During NaNo, when I was reading but not reviewing, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Read My Mind by Kelly Haworth. A little outside my usual genres, it’s a paranormal LGBTQ romance, the first in a series. The characters and the world-building are wonderful. Full disclosure, Kelly is a friend of mine, but that’s not why I liked the book!
Set in an alternate Earth, Kelly’s world features a pantheon of gods who have gifted humans (some of them) with a variety of magical abilities, like healing or telekinesis. The story centers around Scott and Nick, incoming freshmen at the University of Frannesburg (think alternate San Francisco). Scott is devoutly religious, while Nick, a telekinetic, is much more interested in the pop culture, comic book and action figure version of the gods. The two begin sparking while negotiating exploring each other’s different experiences of the gods. When Scott unexpectedly develops telepathy, it creates rifts in his family, while Nick struggles with grieving his mother and dealing with a distant relationship with his father–all problems that interfere with their growing romance.
I loved the world-building in here. I’m fascinated by Kelly’s created religion, and I love the way it’s involved in the plot and the characters’ lives. Although this is the first published in the series, Kelly actually wrote another volume first, but decided this was a better introduction and I think that was a great choice. Because Scott and Nick are each learning from the other about different aspects of the gods, the reader gets to learn too in an organic way. I also love the way they handle learning from each other–though it seems like an obvious conflict, they approach each other with mutual respect and openness which was just lovely. Continue reading