Release Date: February 19th 2013
Published By: HarperTeen
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Mind Games (or ‘Sister Assassin’ in the UK/Australia) is a dark, dangerous and edgy story that is filled with deception, calculation and murder. It is different from Kiersten White’s other books, there are no faeries or unicorns, but it does contain the strong characters, intriguing storyline and some of the humour you would expect from her.
It is told from the alternating POV of sisters Sofia “Fia” and Annie and the story jumps back and forth between the past and the present, allowing you to get vital backstory details. Fia and Annie are completely different from each other but have a very complex bond, and their dual narrative shows this perfectly. The dual narrative also emphasises what they would really sacrifice to protect each other.
After the death of their parents in a car crash, and they are sent to an elite school for talented girls, however the school is not all that it makes out to be. It is a school for girls with special talents – Annie, whilst being blind, is also a seer – she can see the future (although her visions are uncontrollable and fractured). Fia is something else entirely – she has perfect instincts, and knows the best course of action for any situation – and her instinct never fails her.
Due to her special abilities, Fia is seen as an asset. And to ensure that Fia continues to do the bidding of the school and its owner (Keane), Annie is being held hostage – so although Fia doesn’t really want to, she must continue to do whatever is required of her; steal, manipulate, predict stocks, and worse.
The school, and Keane, have completely broken Fia. She is disturbed, constantly angry, violent, unpredictable, unhealthy and barely manageable. She hates her life, and she hates herself. The only thing that keeps her connected to the school, and to the world is Annie. Fia has always felt responsible for her older sister, and will do whatever she needs to do to protect her – including giving up her own happiness and sanity… even kill.
Annie seems to be much more stable that her younger sister. She is calmer and more reserved. Although, as the story line progresses, you get to understand that Annie has her own demons, and she too will do anything to protect her sister. Her devotion and her love for her sister is really Annie’s strength. And she is willing to do just as much as Fia is, or more, to protect her sister.
There is the also the beginning of a love triangle for Fia in this book. Enter James and Adam.
James is Fia’s manager, also the son of Keane. Even though everything in Fia screams at her to stay away from him, she cannot help but be drawn to him. He seems to care about Fia – but he is master liar. Does he really care for her, or does he care that she is his father’s prized asset?
And then there is Adam. Adam is the “nice guy” who is connected to this whole world in a way that he may not even understand. He is sweet, kind and full of hope, and not only does Fia like him, but she likes who she could be when she is with him.
Although Mind Games is unlike her other books, Kiersten once again produced some kick-ass female characters, as well as some sharp humour that will at times make you laugh – Fia is extremely entertaining, especially when she is messing with people’s heads. Fia’s brokenness is also wonderfully demonstrated throughout her narrative, but most notably is her habit of constantly repeating things or tapping her leg three times.
Take note of the title of this book: It really does mess with your head. Mind Games may only be being 237 pages, but it is packed with mind-boggling situations and twists. It is a puzzle where you get pieces of past and present, Annie and Fia, love and loath, sacrifice and selfishness, humour and heartbreak, danger and hope. Everyone has different motives, and you have put the pieces together to begin to understand – and even then, it’s quite possible you are wrong – as nothing is safe, not even thoughts.
The ending of this book is truly the beginning of the next book. Fia has changed the game – now it’s her turn to play mind games.
“Their smiles are lies. Most smiles are.”
“Everyone here is insane. I am the insanest of the insane”
“I start at the beginning, mentally screaming every obscenity I can in alphabetical order. Then I start setting them to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
““I could have kisses like that for the rest of my life. Kisses that don’t know who I am. Kisses that make me feel more and less than what I am.”
“I am the ocean we lived on for two months. I am empty. I am nothing.”
“Thanks for looking at me like… like I could be whole”