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Mind Games #1

Mind Games

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Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other's secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flawless intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right.

When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn't grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie's life.

Now Fia's falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she's ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won't let them take her future.

237 pages, Hardcover

First published February 19, 2013

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About the author

Kiersten White

59 books12.8k followers
Kiersten White is the #1 New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of many books, including the And I Darken series, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Star Wars: Padawan, the Sinister Summer series, and HIDE. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where they obsessively care for their deeply ambivalent tortoise. Visit Kiersten online at KierstenWhite.com and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,956 reviews
May 28, 2014
I can’t lose Annie because I wanted to dance and kiss James. How could I have been so stupid and selfish? Everything was already screwed up; we were already in trouble. I can’t believe I did this. I did this. Again. How many times will Annie have to see her own death because of me?

So there are these two stupid sisters, I want to call them Dumb and Dumber, but for the purposes of this book, they're named Annabelle (Annie) and Sofia (Fia). At the beginning of the story, we know that Fia is an assassin, a 17-year old assassin. A really pretty, skinny, girl-next-door-wholesome, charming assassin who's given a task to kill someone, a boy named Adam. Supposedly she's been a killer before, it doesn't matter because as soon as we meet her, the first paragraph of the book tells us that she's a motherfucking moron who can't kill anything if it has big, soulful motherfucking eyes.

Fia has to kill this dude. There are people holding her beloved sister, Annie, hostage. If she doesn't kill this guy whom she's never known before, whom she's never met before, they're gonna probably kill or hurt her sister (who's blind, and by implication, pretty helpless).

So what does Fia do? She doesn't fucking kill the guy.
I know I won’t be able to kill him.
Because he motherfucking helped a puppy.
He’s still helping the puppy, untangling the leash from a tree outside the bar. And he’s not only setting it free, he’s talking to it.
He's setting the little puppy free from where its leash got tangled, and by doing so, Dumber, I mean, Fia, can't bring it in her cold steel assassin motherfucking heart to kill him. He's ruined her plans because he helped a motherfucking puppy. What in the actual fucking name of incompetent moronic idiocy is this shit? And need I remind you of what's going to happen if she doesn't kill him? Her sister is going to get fucking killed by the organization holding her hostage.
His long fingers deftly untwist and unwind and undo my entire day, my entire life. Because if he doesn’t die today, Annie will, and that is one death I cannot have on my conscience.

So in case I haven't made it clear, Annie is Fia's sister. She is blind. She is helpless. She will get killed if Fia doesn't do her job as an assassin and kill this henceforth unknown boy. And Fia is going to let her beloved 19-year old big sister, whom she has to protect, die because she can't bear to kill a boy who shows kindness to a motherfucking puppy.

She doesn't know the boy. She doesn't know who she is. She's never fucking met him before. He's a cute boy. It doesn't fucking matter. He could have been a serial killer. She doesn't know why she has to kill him, but he's her assignment. Ted Bundy was handsome, too, he was wholesome-looking, too.

And look where that got all his 30 victims.
That dumb dog has killed us all.
No, it hasn't. You've killed "us all," Fia. You had one fucking job, to kill that boy, and you couldn't do it because of a cute motherfucking dog.

So instead of doing her job and just making it simple, and you know, killing the guy, Fia ends up incapacitating some random thugs instead and saves mysterious boy, named Adam, a 19-year old "doctor," by which I think he means he's a Ph.D and not an actual doctor, because no doctor would be so incompetent and overdose their patient unless they graduated from a cut-rate medical school in Guatemala that would admit a student from an non-biological science major who spent her entire college career playing Worlf of Warcraft every night and cramming for her exams the hours before. Meaning they'd take me. No offense to actual Guatemalan doctors everywhere. I'm sure you guys are amazing compared to the "board certified plastic surgeons" working out of garages in Las Vegas who use motor engine lubricant/WD-40 for butt injections. I kid. I kid.

Not really. Anyways!

