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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

MastermindsWelcome to Serenity, New Mexico, the most boring town in the world because everything is so perfect. At least that is the way some of the kids who live there see it. None of the kids have ever left town. Why would they want to? Everyone has their own swimming pool and a basketball hoop. Every lawn is perfect and the backbone of the community is based on honesty and kindness. This place is a utopia.

However, everything is not as it seems. Eli and his best friend Randy try to go to the town limits to have some fun when Eli is suddenly struck with a paralyzing headache and collapses from the pain. Almost instantly the town's security or "Purple People Eaters," as the kids call them come to Eli's rescue. Suddenly Randy is sent to "go live with his grandparents" and Eli begins to get suspicious.

Eli convinces Tori, Malik and Hector to help him investigate Randy's disappearance and they discover some shocking truth about their community and their parents. It seems the town has some connection to the world's most notorious criminal masterminds. The friends hatch a plan to leave the town, but every time they near the town limits, they all become extremely ill. Will they be able to leave? And if they do get out, where will they go?

This first book of the trilogy is told from the viewpoint of the different young adult characters. Eli appears to be the one who is in charge. The main twist in the story happens near the book's end in a cliffhanger. This book is a 2017 Caudill nominee. Gordon Korman was nominated before for the 2015 Caudill with the book Ungifted. I cannot wait to read the second installment (I have my name on the waiting list) entitled Criminal Destiny, which came out in February.

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