Monday, August 17, 2015

Mind Over Bullies: A Mob Forms by D.K. Smith : A Review

Book Title: Mind Over Bullies:  A Mob Forms by D.K. Smith
Category:  YA Fiction, 378 pages
Genre:  Thriller / Mystery
Publisher:  Khamicom Publishing
Release date:  August 2015

          People that feel bullied just need to toughen up. That’s what Margo Rios used to think. Margo is pretty, popular and unsympathetic to just how intense bullying can get. As a counterfeiting plot sweeps through the city of Oak View however, life for Margo changes dramatically.
          With the mystery unfolding, an unlikely group of heroes emerges. Bullied teens love them, the police hate them and bullies fear them. Together they will try to get to the bottom of the counterfeiting mystery while ingeniously teaching a few bullies a lesson or two along the way… that is, if the police don’t catch them first.
          “Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms” follows the lives of several teens chronicling the emotional and psychological changes they experience as a result of their encounters with bullying. The lives of the characters play out while an elaborate counterfeiting mystery unfolds making for a fast paced, action-packed read. 
          Mind Over Bullies – engaging, filled with a message; racy, subtly written for a social cause and one of the must read books in today’s scenario. It is the story of the kid around the block, the story of the girl who you thought is always late to school, or maybe it is the story of the kid around the street corner who suddenly seems to be overly confident. Or it might be the story of the previously cheerful teenager who has now become moody. It might be the story of anyone. You might not even know – they may either be the perpetrators, or the victims of an ever growing menace, bullying.
          When any book has to deal with a very sensitive topic, there is no single best way to approach it. It takes careful planning and execution to get the message across. It has to be done in such a way that the message reaches the readers, and in cases where crime is involved, has to be very careful in making both the perpetrators and the victims realise the intended meaning. And if the book is about a crime so subtle that most people do not even realise it is one, the story line has to be engaging enough to hold the readers and should not waver far away from the intended topic that the message is lost somewhere within the folds of the story.
          Thankfully, even though the book (at the first look) is about a counterfeiting ring, it deals with bullying and repeatedly insists upon the fact that the incidents you hear about are not isolated, and do have a wider impact than you would expect. Thus, it manages to not only get the point across, but also makes the story a page turner that would stand alone as a thriller by itself. The story is primarily of Margo, a student who belongs to a group of ‘elite’ students (who are the most popular crowd in the school). She is tough and doesn’t approve of people who take bullying seriously and who thinks people should not react to it in such extreme ways.
          But then an unfortunate series of events happen that quickly turn the popular girl the school follows to the unwelcome person. The transition is brilliant. It is very believable and beautifully written. And what makes this book different is the way the kids react. Add in a healthy dose of counterfeiting mystery woven seamlessly into the narrative, this book is on its path to become a bestseller. The story is interesting, the message is clear and the characters are aplenty. This cannot be discarded as a kids / teens / preteens book. Even adults who deal with bullying on a regular basis (teachers, parents – basically everyone) would benefit from reading this.

          A 38 year old native of Los Angeles, Mr. Smith began his writing career after getting news that he would soon become an uncle. Wanting to create stories and characters for his expected niece, he created the children’s book series “Sock n Boots Adventures.” The two characters (three year old Sock and five year old Boots) began to make names for themselves, generating downloads in countries around the world.
          When asked about his motivation to tackle the subject of bullying in a 108,000 word novel Smith said, “One day I came across a story in the news about a young girl that jumped in front of a subway train after weeks of bullying. As I investigated further, I was shocked at the number of similar stories I encountered. Bullycide, the news was calling it. I thought, wow, what if these young people had been shown that the pain of bullying can be handled without hurting themselves or someone else.”
          Ultimately it was thoughts of his now four nieces and three nephews dealing with bullying as they get older that weighed heavily on the decision for Smith to write the story about bullying. “I recognize that the characters and situations in the book may not represent every bullying situation and that realistically the book won’t change the world, but I do sincerely hope that it sends a subtle message about there being life after bullying. We’ll just have to see how the public receives it,” Smith said.
          A lover of mystery and espionage stories, Smith is a fan of everything James Bond. A favorite scenario is to see a character in an impossible situation get out of it at the last second or have the odds against them and see he or she turn the tables. Acting on the love of espionage and mystery, Smith has a new novel in the works centering on a James Bond-type character of his own creation.
PRICE: $122.39 for paperback.


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  2. Thank you Dhivya, for being such a great host and I loved the review.

    Just a quick note, for some reason Amazon shows the paperback with a price of $122 but it is actually only $10.75 and the ebook is only $3.99

    Thank you again.


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