Publishing Info: February 19, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 9, 2013
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.
In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heart-stoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
Call me shallow, but looks matter. I mean, I totally judged this book by its cover. I LOVED the cover for this book (all the blues and purples and pinks – gorgeous) so admittedly, the cover drew me in initially and once I started to read more about it, I was super intrigued by the description! I love a good paranormal thriller so MIND GAMES quickly became one of my most anticipated reads for early 2013. Sadly, that was where the excitement ended as well.
MIND GAMES was really hard for me to get into. It’s a very fast-paced book and also somewhat shorter in length (only 237 pages) so it was quick to read and honestly, if it hadn’t been… I’m not sure I would have finished it. I really didn’t like reading from Fia’s point of view (also, did not like “Fia” as a nickname for Sofia, but that’s just my weird names hang-up) although I understood it.
Fia has natural instincts, incredibly so that she’s virtually always able to make the right decision without thinking and just trusting her gut. In order to keep the psychics and the mind readers of the book in the dark, Fia relies almost entirely on her instincts and doesn’t interrupt her thoughts at all, so the reader gets a sort of stream-of-consciousness POV from Fia at all times. While I understand it, it was difficult to read at times because I felt like I was reading the author’s stream of consciousness and not Fia’s. The whole style of her POV felt unfinished to me and it took away from the book instead of adding something special to it.
The book alternates between Fia’s POV and her sister Annie’s. Annie is much easier to read and understand because she kind of only relies on her mind. Even though she’s blind, she has the uncanny and ironic ability to “See”: she has visions of events in the future as if she can see them happening herself. Annie is much more put together and definitely less scarred and traumatized then Fia so I was able to follow her story much better.
Besides the alternating POVs, the story also switches back and forth between present day and the past, which normally I’m fine with, but it was a little too much in MIND GAMES. I had to follow “Monday night, Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon” in present day but also jump around from “Ten years ago, five years ago, three years ago” in the past. I just felt like it was all over the place and not terribly hard to follow but just enough that it took me out of the story for a second to put together the pieces of the timeline, adjust, and then jump back in. It felt like an interruption of the book instead of adding additional information.
That all being said, the plot didn’t knock me off my feet either. The concept was great and something really interesting, but going back to what I said earlier, the whole book just felt rushed all the time. I felt like details didn’t get explained, the past didn’t connect to the present well, and the characters never really got developed. I think it may have been worth it to add a few extra pages of explanations and character development to really hook the reader in and I just felt like I was really, really missing that.
Put all those elements together and add Fia’s annoying tics (tapping and repeating everything in threes “tap tap tap” “hate hate hate” “go go go” — can you tell I hate repetition in books?) and you have one disappointed reader. I was really sad that this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. All of the things that were different about this book felt like a weight pulling it down instead of letting the book shine and carry the reader through.
And the ending!?! That was really, really, (I’m pulling a Fia here), REALLY disappointing and did not make any sense to me whatsoever. I know MIND GAMES is a series. I don’t think I’ll continue on.
Fia: I didn’t hate Fia, but I certainly didn’t like her. I wanted so much more from her! Obviously she hasn’t had it easy, but the fact that the reader is never really allowed into her true and deep thoughts put up a wall and I was never able to connect with her. She could have been a really great character and she just totally fell flat for me. I just wanted a little bit more insight and explanation of some of her decisions and quirks.
Annie: I liked Annie a lot more, but even still, I think there could have been more character development for her… She did seem a lot more real to me than Fia was though.
James: What is up with James? Do we like him? Do we hate him? Do we trust him??? I was just confused all around and I’m hoping the readers get answers in future books because even after finishing MIND GAMES… I’m still not sure.
MIND GAMES was a bit of a struggle for me. It was an interesting concept and I wanted to like the characters but the book really fell flat. Maybe it just wasn’t the book for me!
18 thoughts on “Mind Games (Mind Games #1) – Kiersten White”
I almost gave up on this book so many times. I did end up liking it in the end but it was so uneven and Fia’s tic’s got on my nerves too. They aren’t really explained until much later so you’re just confused for most of the book.
