Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Publication Date: February 19th 2013
Length: 237 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Mind Games #1
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
“The moment he bends over to help the sorrow-eyed puppy, I know I won’t be able to kill him. This, of course, ruins my entire day.”
As I read this quote, I instantly knew I would love Mind Games, by Kiersten White. With just a few sentences, she caught my attention, and my interest. I was hooked. 1 million thumbs up for that awesome beginning ;).
Mind Games is a paranormal YA book about two sisters: Annie and Fia, their special abilities, the things they would do for each other, and what measures some people are willing to take to keep control over them.
The story is told from both Annie’s and Fia’s PoV’s, with two different timelines each. One in the past, and one in present time.
When I found out that it was written this way, I was a bit conflicted about whether to read it or not. Obviously, I decided to give it a shot, which was a great choice since what I thought was going to be confusing and weird, ended up being really cool and different :). The timelines and their stories intertwined beautifully towards the end.
I really loved what White did with our otherwise ordinary world in Mind Games. In the reality of Fia and Annie, some women have special abilities, such as mind reading (readers), the ability to see the future (seers), or the ability to sense other people’s feelings (feelers). Even though the concept’s not exactly something new, it had it’s own twist, and I’m excited to see where this story is going.
When it comes to the writing style in this novel, I have to say that it was fun, different and exactly what I like. I know this way of writing isn’t appealing to everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Let me give you a small taste of the good stuff ;)
“I look over my shoulder to see the three (tap tap tap – I hate the number three), thick shoulders, one gun between them based on the way the guy in the middle is walking (that was a mistake, they should all have guns – guess they’ll find out), matching our pace and getting closer.”
I think writing a novel this way gives it so much personality, and makes it stand out. I don’t want every book like this, but it’s great when it fits well with the story and the voices of the characters.
Which brings me to Fia and Annie, the two very awesome narrators of this book :).
Fia and Annie were both strong characters with very distinctive personalities. Somehow, they reminded me a bit of Rose and Lissa from Vampire Academy. Fia was kick-ass, flirty, funny, impulsive….and unbelievably broken inside, whilst Annie was a very kind, mild person, who tried to see the best in people. She did have some very strong, hateful feelings towards a couple of people later on in the story though, with good reason.
While I liked them both, to me, Fia was the shining star. She stood out the most as a character, and was the most interesting to follow. I liked reading about her obsessions: control, tapping her fingers, the number three and hands, even though the reasons why she was so obsessed broke my heart.
Since Annie lost her sight at the age of four, Fia has taken care of her older sister (I actually thought they were twins at first, but was soon proven wrong) and always feel responsible for her. She would do anything in the world to protect Annie, which is basically what she does. Everything. She risks her own free will, her innocence and her freedom.
“I reach out and take Annie’s hand in mine. I squeeze it and squeeze it because she is my responsibility now, and no one else’s. I’ll take care of her, I promise my parents. I’ll take care of her.”
This all falls apart when she gets sent out to murder a boy named Adam. She finds herself not being able to do it because it feels wrong wrong wrong. By not killing him, she risks the life of the one person she really cares about, and therefore, she must fake his death, return to the school where they hold her sister prisoner, and pretend like she went through with it. But why was 19-year-old Adam a target in the first place? Has Annie betrayed her? And can James, the son of their keeper, be trusted?
Good stuff I tell ya!
Now comes the part where I have to bring up the negative things. Because there were some of those too.
- I felt like some parts were a bit unrealistic. Especially the part where Fia chooses the life of a stranger over her beloved sister’s.
- Sometimes things didn’t really follow the rules White had set up. For example, when having a vision, you don’t know who the people are unless you’ve seen them in real life. I understand if Annie recognised some people by their voices, but sometimes she seemed to just know.
- The length of the novel. This was a relly short book and I would have loved it if White had thrown in an extra 100 more pages or so. The story could have been so much more developed and detailed. I felt like I didn’t really got to experience the strong bond between Fia and Annie, I just knew it was there because I was told it was.
Overall, this was a great read with an interesting plot and strong characters. It could have been longer, but I think there’s much potential in this series.
When it comes to the cover, I have to say that I really liked it. It was the first thing that caught my eye and I think it is quite stunning. I don’t usually approve of covers with real people on them, but this was just enchanting and didn’t affect how I imagined Fia at all.
I will absolutely definitely read the next book when it comes out in 2014, but I won’t go crazy waiting for it. I’m a bit worried about where Kiersten White is taking this story, but I trust that she knows what she’s doing ;).
Interested in Some of My Favourite Non-Spoilery Quotes? Keep Reading ;)
“It should be raining. It’s supposed to rain at funerals. I want it to rain, but the sun bakes down and it hurts my eyes and everything is sharp and bright like the world doesn’t know the earth is swallowing up my parents.”
“Their smiles are lies. Most smiles are.”
“I wish my left arm didn’t hurt so much I wanted to die, because it also means I can’t tap tap tap my leg, and without that fidget I don’t know how to stop the thoughts and feelings flooding through me.”
“I miss the way Fia used to hold my hand. I felt like I lost a limb when she stopped doing it.”
“Nothing is right or wrong here. How am I supposed to make a decision when nothing is right or wrong?”