**Winner of 2011 Forward National Literature Award**
Sam thinks she's months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.
Only Sam isn't normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.
Drake wasn't raised as a 'Rent-A-Kid.' He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.
When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn't a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.
To survive, they must work together.
But will their powers be enough to save them before it's too late?
What I liked
Fast paced action and easy, spare writing style. It was 134 pages-- read it in one sitting. The story started right away and kept on going without any long dragged-out bits.
The World. Kind of reminded me of the world of Maximum Ride if you've read this series. Instead of kids who can fly, it is kids who have psychic powers.
What I didn't like
The characters are not well-flushed out. It felt like the author sacrificed description in favor of moving the plot along. I understand why - it makes for a smoother read but you end up with characters you can't really identify with/care about. I particularly had issue with the instant-love bond of Sam and Drake.
Something is done to the main character, Sam, that she doesn't figure out until halfway through the book? Seems very implausible, especially with her mind-reading abilities.
Believability - I had some issues with how clueless the main character as well as some of the supporting characters were and that they hadn't figured it out before then.
The non-resolution. The book ends before anything is resolved.
It was entertaining and I liked reading it. I'm giving it three stars - I liked it more than I didn't like it.
Note: I received a e-book copy from the author in exchange for this review