Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Number of Pages: 272
Synopsis 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.
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.
As the release date for this second book in this series, Perfect Lies, looms nearer, I decided that it was time to give Mind Games a second look so it was fresh in my mind. I read the ARC of Mind Games about a year ago and even though I remembered the story better than most books, details were a bit fuzzy. I snagged the finished copy from my library and planned to read this alongside another library book and one of the ARCs I'm behind on, but Mind Games completely sucked me in again and I eschewed everything else in order to speed through this gem for the second time.
Like a lot of books, this one is pretty polarizing. Looking at my friends' ratings on GR, it is fair to say that most people either love or hate this book. In fact, my original review on GR from a year ago starts off with how I was so glad that I had read an ARC of this book because I probably never would have picked it up based solely on some of my friends' ratings. It just goes to show that we won't always have the same taste in books and that I shouldn't be discouraged when something I'm looking forward to gets dismal ratings.
Mind Games is the story of two sisters, Fia and Annie. After their parents die in a brutal car accident, the two girls are shipped off to live with an aunt who seems burdened by her new responsibility. Both Annie and the aunt are thrilled when a man from a prestigious private school shows up and offers Annie a place at the school. Only Fia is distraught by this prospect. Not because she is afraid to be separated from her sister, but because she can feel that the man and the school are wrong. When she voices her concerns the man takes interest in her as well and offers her a place alongside her sister. She agrees if only to keep her sister safe.
We find out almost immediately that the school is incredibly sinister and that Fia was right to be wary. It is a school for girls with special gifts. The school sought out Annie because she is a "seer". Annie, even though she is blind, "saw" her parents accident before it happened. While the school originally wanted Annie, they quickly discover that Fia is the true gem of the family. Fia's gift is that of perfect instincts. On multiple choice tests she knows the right answer every time, even if she didn't study; she can pick the right stock to invest in; and she is awesome at hand-to-hand combat.
As the years pass, the school and the evil people who are behind it, begin to send Fia on more and more dangerous assignments. Long gone are the classes where she picks the right stock, she is now the school's assassin. She hates what they make her do, but they hold Annie prisoner and threaten Fia with Annie's death if she doesn't do what she is told. All she can think of is escaping their grasp, but she will never leave Annie behind.
While I liked Annie ok, Fia is the star of this show. Broken, angry, fiercely loyal, and totally bad-ass, I found myself drawn to her character way more than Annie's (who admittedly, as a prisoner, doesn't get to do a whole lot). Once I adjusted to the narration, the novel just flew by as it raced to the (cliffhanger) conclusion that left me panting for more. This reread really helped get my excitement for the second book up more. I cannot wait to find out what happens next.
There is a hint of a triangle with Fia, but neither relationship is the focus, and it really isn't a true triangle. The first is Adam, the boy she is sent to kill in the opening scene of the book, but who she ultimately saves instead. In Adam, Fia sees the life she could have if she wasn't trapped in this corrupt world. The second is James, the son of Mr. Keane who is the sinister man behind it all. Fia knows that James is dangerous, but she cannot help but be drawn to. He knows all of the brutal things Fia has done and is capable and he doesn't care.
Overall, I loved Mind Games and cannot wait for the sequel. The writing is fast-paced, the characters are dark, and the school is mysterious and shady. If you haven't read this yet, I'd definitely recommend. The sequel, Perfect Lies, comes out on February 18, 2014.