Despite the fact that fucking child-savant-19-year-old-"doctor" Adam fucking drugged her without her consent, Fia still trusts him. Because she's the most idiotic assassin in the history of YA literature with the exception of perhaps, Celaena Sardothien.
He shifts uncomfortably, eyes on the road. “I might have overdosed you. Just a little. I needed to think.”
Hmm. He drugged me. That’s interesting. I felt like I was safe with him. I still do.
Clearly, along with her inability to do her fucking job, Fia has to get her priorities straight. Here is a girl who's been raised in a psychic school who's been trained to be deadly for years, who's had her sister taken hostage, whose parents died under mysterious circumstances, who knows better than to trust anyone, suddenly fucking trusts a guy who:

1. She's been assigned to kill, obvious there has to be a reason if he's seen as a threat


How fucking dumb is that?

So now she hasn't killed the boy, she's faked his death at the risk of having her sister killed because she can't complete her assignment, she lets him go, she TELLS him that she's been assigned to kill him, he believes her and they part with a hug, because it's just totally natural that she tell a guy that there's a hit on his head, that he has to abandon his family and friends and go into hiding, and she's going to pretend she's killed him. And now she's going to return to the agency and pretend that everything is normal, singing Justin Bieber while she goes.
I should be terrified. I should turn around and go anywhere else. I should curl up in a ball and cry. Instead, I think about everything in the whole entire world that makes me angry—there is a lot, oh, there is a lot—and I start singing Justin Bieber at the top of my lungs.
Clearly, she just needs somebody to love (I need somebody, I, I need somebody...).

I do like that song, by the way.

So Fia's angry. Really really angry. She takes out that anger by imagining killing people in her head (while believing that killing is wrong and hating herserlf because she kills. Yay! Hypocrisy!). She hates everyone, she hates everything. She dances.
And Fia—oh, Fia, you are so beautiful it makes my heart hurt—is in the middle of it all, slamming her body, moving and swaying and dancing to the beat in a way that no one else can. Her eyes are closed and her arm is raised.
She sings.
“Drugs, drugs, drugs, I want some drugs,” I sing, dancing out of the bathroom and into my living room.
Crazy crazy. And I don’t care. I skip down the wide, empty hallway, singing at the top of my lungs. I know I’m not free yet, but I feel like I am.
There could be terrorists threatening her life, it doesn't really matter because if Fia dances and sings, they'll all go away. Dance dance. Sing. Sing. Sing.

So just forget about Adam now, really, forget about him. He's a projected love interest, but you're not gonna see him again for a long time. Because now we meet another love interest instead, handsome, powerful James. And cue love triangle.

Apparently, for all the sisterly love that Annie and Fia supposedly share, they hate each other pretty easily. Because right now (we're like, 1 hour from the Adam-rescuing-puppy event) Fia goes back to super secret special agency headquarter and finds out that Annie is the one who ordered the kill on Adam.

And instead of, like, actually ASKING Annie why she wanted to fucking kill Adam in the first place ---you know, trusting your beloved sister whom you've sworn to protect and all--- Fia gets all fucking upset that Annie sent her to kill. And now Fia feels that Annie has betrayed her because of a fucking boy whom she's known for all of a fucking hour.
How could she want him dead? Did she want me to do it? How could she set me up for that?
I don’t know her at all. All these years, all these things I’ve done, all these things I’ve become to keep her happy, to keep her safe. I don’t know her. I tap tap tap Annie’s betrayal onto my leg.
And instead of trusting her sister and telling her the reason (and it's a legit reason) why she wanted Adam dead: Hint: he's dangerous! Annie just keeps it all to herself and allows her sister to think that she's just a vindictive bitch who just wanted to kill a cute sad-eyed boy for fun.
Adam was a threat. A huge, massive, all-consuming threat.

“It was bigger than us. It is bigger than us. I wasn’t doing it for me. Or even for Fia. I was doing it so Fia wouldn’t happen to a thousand other girls.”
Such communication. What love. Much wow. Sisters much? This book was a mess. The ending. Fuck that ending. Why did I even read this book?

The Narrative: Drove me absolutely bonkers.

- Half the book are composed of flashbacks

- It is narrated from alternating POVs, Fia and Annie (and THEIR flashbacks! Yay!)

- Nothing fucking happens: seriously, after the beginning Adam excitement, nothing happens in this book. Why? Oh, right. BECAUSE HALF THE BOOK ARE FLASHBACKS.

