Bullying is a topic that every school seems to talk about, but few people actually do something about. Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms tackled this difficult topic by spinning it into an intriguing mystery.
There were two major plots. The first was the anti-bullying campaign, which was very creative. The MOB members had an impressive mastery of technology that is outside of the ordinary teen’s skill set, adding an amusing touch reminiscent of James Bond. I find it interesting to read about teens who are trying to really make a difference, not just deciding who to go out with. The second plot was the counterfeiting ring. It added an extra dimension of suspense and helped tie in different characters to the bullying theme. The quick access that Margo had to the police was highly unusual, but was necessary to keep the two plots connected.
Margo’s transition from queen bee to social outcast was vividly portrayed. I liked how it provided readers with insight into both the “cool kids” zone and the average high schooler’s arena. She was clearly the main character, but the other students and characters were also important. Her fellow MOB members each had a unique personality, and readers are sure to find a kindred spirit in one of the high schoolers. I felt that Kat may have been a tad overdramatized, but felt the character development was realistic overall.
A downside of the book for me was its length. Now, I don’t shy away from long books. My favorite novel is Gone With the Wind, which is over a thousand pages long. However, I feel that Mind Over Bullies could have been cut down a bit. The counterfeiting plot was heavy on details and new people popping in for a few devious scenes, which could distract readers from the main theme of bullying. Of course, the money-making scheme served its purpose and did not spoil the book at all.
On a final note: the cover of the book is really cool! It fits the exact description of the MOB logo in the book. Judging by the title and the dramatic ending, Smith will probably write another MOB book. I’ll be keeping my eye out for it!