Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things, #1)” as Want to Read:
Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Suspicious Minds

(Stranger Things Novels #1)

by
3.53  ·  Rating details ·  2,621 ratings  ·  502 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
...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Cornerstone Digital (first published February 5th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Suspicious Minds, please sign up.
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” :)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,621 ratings  ·  502 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
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
...more
Rebecca McNutt
If you've read Firestarter, you've read this book. Seriously, I couldn't tell whether Suspicious Minds was a parody of the former, or a thin-veiled attempt to copy it outright. I've never watched Stranger Things (nor really seen the appeal). My side job this semester was to ghostwrite articles on Stranger Things character costumes so that's the extent of my knowledge there, but from what I'd heard, you didn't need to be a seasoned fan of Stranger Things to understand this book. While that's true ...more
Emily
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.
...more
Josh
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, own, read_2019
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,
...more
Bark
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, dark-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
...more
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
...more
Spencer
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.
Gerhard
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, horror-thriller
'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
...more
Sarah Elizabeth
Sep 28, 2018 marked it as to-read
IT'S A STRANGER THINGS NOVEL AND WE HAVE A COVER

description

(read the first chapter here! https://ew.com/books/2018/09/27/stran...)
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
...more
Lisa
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2019/0...


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
...more
Irene△⃒⃘➰
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
3.75/5

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
...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.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/03/09/...

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
...more
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.
...more
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.
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
...more
Nikola
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 w
...more
Eloise
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,
...more
Joe
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 but...yeah...kids 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!
Brittany
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
R.J.
Aug 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
2018/08/09 - HOLY SHIT PLEASE LET THIS NOT BE YA I WANT A GRITTY NOVEL ABOUT HOW HORRIFYING MKULTRA LEGIT IS I AM SCREAMING THIS IS ONE OF THE CONSPIRACIES THAT'S TRUE THAT I'M OBSESSED WITH
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
kyla
Mar 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
~if you haven't watched stranger things season 1 & 2, this review might contain some spoilers so be warned~

this review is a pain in the butt to write for a lot of reasons. one, being that this was an ultimate letdown for my love of the show. two, being that this had no quintessential relevance or whatsoever that can add anything to the show's plot line. third, this was a whatchacall snoozefest to breeze through and most of the time, i found myself continuously skimming a few pages. i don't e
...more
Gillian
Nov 06, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-tbr
I AM SHOOKT ABOUT THIS.
Kristin
Obligatory minor spoiler alert for both the book and show

I don’t think it really needs to be said but just in case…I’m (obviously) a fan of Stranger Things (or I probably wouldn’t be here).

So, I’m sorry to say: this book was a huge disappointment.

It’s been a while since I read a book was relatively short (301 pages, not including the authors notes and blank pages at the end) but by some witchcraft managed to feel like a thousand pages. At around the 276ish mark, I couldn’t take it anymore and
...more
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
Beth
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
☕️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
...more
Chuy Ruiz
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An entertaining prequel to the series. Focused around Terry Ives, Eleven's mom as she begins the experiments under Dr. Brenner in the Hawkins lab. I enjoyed reading it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wanderers
  • Maker's Curse (Millennium’s Rule, #4)
  • The Institute
  • Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion
  • My Pet Serial Killer
  • The Hidden Power of F*cking Up
  • Untitled (Threads of Power, #3)
  • Runes of the North
  • Hero
  • The Dark at the End (Tunnel Vision, #2)
  • Star Trek: TNG: Mirror Broken #0
  • Findesferas
  • Stranger Things - The Companion
  • Doctor Who: The Time Traveller's Almanac
  • Bless Your Mechanical Heart
  • House of Rain
  • Horror 201: The Silver Scream
  • Road Kill (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, #2.5)
See similar books…
634 followers
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

Other books in the series

Stranger Things Novels (3 books)
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Stranger Things: Runaway Max
“Monsters,' she said., 'of course my brain has them.' As long as they stayed in there, everything would be all right. Wouldn't it?” 0 likes
More quotes…