Feb 7, 2013

Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: February 19, 2013
Pages/Format: 256, ARC

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, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Eh

I was really hoping I'd fall into a great like or love with this book. Kiersten White is so nice and fun on Twitter and Tumblr, but I just can't seem to love her books. Besides Mind Games, I've only read Paranormalcy, which I wasn't a huge fan of either. I wish I could say I loved this book, or even liked it a lot, but that would be a lie. It just completely fell short.

I don't think I connected with any of the characters. The chapters alternate POV and time--for two chapters it's Fia in the past and present, the next it's the same but from Annie's POV. While it was interesting to see what was happening in the past and to get answers, I was constantly still lost, wondering why this was this and that was that. The build-up took too long, and when I finally did get answers, there was no bam or crazy reaction to it--it was just like, here's the answer, take it, be done. Sure, I wanted to know what would happen, but I was never dying to know.

Fia and Annie are sisters who, after their parents die, go to a school that's not all it's cracked out to be. Really, I'm still not sure what that school does. Annie is the older sister, blind, and has visions. Fia is broken, and often comes off as crazy. (Although I probably would be, too, given what she's done.) Even if it was a little psychotic sometimes, I preferred Fia's POV over Annie's. Most of the other characters were just blah for me, and I didn't have much interest in them. James was kind of a douche, even if he did care for Fia. And Adam--I liked him, but some of his reactions weren't normal. (SPOILER) I mean, he sees Fia fight three grown men and then he still follows her? And she thinks of how nice it would be to date him, yada yada yada. Talk about insta-love. Even though I like romance, it just wasn't very believable--James was more believable, but I never really swooned over him.

The idea of using people with powers--Seers, Feelers, etc.--for espionage and such isn't a bad idea; however, I just don't think it was executed very well. While I know Fia has her issues--tap tap tap--I still had some problems with how things were written. The girls' voices showed their differences, but they could've been stronger. Things happened too quickly and, in some cases, unrealistically. It needed more substance, needed to take longer than the snap of some fingers. Will I read the sequel? Probably. I do want to know what will happen. However, I don't think I'll rush to get it or anything. In the end, Mind Games was simply okay, probably forgettable, and not a game I'd be interested in playing.

Did I like it? Not really.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? No.
Would I purchase it? No. (Although I'd snag it up at Goodwill, like I do with any books I've heard of.)
Would I recommend it? Maybe to Kiersten White fans.


  1. I've heard this about Mind Games, too. Mainly that there just wasn't enough there--that maybe the 1st and 2nd books should be combined so you could get a few more answers. Great review.

    YA Sisterhood

  2. I started reading this and am enjoying it so far but I also adored Paranomalcy so White's writing may click better with me than it has with you.

  3. I agree completely!! Finally I've found someone else who doesn't think White's books are amazing, even though yes, she does seem really nice on her blog. I read that she wrote this one in like a week, and it kind of feels like she didn't edit afterwards.


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