- Stream-of-consciousness style narrative from Fia. And man, she is motherfucking annoying.

Some sort of accident.
Some sort of accident.
Some sort of accident.
Repetitions. Fia fucking loves them.
Something is wrong.
It’s wrong wrong wrong WRONG WRONG WRONG! I need to find Annie.
Did I mention she loves repetitions?
(Control, control, control. Control got Clarice killed.)
(Control didn’t get Clarice killed. I killed Clarice.)
Yep. She loves repetition.
Annie is safe.
Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe.Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe.
The Anger: I like an angry heroine. I don't like a bratty one. Fia is angry, but her anger is the sort of the kind of tantrum that a 5-year old throws, and I just had enough of her bullshit. I absolutely hated her. I wanted to strangle her, or at least remove her voice box so she would just fucking shut up because I don't want to hear it. I know she has a lot to be upset about. I should have been able to empathize with her. I can't because she's so "WAH OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGMG SHUT UP YOU ARE ALL BITCHES AND I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!! DIIIIIIIIE!" all the fucking time.

Fia is crazy. She is fucking nuts. She's not the cold, sociopathic kind of crazy or the entertaining kind of crazy like Penryn's mother in Angelfall, but the sort that one day is going to turn into the scary bag lady in the corner, shouting at passersby, brandishing an umbrella, screaming "I'M COMING FOR YOU IN YOUR SLEEP, YOU LITTLE FUCKS." as concerned mothers cover their children's ears. It is batshit, annoying crazy, and I can't take it.

Sister, Sister: The love between sisters in this book is all telling and no showing. Oh, we know that Fia really loves her sister because she says so all the time. Except for the fact that practically every time she sees Annie, Fia's resenting her for getting her stuck in this situation in the first place. We know that Fia really loves Annie because she thinks that Annie's betraying her without giving her a chance to explain. We know that Annie and Fia love each other because they never. ever. fucking. communicate. with each other. Sharing emotions. Sharing your troubles. Sharing your stories. Leaning on each other for support? Is that too much to motherfucking ask? I just wanted the sister to show some genuine love for one another.

The Romance: Surprisingly little, despite the fucking insta-love. The book doesn't tie anything together. There are roughly 93889758934329 loose ends, and the romance is but one of them. There attempts to be a love triangle, and it's just completely laughable because it's so completely fucking pointless. The only person I liked in the book is the sadistic love interest, James. He was the only one with any sort of depth to his personality.

There was just no point to this book. Why did I even bother? Nothing ever got resolved.

Profile Image for Megan.
535 reviews345 followers
March 29, 2013
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"I have no idea. My plans changed about five minutes ago." I look over my shoulder to see the men, three (tap tap tap - I hate the number three), thick shoulders, one gun between them based on the way the guy in the middle is walking (that was a mistake, they should all have guns - guess they'll find out) matching our pace and getting closer.

The narration style of MIND GAMES starts off annoying and only grows increasingly more annoying as the story goes on. In the case of both sisters, the narration is done in first person present tense stream of consciousness style. It takes a great hand to effectively deal with first person present tense, and that great hand generally has to go to lengths to make it not seem like, “I brush my teeth, I say hello to my cat, I go to sch- SQUIRREL! Ouch a rock! I go to school.”

The draft for MIND GAMES was written in nine days, and it shows. The writing is extremely random, with forced bouts of conscious thoughts that have no place in a book. When you remove the random inner monologue and flashbacks that have no place in guiding the story (only serving to make the reader very, very confused), the actual story is maybe 100 pages.

I hate stun guns, I hate them so much. LET GO OF MY RIBS.

Here in lies the main problem with MIND GAMES, the problem which ruined my enjoyment of it. The writing was juvenile, forced, incoherent at times, and seemed like a cheap rip off of SHATTER ME stylistically, a book which I should note I was not a fan of for reasons of prose AND plot. But that’s a different story. MIND GAMES suffers because of the very problem that makes it fast paced. There is little plot going on, little cohesion between past and present, and little differentiation between the sisters. Told in two first person present tense POVs over the course of several years, the story lacked any real focus.


