Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The First Official Novel - Gwenda Bond

I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this book set before the events that take place in the Stranger Things Netflix series. I mean, I love Stranger Things on tv, but would I love a book set before Eleven, Chief Hopper, and Dustin and Steve’s unlikely bromance hit the screen? I wasn’t sure.


We learn all about Eleven’s mom, Terry, who is a college student when she gets involved with Dr. Brenner and his human experiments for nefarious purposes. At first it’s the chance to do something good for the world which is currently sending its boys off to die in Vietnam that pulls her in, later it’s the friendships and strong bonds she develops with the other experimentees and the five year old little girl called 008 who is kept prisoner at the facility that keep her going back. As they all get in deeper and one of them starts seeing monsters, they come to realize that Dr. Brenner may be up to no good. No good at all! Terry starts snooping and gets herself in so deep she may never get out.


This book is less about monsters than it is about science experiments, unexpected friendships and uncovering a devious government project. It has engaging characters, is emotionally painful and lacks the humorous bits of the series but I did not want to stop reading. It’s a terrific addition to the series and a fascinating story all on its own and I highly recommend it.