Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind GamesMind Games by
Series: Mind Games #1
Published by: HarperTeen on
Genre: Dystopian, Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Buy the BookGoodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

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.

Mind Games was an okay book, but I was hoping it would be a lot better. The book isn’t nearly as intense or action-packed as I thought it would be.

I think the problem with this book is that Fia is actually crazy. I went from liking her, to disliking her, to understanding her, to still disliking her—but maybe a little bit less. She just always sounded so.. jittery when she talked. And she has this really annoying habit of repeating a word or phrase three times. It drove me completely nuts.

“Okay,” I say, closing my eyelids because they are heavy, heavy, heavy.
I can’t tap, tap, tap my fingers because…
I know how to twist it just so to pop-pop-pop it right out of the socket.
Sometimes I sleep here. Sleep, sleep. I’ll sleep now.

But then we slowly begin to realize why she is this way. She’s actually a bit crazy. She’s just so broken, tortured, and traumatized by the things that the ‘school’ makes her do: murder, kidnap (almost), and steal. She had already committed her first murder before she was fifteen. The trauma has slowly broken her down until she is more an empty shell than a person. It still made her an annoying character, but at least I understood why.

Mind Games by Kiersten White - I am so filled with wrong I don't remember what is right is

Mind Games was also lacking in the world building. We know that people with exceptional powers are being kidnapped or lured to this school to be trained. We know that the really good ones are kept to be used for corporate espionage, but that’s all we ever find out. We have no idea what they’re actually doing, or what the results of their actions are. We don’t know what kind of benefits the mysterious ‘leader’ is getting or what purpose the tasks/murders/thefts serve.

In some ways, the execution of this book almost made it feel like a really long prologue. The book alternates between present day and the past (slowly building up to present time). The flashbacks are meant to help explain why Fia is so broken and tortured. But ultimately, that was the entire book. The whole book wasn’t really about uncovering corporate espionage or putting a stop to it, it was just about figuring out why Fia is such an angry, soulless girl. It wasn’t horribly boring for me to read about, but by the time the book ended, I felt like the story was only just getting started.

Overall, Mind Games is missing a strong, exciting, central plot. There’s too much telling of history and what happened weeks/months/years in the past, and not enough progression in present time. Maybe the books later in the series will be more interesting. As I said, when it ended, I felt like things were just getting started. Hopefully that means the later books will have less background story and more heart-pumping excitement and confrontations.

Interestingly enough, I think the book trailer is actually better than the book. Maybe Mind Games would be better off as a movie? LOL.

The Verdict


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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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    1. Thank you Annabelle! I seriously wish I loved it more though. This is one of those books I was dying to read for a long time. I almost tried to force myself to love it but it just didn’t happen LOL!

  1. Yes! And I swear there was like 6 people in the entire school! I didn’t get it. Ugh this one bothered me so much I feel like it went nowhere and we found out nothing. I won’t be reading the sequel, that’s for sure!

    1. LMAO so true! It was like the two sisters, that one friend whose name I forget, the creepy James bastard (was that his name? LOL), and all the ‘teachers’. Some ‘school’. UGH.

    1. It makes me giddy to see some people using that new feature. 😀 I’ve been sitting here all week going “SOMEONE USE IT! USE IT NOW!!!” I think today is the first day people have finally done it. XD

      But yes, I agree. I feel like I’ve been reading so many meh/crappy books lately. It’s making me want to commit reading suicide.

    1. I mean, there is a chance you might still love it! A couple people do. I think the biggest downfall for me was that I HATED the stream of consciousness writing style. It’s similar to Shatter Me, but not nearly as carefully crafted and artistic (I thought Shatter Me was pretty good, but this is like that but all messed up and not nearly as poetic sounding).

      But, if you are able to connect with the writing style and with Fia as a character, then I think you have a decent shot of enjoying the story!

  2. Okay so i really want to read this one! Like it’s been on my TBR list since it first popped up around the YA discussion columns and I’ve been dying for the release date! There’s sp,ething about a slightly crazy protagonist that just fascinates me. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one much though!

    1. Yeah I kind of know what you mean Kristin. It’s a tough one to figure out and the style of the writing is definitely enough to confuse you!

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