.

Telling the story of Terry Ives, Eleven’s mother, as she first comes into contact with Dr. Brenner. Dr. Brenner is even more deliciously e
Debbie Mant
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Stranger Things already, I was excited and intrigued by the premise of this book. It definitely didn't disappoint!
Suspicious Minds helps fill in the blanks of what was happening at the lab before 011 and an insight in to Dr Brenner, who is as equally terrifying both in print as he is on screen.
Discovering the back story of Terry is both saddening and interesting in equal measures. From the situation with Andrew and the war, to her protective sisterly relationship with Alice, we see
W.L. Bolm
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fast read. It was hard to review; it was better than I expected, and I really enjoyed reading about Terry's friends/experiment-mates. I wanted to know more about Alice, Ken, and Gloria and what they're up to during the timeline of Stranger Things. I really hope they make appearances in later incarnations of this universe.

My biggest issue with this book was that there wasn't much friction or suspense. Terry and her friends have to go up against Brenner and the lab, but things always s
Kristi McCurdy
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very slow. Mildly interesting to understand the backstory to Eleven. But felt the characters were a bit unbelievable. (view spoiler)

If I hadn't watched the show / was familiar with the story, I don't think I would have finished the book

Amber Chance
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Kelly
[Audible] Fantastic narration; OK storyline. I will absolutely seek out other audiobooks from the narrator. She was fantastic. As for the story? It was OK. I wasn't nearly as invested in these characters as I was with those in the Netflix series. But listening to it helped pass the time on the road easily enough.
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Gwenda Bond is the author of many novels, primarily for young adults. Among others, they include the Lois Lane trilogy, which brings the iconic comic book character front and center in her own YA novels, and the Cirque American trilogy, about daredevil heroines who discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe also co-write a middle grade series, ...more