As a kid I was greatly influenced by a book where a girl (I believe her name was Marlena) lived in a ship orbiting an alien planet. The ship was intended to colonize the planet but the humans had encountered difficulty. People on the surface early on had gone incurably mad. The planet was covered with single cell organism, but no other life. Other than the "bacteria" it was sterile.
The girl, along with most of the colonists, was still living on the orbiting ship for the foreseeable future. The girl had an uncanny knack of reading people's minds by noting minute changes in behavior and body language, kind of like Sherlock Holmes' famous observations. Eventually she got a chance to go to the surface, and found the planet trying to communicate with her. In one memorable scene the swirls in the water of a stream formed a face and started trying to call her name, "Eeeena, Aaleeena, Aarleena, Marlena!"
It turns out that the single celled organisms on the planet comprised a hive mind which had tried to communicate telepathically with previous humans by altering their brains slightly, causing the madness. The girls's brain was different, however, constantly modifying and changing itself so that it was not damaged by the hive mind's attempts to communicate with it.