Having just just panned an indie novel for leaving me hanging at the end of book one of an intended series, I feel it's important to start by saying this book does it right: there's actually a sense of completion at the end of the book — even though it's obvious that there's more to come (well, even without the ads for book II at the back...), this book stands on its own.
I presume this is aimed at young-adults, but it doesn't talk down and works well for adults too. There's a little mushy teenage romance, but not too much, and it's not central. The central characters are teenagers, but it makes complete sense in the context, because we're dealing with changes that come with puberty.
It's a big "what-if?" What if kids entering adolescence started to hear each others thoughts? What if some kids, "zeros", thoughts couldn't be heard? What if some kids, "jackers", could not just hear others thoughts, but change them? To the first two questions, Quinn gives a response completely different from the usual telepath story: usually it's the mind-reader who is considered suspect, prying into other people's thoughts, but Quinn points out that if most people read minds, it's the people whose thoughts can't be heard that are suspect — just what can they be hiding? But the last question is the heart of the story. If you can control other people's thoughts — and you must, to fit into society — just how far can you go? Can you control strangers? Friends? Family?
And you thought you had it tough when you were a teenager...