My second biggest concern with MIND GAMES was the characters. Firstly, as I mentioned, Fia and Annie were basically the same character. Even with chapter headers identifying each character’s chapter, there were times where their similar narration style would confuse me into thinking I was in the mind of the other character.

Both characters had similar problems. They were self-obsessed, irrational in their decisions, selfish, irresponsible, and childish. The ending was another one of these times, where the irrational decision by one character – and the irrational acceptance of such thing from another – completely annoyed me to no end. And these characters never change. They’re still as whiny on the last page as they are on the first.

And our side characters? With the exception of James, who spends the entire story as a love interest for Fia and the object of my pure and utter hatred, the characters are bland and lifeless. James, however, has found himself as a new member of the “Boys I Hate” Club. Plying a girl with alcohol to get her to “loosen up” (well, that’s implied at least) is sickening. End of story.

Although Annie’s power seemed rather interesting, if a bit bland, Fia’s fell short of something that could have been much better. If your gut instinct is always right, let’s think of the things you could do (in theory): intense math equations, the secrets of the universe, Olympic fencing, solving murder mysteries, making people lots of money. But what do they use an insane 16 year old girl for? Killing people. Because Jason Statham with a gun probably wouldn’t do the job as well as her.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to give MIND GAMES only one star. This book, in my opinion, needed a lot more work to bring it up to the standards I hold for my books. The writing was extremely rushed and under-nourished with the things we need as readers – pizzazz, control, flourish, and meaning. It read like a 10 year old girl’s diary after her boyfriend (i.e. Justin Bieber) started dating someone that isn’t her.

Ms. White is a New York Times Bestseller for the PARANORMALCY series, but in MIND GAMES, I do not see anything that makes me want to run out and buy this book. At 250 pages, it came off as something that could have been done in one book instead of a duology – a rip off, if you will. The story does not satisfy, it does not make one feel, and it does nothing besides leave a lasting anger and annoyance at wasting a few hours hoping to find something within the pages that will make up for the whining.

Skip MIND GAMES. The action might be good in spurts, but when it makes up a tiny portion of a story devoted to the ramblings of a girl who may or may not be an insane narcissist, it’s not worth your money or time.

VERDICT: MIND GAMES falls short on every level, from the characters to the action to the romance. I felt completely gypped by the last page thanks to heroines that never leave the stage of “whiny children”.
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,810 reviews165 followers
June 10, 2013
1.5 stars.

You know what I told this book?


For your reading pleasure, I am going to have many examples of awful awful (oh so awful) writing for you.

Example A^: (The (Repeat And Then Repeat Again In) Parenthesis)

Also, snippets of "Why this reads like a 13 year old girl's diary". You have been warned.

(Okay, so someone posted a comment about her explanation to why in Fia's POV everything is repeated 3 times; she's killed three people. I gotta say that that makes a whole lot more sense than I had previously thought. However, the flaw that I can see in that is that she doesn't kill person number 3 till later in the book and she's already been repeating things...So my quotes stand as is. Just thought I should add that.)

Quotes!!! - As much as I would love to type out every single (single single single) time something annoyed me in the writing, I'll just type up the ones I had enough paper to mark.

I tap my fingers(tap tap tap them) nervously against my jeans.
Page 3

He is too-big ears and too-big smile and too-big eyes and (too-big too-big too-big) too real for me to end.
Page 4


The instant his eyes meet mine(gray, he has gray eyes, I would have closed his gray eyes forever), I know I have him as far north as I need to go, and after that I will figure it out.
Page 5


As far north as... What?

He smiles. (His gray eyes, they will haunt me forever with what I would have done-what I still could do-what I still should do-oh, Annie, have you already seen this? Did you know when I left that I'd kill us both?)
Page 6

Your poor little head. It must hurt to be you.

Because I'm going against Keane(oh no, oh no, they will kill us both)and I need to know as much as I can to try and fix it.
Page 7

Getting the idea? Well, I don't think you've seen enough.

