Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

I wasn’t sure about this book when I first picked it up. I didn’t really care for the way the Paranormalcy trilogy ended, so I had iffy thoughts about whether I was a fan of White after all. But the premise of Mind Games seemed so different that I decided to give it a try.

The beginning was difficult to get into because we get bits of stuff that happened in the past, and it kind of felt like struggling through a puzzle with missing pieces. I like having questions that require answers as I continue to read, but this was a bit much.

There were several shifts from past to present that were clunky at first, but then I got used to them, which made the transitions easier. I liked getting the glimpses of past Annie and past Fia and how they ended up where they did. But that’s a plot device I really like—if you don’t like constant shifting back and forth with little to no warning, this might drive you crazy. :)

Speaking of crazy, Fia is a crazy person. Which makes perfect sense considering what she’s been through. Spending half a lifetime being manipulated, abused, coerced, and bullied will do that to you. I found her to be a very interesting character, even through her incredible anger and vitriol. I understood them, because those are the things she uses to protect herself. It’s the only thing she has. It’s easy to see how her self-destructive path seems like her only option because she’s so trapped. Annie wasn’t so interesting. She seemed a little too helpless, and a little too clueless. I did like her in the end, though, but it was hard to read about her for an entire book.

Many people have said that they didn’t buy the relationship between Fia and Annie (that they would do anything for each other), but I thought it worked. I think the problem is that we see them now, where that bond is being constantly tested, and we see very little of how it was before. But I can see them being very close, especially since their parents were killed, and I actually thought their relationship was realistic. Kind of a love-hate thing: blaming each other, blaming themselves, feeling manipulated into doing something they don’t want for the sake of the other, the guilt that follows, etc. Those are huge and would put strain on the strongest possible bond between people. I actually think that because they don’t have unwavering faith in each other, that’s what makes it so realistic. Many people think that beliefs never change, but that rarely happens in real life.

The romance was so-so, but I think it was mostly set-up for the next book. Which is fine with me. I was glad White didn’t take things too far with either love interest. And I liked how the story ended, because the story had an actual ending. There are still questions and clearly another book will be written, but the conflict ended with satisfaction. It was quite predictable, but satisfying enough for me to overlook that flaw. :)

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I think most teens will, too. It releases next week, so go pick yourself up a copy. :)


Kelly Hashway said...

Sounds really good!

Jessie Harrell said...

hmm... from what you describe, I'm not sure I'd love this book. Sounds like a lot of depressing situations without romance to lighten it back up.

Unknown said...

I'm on the fence. The premise sounds great, but I'm not a fan of a lot of flashback.

Kiersi said...

Thanks for reviewing this. I might pass, which saves me some time to read other great books!

Tabitha said...

It is definitely on the darker side, with very little romance, or anything else, to lighten it up. So if dark stories aren't for you, this might not be your cup of tea. I like dark stories, and this one ended with enough hope in the air that I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

But this book is absolutely nothing like the light and funny Parnormalcy trilogy.