Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games #1
Publication Date: December 3rd 2013
Rating: 3.5 stars
To say that Mind Games surprised me is kind of an understatement. I originally didn't even plan on reading this, but I got a galley for Perfect Lies, and I though"why not?". Well, I'm glad I did, because I found myself actually quite enjoying this! Maybe it's because I went in with such low expectations, but this novel just worked for me.
Everyone's biggest problem seems to be the writing. And I have to say, in the beginning of the book there are a few awkward sentences. But I personally thought that it got much better along the way. Although it was an annoyance for many, I was actually quite pleased with the way the number three was incorporated in everything (for example, by Fia tapping 3 times or repeating certain things 3 times). The number three is important to Fia - it's her number of kills - and it pops up everywhere in her narrative, showing that those kills are still on her mind. This does not happen in the POV of her sister, Annie, so I think I can safely say that this was indeed done on purpose by the author. Humans have these little tics all the time, so I actually thought that it was quite realistic. And yes, the writing is a bit jumbled at times, but I think that this, too, was done on purpose (since the writing was much clearer in Annie's POV). Fia may or may not be going crazy and this is reflected in the writing. It really brought that sense of 'craziness' to her character.
Another thing everyone is falling over: the romance. Or as I would say it, the 'romance'. I personally didn't think it was a real romance, although it might've been intended as one? Either way, I really felt that the relationship between Fia and James was based purely on lust and that bit of craziness that Fia has. James is douchebag, there's no denying that. However, I never felt that Fia's feelings for him were entirely real or that she thought he was her 'one and only'. She mostly uses him as an escape - to forget her miserable life, to forget the people she killed, to forget everything - and I never quite got that feeling that he was a 'real' love interest. She kisses him because he makes her forget, not because she really wants him. That is, she might want his body, but she never really fell for the mind inside it (although this is just my impression). I also really don't think they'll end up together, simply because I don't think that whatever they have can be described as real.
Then there's the sisterly bond between Annie and Fia. I personally think this relationship could have been developed more. We know that they'll do anyhting for each other, but we see few examples of their deep love for each other. Yes, they're pretty much constantly worrying about the other or thinking about the other, but I never really felt that deep love you (can) have for family. This also caused a certain thing Annie does toward the ending a bit unbelievable. I was a bit disappointed because there aren't many books in which the main character has a really deep bond with their siblings (or at least one the reader can feel as well) and I hoped Mind Games would be a fresh change.
Speaking of the ending though, WHOA. That was some seriously unexpected STUFF that went down and it was absolutely awesome. I really never saw that coming and it sure shocked me! Especially because intentions aren't clear and THINGS are happening and whaaaaaaaat.
In all, Mind Games was a pleasant surprise. I found myself actually enjoying the book - especially the slow descent into craziness - and I actually rather liked the way it was written. This is most certainly not for everyone, though. I'd recommend you check out some negative reviews as well and then decide whether you want to read this. It happened to be my particular taste of madness, but I'm also sure there are a lot of people out there who would absolutely NOT like this book. I did like it, though! So now I shall immediately plunge myself into Perfect Lies.