I look over my shoulder to see the men, three(tap tap tap-I hate the number three), thick shoulders, one gun between them based on the way the guy in the middle is walking(that was a mistake, they should all have guns-guess they'll find out), matching ouur pace and getting closer.
Page 10

For hating the number three, she sure repeats a word three times a lot(a lot a lot a lot). You'll see see see.

Tap tap tap I need to tap tap tap I need to get out of this car.
Page 39


I sit up(it hurts, it hurts, my body hurts) and grab her hand in mine.
Page 88

There are no boys here. Not teenagers, anyways. Only men. With weapons. (It hurts, it hurts, my body hurts.)
Page 89

Good Lord! We know! And what does that have to do with anything anyways?

I simultaneously want to kiss him and to get as far away from him as possible. He feels wrong, he feels dangerous; my heart speeds up the same way for him that it did for the stun guns.
Page 89

You feel attracted to stun guns?

Because I'm too young for you? Because you're an evil manipulative monster and I know it?
Page 118

We're touching, touching everywhere and it's wrong it's wrong it's wrong but right right now and I close my eyes and his lips are even better at dulling than the drinks or the music.
Page 120

I'd like to put the entire freaking chapter from 112-123, but I really don't feel like it. Though it is a prime example of how Fia is TSTL and how James is, and I don't say this lightly, a man-whore and how she doesn't use commas and sentences never end and she repeats things over and over and over, which is rather rather rather annoying to read.

Some sort of accident.
Some sort of accident.
Some sort of accident.
Page 129

What are you doing?! GAH!

It's wrong wrong wrong WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Page 131

You want to know what's wrong? THAT SENTENCE.

If Clarice is dead, she can't be there when Annie gets shot.
That can't happen now.
It won't happen now.
Annie is safe.
Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe. Annie is safe.
Page 133

Are you sure?

He flirts shamelessly with everyone. The Readers whisper that he think constantly about sex. Eden says he reeks of lust. I don't want him in the room. I don't want him around my baby sister.
Page 148

Annie=protective and smart older sister
Fia=idiot who actually wants this guy

Oh, Fia. description

Kill them kill them-wait. Annie. If I'm gone, Annie's not safe. What if James is with me? What if he can't tell them that I was taken, that I didn't run? Oh, no, Annie. Annie!
Page 156

While the sentiment here is probably the best one Fia expresses the entire book, the writing is so bad.

Cole has a slight limp(I wonder where my knife went; I liked that knife).
Page 158

Random observation*is random*

(Can't tap tap tap my hand-I don't want to add another tap but I will;if it saves Annie, I will.)
Page 160

What the hell is up with the tapping?

(Control, control, control. Control got Clarice killed.)
(Control didn't get Clarice killed. I killed Clarice.)
Page 161

First off, what is the purpose of all the parenthesis? It's not like we can't read Fia's thoughts without them. Secondly, finally remember you bludgeoning her to death, do ya, Fia? Good to know you're not a heartless witch.

I steal a phone out of someone's pocket(I feel like I should have a phone).
Page 195

Classic Fia. She's not in danger. No life threatening situation. She's walking in the park. Just taking a walk and decides to steal a random person's phone.

I can see the person he thinks I am when he looks at me-this wonder, this strong and brave and strange girl. He is half in love with the idea of me, and if I stayed....
Page 196

Here's the rub: Fia can't read minds. She can't feel other people's emotions. So, Fia, stop being a self-centered arrogant prissy little you-know-what and get past yourself.

Fia: "You use me."
James: "I-yes. I use you. I need to use you.
Page 198

I'm sorry, what was that, James? You use her? Can you repeat that in front of Annie so she can, I don't know, kill you? That'd be great.

"Should I call Eden to meet us?" he asks, pulling off his shirt(I love I love I love it when he does this).
Page 206


"Emilia,"I say, and he takes my hand(he shouldn't touch my hand) and brings it to his lips.
Page 208


I do not move, will not move, not ever. Right, right, right. I will make this feel right.
Page 210

Because God forbid Fia do something actually right. That would be absurd.

I'm his. It's such a relief to be someone's, to not have to be my own(to not have to be Annie's-don't think about Annie, not tonight, especially not tonight).
Page 210

Yeah, wouldn't want to think about your blind sister that you left all alone.

