Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Mind Games by Kiersten White

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just Finished Reading ... Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games
by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen
on February 19, 2013

Source: Giveaway at KidLit Con 2012. My FTC disclosure is to the right of this post, on the sidebar.

Connect with the author: blog : Twitter : Facebook.




Summary 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.

My take: I read Paranormalcy and was charmed by its snappy pace and snarky humor. So I admire the fact that after wrapping up that trilogy, author Kiersten White decided to write a book that, on the surface, seems completely different. After reading Mind Games, I wouldn't say that's necessarily the case. Yes, the narrative structure of Mind Games is somewhat of a departure from White's prior work. Yes, the tone is slightly darker. But, like ParanormalcyMind Games is fast-paced and dialogue-heavy.

Mind Games is told in dual POVs with flashbacks, giving us both Fia's and Annie's points of view. Fia's voice is unique -- she has the habit of repeating words (words words words) in a sort of mental tic.   But the technique was used sparingly enough that it didn't bother me. The book's timeline also jumps around quite a bit between the past and the present.  I'm not generally a huge fan of flashbacks, but the chapters are short and the chapter headings helpfully announce whose head and what time period you are in.

I was intrigued by Fia and Annie and their loving yet co-dependent relationship. I was further intrigued by the school they attend, though the details on that are pretty sketchy. Same with the secondary characters, some of whom seem to be bad guys, though we're never really given much information on who they are or exactly what they're supposed to be up to. For me, knowing the stakes beyond Fia and Annie's desire to protect one another would have upped the tension level considerably. Also, the fact that this book is so weighted toward dialogue and internal monologue and so light on description and exposition made the story feel not-quite grounded in reality. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if Mind Games had ended with the revelation that Fia had multiple personality disorder and that Annie was one of her identities.

Okay, I would have loved that, but it wasn't the case. The ending was still an interesting surprise. All along, you're given clues that things are going to end tragically, but let's just say I was never completely sold on that idea. So I was pleased to be both right and wrong on that front.  Given the short length of Mind Games, I think it would have worked well as a standalone. But I did like the direction that the story was taking by the end, and I will definitely check out the next book.

Interested? I'm giving Mind Games away this week in Hot Off the Presses. Along with some other choices too :)

32 comments:

  1. I definitely need more background on Keane and his goals/intentions-it can't just be power for power's sake.

    I really like the idea of Annie being one of Fia's personalities-that would have been quite the twist.

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    1. Yes, hoping to get that in the next book.
      And ... right? I was so hoping that would happen.

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  2. Flashbacks usually confused me and I heard they jump all around in this book so I am happy to hear that they are properly labeled! LOL That helps me a ton. I don't like to think too hard. Curious about the ending since you say it leading to tragedy and you were both right and wrong.

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    1. They're labeled and I didn't find them confusing.
      No spoilers!! The ending was and was not what I expected...

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  3. I like the concept, but this isn't on my must read now pile, which honestly is a relief! Maybe I'll wait until the rest of the books in the series are out... ;)

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    1. It is a quick read -- it's fairly short -- but waiting is not such a bad idea either!

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  4. Mind Games really didn't work for me. The world building was minimal and the writing made me crazy on pretty much every level. As you said, Paranormalcy was fun because of the snappy pace and humor, and I don't think departing from that did her any favors.

    I do love your idea of Annie being a different personality, Fight Club style. Annie could be the manifestation of everything Fia hates about herself.

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    1. I agree that there was very little worldbuilding, which was part of the reason I began to think about the multiple personality thing. IDK, I didn't feel like it was THAT dramatic a departure. The pace is snappy and the suspense definitely had humor mixed in. Like the puppy scene.

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  5. I'm just not sold on this. The concept sounds great, but even so, pretty much everyone has mentioned the similar style to the Paranormalcy series, and I just can't do it if that's the case. However, if it HAD turned out that she had multiple personalities, I think I might be inclined to give it a try. :P

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    1. I will just have to write that book. Unfortunately, I've now ruined my big twist.

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  6. I've heard a lot of things about this book, good and bad so I'm not sure if I'll be picking it up anytime soon. I do like that it's in dual POV's though. Great review! :)
    World of Books

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  7. I would have LOVED that twist ending. It would have been pretty much perfect if it had been a standalone. I wanted more about the Keane foundation, too, but I think that will come in the next books. I totally loved this one. It was just... exactly what I was in the mood to read. And yes, they are totally co-dependent, but for me, their complicated relationship was the highlight of the book.

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    1. I definitely think it could have been a great standalone, but I guess we'll see where the rest of the story goes. And yes, I did think their relationship was very interesting.

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  8. A lot of the reviews for this have been either lukewarm or less than glowing. I haven't read White's other books, so I don't know if the voice is a good or bad thing for me. I'm glad you liked this!

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    1. It's one of those very unique voices that you have to try and see what you think!

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  9. I agree with the story not being very grounded, it seemed to just fly by! That twist woud have been interesting and I can see how thta would have worked. I really want to read the next book already!

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  10. I am really looking forward to reading this one. I love Keirsten White's writing style, but I didn't like Paranormalcy (simply because of all the paranormal creatures. They just didn't do it for me), so I'm really interested in reading a new story from her. I love when characters have unique little ways of expressing themselves like Fia's mental tic!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  11. I enjoyed their dependence and relationship as well as the dual POV. That would've been cool with mult. personality disorder though!
    I haven't read her other series, but will one of these days.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. Right?? I was hoping and hoping. But the ending was good...

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  12. I hadn't thought about Fia having multiple personality disorder, that would have been quite the twist! And I think I might have liked it too.
    I liked this book quite a bit, and loved the end, but the story was somehow confusing for me with some of the back and forth. Probably my fault cause I suck at reading chapter headings or whatever. It was a good read for the most part though.

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  13. Great review. The metal tics annoyed me at first and the lack of world building left me confused but by the end I was thoroughly engrossed and I'll be picking up the next book in the series.

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  14. oh wow, that multiple personalities theory sounds crazy, yet creepy. Anyways, I really enjoyed paranormalcy and I really like the whole heavy dialogue and less descriptions.. but it sounds like there is too much of the first and too little of the second. My sister read this and enjoyed it to an extent. I love the cover too much so I might check it out.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  15. I agree with you! I totally though it was fast-paced! but Fia kind of annoyed me with her repeating words.. I also think it would have been better as a standalone! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  16. I really liked this read. Annie was the one who annoyed me though - she seemed selfish to me. At least until the end where she started to redeem herself. I surprised myself with how much I worried Fia was going to have a mental breakdown.

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  17. Nice review! I totally loved the ending! A mind game right? LOL. I need the second book so I know what happens next.

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  18. I think the only exciting thing I've been seeing about this book is the ending ... I have it on my shelf and have tried reading it, but I hate that the characters don't have much personality-wise.

    Great review, Jen!

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  19. I loved this book, but mostly for Fia. And I loved how the story was told. Can't wait to read the 2nnd book.

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  20. Oh wow, you just made me wanna read this all the more! I can't wait to see just how "dark" this is- Kiersten's Paranormalcy series was surprisingly good, seeing as how it was a bit light and fluffy. :) And honestly, this sounds so unique and intriguing- there aren't much YA books like this, so this is definitely a must read for me!

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  21. I cannot wait to me Fia..love your review cupcake!!

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