HEAR by Robin Epstein


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Hotheaded Kassandra is drawn into a web of lies and murders during a summer research program for teens with extrasensory perception.

When Kassandra’s latest act of vigilante justice goes wrong, she is sent to join her great-uncle Brian’s university research program, where she discovers that she shares the family tendency for ESP. Working with four other similarly talented teens, Kass develops her abilities, but their studies are disrupted by a string of murders. Using a combination of vague psychic warnings and examinations of Uncle Brian’s team’s research activities, the group tries to prevent further calamities. This could all be very exciting, especially since the teens’ developing ESP suggests potentially imminent threats. Unfortunately, however, the plot’s momentum falters beneath the teens’ fundamentally dull relationships. There isn’t even enough character development to warrant much mourning when a group member dies. Efforts at enlivening things with attempted injections of attraction and jealousy also fall flat. In fact, when the half-baked romance between Kass and team member Punkaj is revealed to be love—through an awkward announcement from Uncle Brian, of all people—the whole situation just feels forced. Eventually the teens discover enemies in their midst, necessitating a sequel, a prospect that feels less than intriguing.

A promising premise is scuttled by telling instead of showing. (Paranormal mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61695-581-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Soho Teen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2015


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