Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games, Book #1)
by Kiersten White
Release Date: February 19th, 2013
2013 HarperTeen
Ebook Edition; 256 Pages
ISBN: 978-0062135315
Genre: Fiction / Young Adult / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts
Mind Games is one of those novels that I finished just for the sake of finishing, simply because it was easy to read and it was short.  If it had been 400+ pages however, I probably would not have finished it.  Jumping back and forth between the POV of the sisters Fia and Annie was fine as I don't typically mind this, but it also jumped back and forth in time.  While the premise and concept was good, there were quite a lot of things happening and I don't feel like any of the themes or concepts were fully explored or developed.

One of the reasons I decided to read this one is because I enjoyed the Paranormalcy Trilogy quite a bit, and figured that Mind Games would have the same type of writing and style.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as I found Mind Games to be disjointed and confusing, even for me.  It was quite a while before I even had an idea as to what was happening other than Fia had to do what she was told or her sister Annie was going to be killed.  Why, precisely, was never really mentioned until the very end and then it seemed kind of flimsy, with little understanding of what was REALLY happening. I do have some idea, but not much to go on, other than they were recruited for a special school that teaches students to assassinate others.   As I am writing this, I am wondering how I possibly even finished the book as I usually give up after 50 pages or so.  I think it was sure curiosity, and possibly because of the author's previous books.  Even Paranormalcy had its issues with the writing style as it could sometimes be too light and feel like it was written by someone who had not yet developed mature writing skills, although it did seem to fit the tone of the novel.  In this one, it missed its mark completely.  Mind Games is dark in nature and tone, but the writing style is the same, making it feel disjointed and wrong.  I can't explain it better than that, other than I felt the whole tone of the novel was...OFF.  

Fia and Annie were interesting characters, or they could have been, but their interactions did not allow the reader to explore their relationship very well, and I didn't feel that close connection that sisters should feel.  If either them had been killed off, it wouldn't have upset the story too much for me, and that is not how I should have felt.  I felt distant from their problems and their issues, probably because I didn't fully understand the true nature of the plot.  Most of the time the author TELLS us what to feel and TELLS us what to think, rather than letting us FEEL it through the actions of the characters and this doesn't make a reader very empathetic towards the characters.  

Mind Games has very good intentions and definitely has a lot of potential.  Unfortunately, the story line was scattered and unclear, and to be honest, I couldn't get a sense of what special talents Fia has that makes her so special.  It didn't bother me that Mind Games was darker in nature than her previous novels as I like it when an author branches out and tries new things, but it just didn't work for me with this one.  Other readers may enjoy this novel very much, but for me, I'm not sure if I will even read the next one in this series.  


  1. I think I'd have to pass on it, based on the review. Not quite my genre to begin with.

    1. It definitely wasn't on my list of favourites this year, but other bloggers certainly enjoyed it. I just felt there was something missing in this was that was there in Paranormalcy.