Friday, February 28, 2014

The "Did Not Finish" Chronicles: Sekret by Lindsay Smith

 Goodreads Summary:
Yulia’s father always taught her that an empty mind is a safe mind. She has to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia, especially because she seems to be able to read the minds of the people she touches. When she’s captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she’s thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power where she can trust no one.

She certainly can’t trust Rostov, the cruel KGB operative running the psychic program. Or handsome Sergei who encourages her to cooperate with the KGB. Or brooding Valentin who tells her to rebel against them. And not the CIA, who have a psychic so powerful he can erase a person’s mind with his own thoughts. Yulia quickly learns she must rely on her own wits and power to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

 I really, really wanted to like this book. I mean Cold War Soviet teenage spies? This had slam dunk written all over it. I am fascinated with all things Cold War and Soviet Union. But here's why it ultimately failed for me: there was too much internal conflict. Normally I love internal conflict. I'm a character driven girl myself, but a novel about Russian spies begs for an external conflict and as I said, there was way too much internalizing going on here. I realize the main character has psychic powers and that needs a level of internalizing, but it still didn't work for me. I abandoned the book after 100 pages. Maybe it picks up and gets more action-packed later in the novel, but I had already lost interest to wait and find out.

Sekret by Lindsay Smith
Expected Publication: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Pages: 337
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: ARC acquired through NetGalley

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