Can I be honest? Part of the reason I chose to read Mindspeak was the cover. I saw it and went to read an interview with the author, Heather Sunseri, on The Character Therapist blog. The book’s premise was intriguing enough for me to download a free sample from Amazon (I’ve learned to do that with unknown authors). I was pleased with the writing and interested in continuing to read the book. Mindspeak was inexpensive enough that purchasing it was a no-brainer. But with a HUGE pile of books waiting to be read, what pushed Mindspeak to the top of the list? Short answer: genetics.
Lexi Matthews is a girl with secrets at an exclusive boarding school where all the students have secrets. When a new guy, Jack DeWeese, shows up for senior year, Lexi realizes how much she doesn’t know about her parents and her history. Her father, a world-renown geneticist, lives out of the country because his genetic engineering work is too controversial (hence illegal) for the United States. Lexi can’t go to her father for help and she doesn’t know who she can trust. And someone has been trying to kill her since Jack’s arrival. Can she trust him? Does she love him?
THEOLOGY: Is genetic engineering a slap-in-the-face to God?
The main character of Mindspeak, Lexi, is conflicted about what her father does for a living. She believes that the genetic experiments her father and his cronies perform on human embryos is unnatural and goes against God’s plan for the universe.
If the intention behind genetic manipulation is for the greater good, then can cloning, stem cell research, and genetic augmentation be acceptable? Are these God-given abilities or a new Tower of Babel?
RATING: PG-13 for profanity and adult themes.
There are multiple instances of profanity (sh–, cr-p, a–hole) that distract from an otherwise wonderful story.
Kids these days read up in age, so a book about seniors in high school will probably attract junior high or even middle grade readers. With that in mind, some of the kissing scenes read more mature than appropriate for a younger audience (in my opinion)–although kissing is the only thing that goes on in this book. There is a passing reference to a Cosmo article titled “How to Pleasure Your Man in Bed”- the context is funny, but again potentially inappropriate for younger readers.
Depending on your sensitivities, you may have trouble with the two main characters, Lexi and Jack, spending multiple nights snuggled up together in the same bed (although snuggling is all that happens).
Ethics–Mindspeak is about morality and making the right choices for the right reasons. There are good things and bad things that come out of the genetic manipulations discussed in the novel. It’s a way for readers to consider both sides of a controversial issue.
What are your views on genetic manipulation/cloning? Does it matter if it’s grain, livestock, or human? Do you think God has allowed science to progress this far for that purpose? Or has humanity crossed a line somewhere?