Darn! I was really interested in this one, but by the time I was done with your review I honestly was already annoyed with the book. Haha! Everything you said (but mainly the repetition and time jumping) would drive me up the wall too. Thank you for your honest review! I think I’ll pass on this one. 🙂
I agree with the whole Fia’s repititve thing and her tapping–IT WAS ANNOYING.
But somehow when I put that aside i did manage to enjoy the book, it wasn’t my favourite but it wasn’t terrible either. I felt that Mind Games very much was a “starter” book, it set up the ground for the rest of the series and I only hope the series gets better and better.
Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of this one. TOO MUCH GOING ON! The flashbacks were too confusing and I thought the ending was just wrong. I do really love the cover, but I think that’s the only good thing about it.
I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t quite what you expected! I haven’t read it yet (but I will soon!), but I’ve heard a lot of the same complaints you had from others. I’ve also read some really positive reviews for it, so I have no clue whether I’ll like it or not. Fia sounds like a fascinating character and I generally like stream of consciousness type writing, so I might like it? Like I said, I really don’t know because of the reception it’s been getting so far. I liked your review, though! Very honest, which I appreciate.
I agree, Brittany—the wonderful concept just fell flat, because White didn’t quite do it justice. It was so rushed all the time, and I felt like I was being given the overview of a larger novel or series instead, at times. And the switching back and forth often felt very choppy, and it was hard to keep things straight for me.
I have so little time for reading, and this one has been everywhere…but I’ll take your review into account and pass on it. Thanks for reviewing it honestly and critically!
Yeahhh it was to that point where I felt like I couldn’t really recommend it 🙁 I know some people liked it more than I did and others hated it haha. I really wanted to like it but it just fell flat!
I don’t think this book is for me either. A lot of things that bothered you about the book sound like they’d get on my nerves as well.
I do prefer the UK cover/title Sister Assassin, and it has such a different vibe to the US version. Sometimes books on the shorter side still seem so long, don’t they?
Thanks for sharing your experience with this one! Hope your next book is super amazing to make up for it 🙂
I totally agree!! I think Sister Assassin is actually a much better title and brings a whole different vibe. I think I would have preferred that title…
I’ve read so many mixed reviews on this one! I think I’m going to pass on it. The repetition would really annoy me too and a disappointing ending on top of that? Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it’s for me. Thanks for your honest review!
I don’t blame you! I wish I could say that I’d still recommend it to people to try but I just felt so let down by it. Glad my review helped you decide a little bit! 🙂
I read Paranormalcy last year. I liked it but wasn’t blown away by it or anything. I had planned to continue the series but as time went by I just kind of forgot about it and I still haven’t picked it up. Reading your review I think I’ll skip this one. I liked the idea of it but the things that annoyed you would annoy me. I love the cover though! If only the book had been as good as the cover!
I’ve heard a lot of people like Paranormalcy. I’d be interested to try it but I’m scared! I know Kiersten White has a new book coming out that I’m super anxious to try but I’m DOUBLE scared for that. Hopefully it has a totally different feel! 😛
Good review. I’ve been iffy about this book but I’d like to give it a try.
It’s worth a shot if you’re interested! I know some people really liked how it was done but for me, it just wasn’t clicking. I think you’ll be able to tell within the first chapter if you’ll like it or not because it was really the style that kind of tripped me up.
Well bummer. I’ve heard all this about this book that I’m sort of wary to read anything from this author. I can’t help but wonder if she had deadlines to meet so the book didn’t get to where she wanted it which only made it crummier for us? I guess checking out her debut will help judge that.
Anyway, I’m thankful I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with names. Fia as a name might be cool. Fia as a nickname for Sofia sounds weird. Plus, Sofia is a pretty name on its own! Le sigh. It’s the little things.
Great review, I certainly won’t be rushing to get ahold of this one anytime soon!
I know, I feel like people have really liked her other books and she has a book coming out that I’m really interested in…. But now I’m scared!! I guess I’ll try another one and see how it goes, but I’ll try not to get my hopes up! 🙂