Fia can’t make a wrong decision, because she’s got perfect instincts. Her older sister, Annie, is blind, but has the ability to see into the future, and she’s one of the only people who can “see” Fia.
At the beginning of the novel, Fia is tasked with killing a guy named Adam. As someone with perfect instincts, she can easily fight off any guy, and has the ability to manipulate anyone around her to twist them around her little finger. She’s clearly the perfect assassin.
The problem is, she can’t do it – the guy looks nice, and like a good person, and she makes a split-second decision to try and save him. Of course, people come after her, but she manages to escape with Adam, and we learn a little more about what led us to this point.
The story alternates between the voices of Annie and Fia, and flashbacks to the sisters’ lives before and during this event. We find out that the girls ended up a school for “special girls” like them that is mostly run by males and is tapping their talents for it’s own secret purposes. In this world, only girls have special powers, and those powers are grouped into Seer, Feeler, and Reader. Fia is none of those things, and because of that, she’s extra special.
I loved Fia’s strength and her desperate need to protect her sister at all costs. That’s pretty much her “tell” in any situation, and it’s one that’s completely understandable and made me want to hug my besties. She’s strong, sassy, and understands sacrifice better than any YA character I’ve ever seen. Her character was incredibly complex, and I pretty much wanted to stay in her fragile mind the entire time.
I liked Annie a lot as well, but I did feel like she was a little whiny. It was harder to get into her because if you go on the premise that Fia has perfect instincts, you kinda don’t understand why Annie wouldn’t trust her judgement. That said, Annie was really complex, and she loved her sister so much that it’s hard not to like her as well. I definitely felt that her motivations were authentic and true to the story.
I know some people had some issues with Kiersten White’s writing in this – mainly, that they felt the sentences were a bit simplistic and there was a lot of repetition. I did notice these things, but they didn’t bother me that much because I felt they were stylistic choices meant to emphasize the frantic pace of the story and the damaged mind of Fia.
The twists and turns in this book are well-paced and as a former cognitive science major, I loved all of the details about how the brain works. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat the entire time. The payoff at the end is great, and all of it definitely lives up to the “kick ass heroines” that White has been talking about her Epic Reads videos.
Let me put it this way: Mind Games totally kicked me out of a book slump, so I would totally recommend this to anyone who needs a fast, action-y read.
Kick-ass girl power: Girls who have special powers and harness them to do crazy awesome (if sometimes evil) things? Yeah, this is made for Buffy fans. Also included in this category is the awesome sister bond that Fia and Annie had. Seriously, it made my heart ache.
Bad Boys: For those of you who love bad boys, this is SO the book for you. I’m a good guy kinda girl, so I’m kinda rooting for Fia to be with Adam, but I totally get the appeal of James, the “bad-for-Fia”, but super-hot guy who helps handle Fia’s case.
The Final Word:
Mind Games is one of the most heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat YAs I’ve ever read. The action builds quickly and pretty much doesn’t stop through the entire book, and the characters and premise are really compelling. I’m definitely interested in reading the second book in the series!