Reading this book kinda makes you a little paranoid. But in the end, it’s worth it to see what happens when the world turns upside down for a group of kids.

This book, Masterminds, by Gordon Korman, is an amazing realistic fiction book with a dash of sci-fi. It follows what happens in the small town of Serenity, New Mexico, which you probably have never heard of. (It doesn’t exist, so that’s not really a surprise) In Serenity, crime, poverty, and every form of evil are unheard of. Everyone lives by the Serenity Values: honesty, harmony, and contentment. Those who live there know how lucky they are not to be in a regular town, or worse, a city. But after Eli finds a letter from his best friend Randy in a pool filter (long story involving Randy’s sudden move, a boomerang, and jalapeno chips) he starts to get suspicious of his remarkably perfect world. Tori, who’s there when he finds the letter, isn’t sure Randy is telling the truth. But after a break-in, Eli’s mysterious illnessand the discovery of a version of history they didn’t know about, (What’s the Boston Tea Party?) Tori has to admit there’s definitely something screwy going on.

They recruit their friends Malik, Hector and Amber to find out why they, and seven other kids, are the only ones who are “special.” The answer is something you won’t expect. It will change their lives, and make them determined to escape the crazy town for good. But how can they do that when every adult in the town is in on the scheme? And when one of them may have to sacrifice their life so the others can escape?