Mind Games by Kiersten White.
Mind Games #1.
Published: February 19, 2013.
Published by: HarperTeen.
Source: Won from The-Society. Thank you!
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.
This is not an easy review to write because while I didn't think this was a bad book, it just didn't do a lot for me. "Heartstoppingly intense" are not the words I would have chosen to describe it. I wasn't blown away by anything, I didn't love any of the characters... honestly, I'm just glad it was as short as it was because I don't know if I would have finished it otherwise. Nothing exceptional, at least in my books.
The book is set in our world but almost with another layer to it. There are people called Readers, Feelers, and Seers. And I couldn't tell you much about them if I tried. I mean, Readers read people's thoughts, Feelers feel people's emotions, and Seers see possible future scenarios. That's about all I got. I felt like because it was more or less a contemporary world, White possibly didn't see the need for worldbuilding, but as a reader (little "r"), I sure did! I felt like I had a million questions and few of them were answered by the end of the book. This not only made it harder to really understand, it also made it harder to connect.
When it came to the characters... meh. Nobody really excited me or intrigued me. Fia's narrative felt very disjointed and erratic which was understandable in a way because of the life she has been leading. While I'm glad White made Fia's experiences have a noticeable impact on her (unlike so often in YA when a character brushes off a terrible action), I felt like it kept me from really enjoying her perspective. On the other hand, I did find Annie easier to follow, but she wasn't all that exciting. So much meh. I also was kind of annoyed how easy it was for her to be so blind (no pun intended) to the person her sister truly is. This actually seemed to go both ways, which I feel didn't work so well. Both Fia and Annie say (and show) that they would sacrifice anything for their sister, yet neither of them seems to know who her sister truly is. It just didn't do a whole lot for me.
James, who is supposed to be this big baddie to Annie and the dangerous-but-hunky guy that Fia wants but can't have, bored me. I know people who love him, and I do see where he can be interesting. There is a lot of ambiguity surrounding his true intentions and where his loyalties lie (as his father is portrayed as the big bad guy), but I wasn't feeling it. Maybe I just didn't believe it because I didn't believe much else, but I did not find him likeable or swoon-worthy, and he was really only mildly interesting. I was also disappointed by how much Adam, a boy Fia meets who lives a life completely outside of her messed-up world, was a plot tool much more than a character. It seems like there's a possibility for more of him in the sequel, but while I liked him in theory - nice, cute guy who is the escape for the girl with the crazy life - I just felt like there was nothing to him. The escape for Fia is all he really was; to show her the life she could have. When the only character I truly enjoy is more plot device than character, well... I think that speaks for itself.
The ending was really the only part that had me actively, happily paying full attention because it finally picks up and adds some mystery with another, competing force that throws the idea of who is good and who is bad into limbo. The very end was ultimately unsatisfying, though. While it was finally exciting and ended with a cliffhanger, I still felt like I knew almost nothing about anyone. That is not going to make me want to pick up the sequel! I still might, but it's not on any priority list, that's for sure.
A disappointed 2 Stars.