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Mind Games


To save the boy she loves, first she'll have to remember him.

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    5 (9 ratings)

  • Tears

    4 (8 ratings)

  • Laughs

    4 (7 ratings)

  • Thrills

    7 (8 ratings)

Full Description

Arden sells memories. Whether it’s becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate’s memories and upload the experience for you just as if you’d lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing 15 minutes of her life and all her memories of the boy across the school yard. The boy her friends assure her she’s had a crush on for years.

Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been removed. And she’s not the only one, her mysterious crush, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone who has the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned?


The problem with stealing other people’s memories is you start to lose the difference between what’s theirs and what’s yours. Luckily, I know how to exploit that—as long as the teachers don’t find out, anyway. Normal after-school jobs are overrated when you have a secret during-school business.

I flip through a list of cataloged memory files on my mind-uploading app as a line of students snakes away from me, each one wanting to buy a different experience. Charlotte Marion, my partner in crime, doles out numbers as though the students are waiting in line at the deli. Once they receive a number, they disperse across the courtyard and mill about like strangers trying to act normal before they break out in a Flash Mob.

“Can I have the answers to last night’s Biotechnology homework?” The first customer out of thirty lifts a tablet, revealing a mess of stylus-created scribbles on top of complicated math problems.

Charlotte holds out her palm, indicating fifty bucks.

I bypass the cool graphic interface normal users of HiveMind see and run the hacking program I wrote. It uses a variety of complex algorithms to gain backdoor access to all the files stored in the HiveMind cloud, not just my own.

I scroll through Teddy’s mind and find his memory of completing last night’s homework. As the resident genius at a school for geniuses, he’s the only person who doesn’t need to study but always does. When your spot on the school roster comes from an invitation-only admittance policy and a generous grant supplied by Varga Industries, you tend to only slack off in summer when free time finally fits into your schedule. A brief preview in the software shows Teddy’s view as he works out the answers to the math problems. I drop the memory into the first customer’s mind. “Don’t forget to alter your answer wording and get at least one wrong,” I say.

A few months ago, Mrs. Schlissel discovered three students using the same essay wording verbatim. She gave them all detention and I gave all my customers a stern talking to about what going to a school for geniuses really means: i.e. use your damn wits. And just in case they didn’t have any to spare after their studies, I jacked up my prices to make the market smaller.

The girl instantly straightens, not even thanking me as her thumb sweeps over the keypad while she ambles away.


"I was absolutely blown away. ... It's a YA Michael Crichton novel, minus the 100-page master class intro on quantum mechanics, biotech, and string theory. ... An absolute blast." —NPR

"Silver’s debut novel is a edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep readers guessing. The complex plot, the occasional twists, and the quick pacing make this a difficult read to put down. While this is a work of suspense first and foremost, romance readers will not be disappointed by the budding love between Arden and the boy with no memories." —School Library Journal

"A fun read for those wanting a twisty sf mystery with a steamy high-stakes romance woven in." —Booklist

"This book is impressive not just because it’s a fantastically written debut, but it’s refreshingly different from pretty much anything I can remember reading. ... It’s intense, high-stakes action from beginning to end—and it’s incredibly intelligent." —Bookwyrm Bites

“An absolute roller coaster ride. I thought I was losing my mind right along with Arden. The story is so engrossing. It makes me wonder if such a thing could be possible. I loved it. I absolutely loved it!” —Pamela Delupio, Swoon Reader

“Such a gripping read! The suspense, passion and horror was amped up all the way through. Truly un-put-down-able.” —Ruthie.Barnett, Swoon Reader