Book Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Posted July 31, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 21 Comments

Mind Games

by Kiersten White

Mind Games

Original Publishing Date: February 19, 2013
Length: 237 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Obtained Via: Received via ARCcyling
Format Read In: ARC
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Summary

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.

My-Review

Anyone who’s visited my blog more than once knows that I’m not a frequent GIF-user in my reviews, but I thought I’d let Sherlock sum on my feelings on Mind Games this time:

Sherlock bored

I thought about ending the review here(and let’s face it, I NEVER do that–I’m too long winded), because frankly, I can’t even summon the energy to dislike this book. It’s just. . .

MEH.

I had such high hopes for this one. I LOVE books about siblings, especially books that aren’t contemporary and that have ACTION and ADVENTURE and siblings trying to protect each other. Those types of books make me feel warm & fuzzy while also putting me through the emotional wringer(because one sibling always gets hurt, of course).

So, let’s break this down, shall we?

WRITING: So, the writing is incredibly scattered and disjointed and repetitive and redundant(see what I did there?). I get that this was a conscious choice on White’s part to give us access into the sister’s incredibly messed-up heads. I get it. I get it. I get it.(That’s sort of how many parts of the book are written). It’s a stylistic choice, but one I don’t think worked well for this book.

I like unique writing styles & experimental writing–which is why I liked Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. But in that case, while the writing was incredibly subjective and risky, I thought it worked for the story. Did I get annoyed at times? Yes. But not like I did in Mind Games, because in Mind Games, I think White tries to use this experimental writing to carry the weight of the book, and it doesn’t really work.

CHARACTERS: Supposedly, there are two main characters in this book–Annie and Fia, the sisters. The chapters alternate from their POVs, which could be great, except they sound exactly the same(except Fia’s a little bit more messed up, I think). Fia has perfect instincts, Annie is blind but sometimes sees the future, and their goal is to the protect each other. Those are their ONLY defining characteristics, and all of that is stated upfront in the summary.

PLOT: There was plot at the beginning. I have no idea what happened to it. This book actually started out really well, in the midst of an action sequence, and then. . . things got a little hazy after that.

After reading this, you might think I really disliked Mind Games. But, truth is, I didn’t, because I couldn’t bring myself to care about the story enough to dislike it. In fact, this is the most apathetic I’ve been about a book in a long while(forcing myself to actually write about it at length was a bit torturous), which is never a good thing. Mind Games has a fascinating premise and a decent enough start, but somewhere around page 30 it all tapered off into a strange writing experiment with not much plot and really, not much differences between the two main characters.

Final Impression: Here it is, one last resounding MEH. This isn’t a terrible book, but it also isn’t a good book. It’s just kinda there, and I have way too many exciting books on my shelf to read for me to spend much time with this book or to recommend it. This is definitely a series I won’t be continuing. 2/5 cupcakes.

2cupcakes

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2 Stars

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21 responses to “Book Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, I’ve heard MANY people say that her Paranormalcy series is the best of her work. . . which is sort of strange, as it was her first, but maybe the subject matter just worked better?

  1. I actually didn’t like this one very much. Every character annoyed me and the writing was everything you mentioned. I won’t be continuing it either, and I think I’ve decided to not read anything by White unless it gets amazing amazing reviews.

  2. Darn! I had high expectations from this series, but I agree – experimental writing styles are so subjective and if they don’t work for the reader, it can really tarnish the whole book. And disappearing plot syndrome annoys me so much!

  3. Darn! I had high expectations from this series, but I agree – experimental writing styles are so subjective and if they don’t work for the reader, it can really tarnish the whole book. And disappearing plot syndrome annoys me so much!

  4. Darn! I had high expectations from this series, but I agree – experimental writing styles are so subjective and if they don’t work for the reader, it can really tarnish the whole book. And disappearing plot syndrome annoys me so much!

  5. Darn! I had high expectations from this series, but I agree – experimental writing styles are so subjective and if they don’t work for the reader, it can really tarnish the whole book. And disappearing plot syndrome annoys me so much!

    • stormydawnc

      Me too! I even listed this book as one of the top ten books I was looking forward to in 2013. I think the disappearing plot might be even more glaring than the writing style.

  6. Jaime Lester

    Aw. I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one. It seems to be the type of book that people are cleanly on one side of the fence or the other. I for one very much enjoyed this story. I think I finished it in 2 hours. But I do see some of your points. Thank you for your review!

    • stormydawnc

      Thanks for stopping by! I agree that this tends to be one of those love-it-or-leave it books. Pretty much all the reviews I’ve seen for it have been REALLY positive(like 4 or 5 stars), or fairly negative(1 or 2 stars). Not much middle ground, with this one.

  7. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    Wow, I think being an indifferent towards a book is even worse than hating it. Because like, it should make you FEEL something. At least when you actively dislike it it’s because it made you feel. Just reading it and not feeling anything? Like, that’s just bizarre!

    I definitely don’t think this will be one I’m reading, and I’m sorry you had to neglect some other possibly exciting stories to just feel meh about this one. I just can’t even imagine. Two POVs that are the same, a lack of plot… can you see me running in the opposite direction? ><

    • stormydawnc

      I’ve always thought that way too. At least feeling passionate about negative feelings towards the book is better than just being MEH. I feel like this book is really a PRIME example of what my 2 star books are. It was just. . . there.

  8. This is the consensus I’ve seen around the blogosphere. I’m a fan of new writing experiments when they work and aren’t distracting. I found Shatter Me’s narrative to be extremely distracting (but that’s just me), so imagine how I’d feel about this one! I might read a few chapters to see how I feel about it, but I don’t have high hopes. Great review 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      The writing in this one is probably actually a LITTLE less “experimental” than Shatter Me, but I feel it wasn’t handled as consciously, if that makes sense. It seemed out of place with the story. I will say the first few chapters are the best.

  9. That’s unfortunate that this book wasn’t up to par with White’s Paranormalcy trilogy. However, I’ll definitely give her some props for having the guts to try a new format. 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      I haven’t read the Paranormalcy trilogy, but I’ve heard good things. I’ve also heard the sequel to Mind Games is much better, so maybe this one was just a weird thing?

  10. MEH is really how I felt about it too 😛 This could have been SO MUCH but Fia’s voice was distracting at best, annoying at worst, and I just wasn’t getting into the plot like I should have.
    I totally agree… I DID dislike things about Fia, but the book overall was just blah and meh and other words that explain my indifference haha.

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