And she is wrapped around-wrapped around-wrapped around James, my James, and she is laughing and her hands(not my hands, not my horrible hands) are in his hair and she is whispering in his ear.
Page 211

What, I ask you, would possess someone to write a sentence like that? Oh, maybe if you were writing the POV of an insane person.

Love, love, love.
Page 211


"Fia" he calls, pulling me away from Eden (soft Eden, untrained Eden, Eden with all her soft parts that I could hurt, hurt, hurt-no, don't think about it, get away from Eden, don't let her feel it).
Page 211-212

Why are you so homicidal? Oh, and maybe you should have considered the fact that James runs around with every girl he can get his hands on. He's not gonna change for you, no matter how much you repeat things in your head.

He is smiling and driving, and I wish I were driving. I would drive us off a cliff. No I wouldn't. (Maybe I would. I am so stupid, I am sick with the stupidness of me.
Page 212

Smartest thing you've ever thought. I'm so frelling proud of you.

He is beautiful and he thinks I am beautiful and everything about him is slick and predatory-and he wants me.
He is wrong and I should not encourage him, I should leave right now and find James. This is not safe. (There are too many bodies, several of the tall, broad guys around us are obviously with him. I am outnumbered; it is dark; he thinks I am very young and very helpless and only one of those is true.)
He does not like James. He hates him. I noticed on the beach, but I was distracted by James claiming me. Not claiming me. Using me. Keeping me away from Rafael.
I smile and raise my arms over my head, dance closer to Rafael. He hates James. He is dangerous. I let him put his hands on hips and twist my body against his. Because he is not James.
Page 213

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Are you for real? How much of an idiotic child can you be? So because you are angry at James for something if you had a brain you knew he'd do and because he isn't worshiping at your feet, you're gonna get yourself into a situation where you almost get raped? All because you don't know how not to be the center of attention. You want to "get back" at James. And you want to feel wanted.(May I suggest listening to Hunter Hayes?) So you get drunk. You encourage him, you don't walk away. Heck, you let him kiss and manhandle you. I'm in no way condoning what he does, but I'm just saying you might want to think every once in a while.

"We were just talking about you."
"I'm sure you were." (Freestanding chair still next to the window, which is not plate glass nor does it have mesh wiring in it to prevent shattering.)
Page 227

What does that have to do with anything?

Moving on...

Wasn't that the epitome of literary genius? I sure thought so.

I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time I read a book with as horrid writing as this. How does something like this even get published? Oh, and I also found out that this was written in 9 days. It varies between actually whole book written in 9 days and first draft written in 9 days. (I'm kinda guessing they're sorta the same thing for this one.) But, in any case, it shows. And it explains, in part, why this is so crappy.

POV was confusing. It switched back and forth between Fia and Annie but their individual voices weren't very unique. It was hard to keep track of who was talking, except that you could almost always guess if it was Fia, cause she is whiny as hell. And there were flashbacks, many of which which I found to be worthless to the story.


I'm gonna let the quotes for the TSTL characters speak for themselves. Just know also that Annie, while not as stupid or annoying as Fia, was boring. Her scenes were mostly in flashbacks and, as I already told you, those were worthless.

Also, there's a love triangle. Could I muster up the energy to care less? Probably not.


Oh, the potential!! Wasted.
It sounded like it was going to be fantastic. I was hankering for a sibling story and sisters would have worked beautifully. Except it sucked.

But I digress. You say this section is for plot? I say, "What plot?" There is no plot until the last 5 pages. I read about nothing for 250 pages.


Truly authors delight in torturing their readers.


So there's this institution that finds young woman with these abilities and uses them to run hits on people. That is it. You're told that, you put up with Fia and flashbacks for 225 pages, get your twistplot for the next book thrown in and voila! A book!

Oh, and absolutely not a thing is explained. NOTHING. description

So you see, I would love to know what's going on but you could not pay me an exorbitant amount of money to read the next book.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,922 followers
March 3, 2013
The first thing you need to know about Sister Assassin (or Mind Games, title of the US edition) is that it’s absolutely thrilling. Ferguson, my Kindle, was temporarily unavailable so I was forced to read it on my iPhone and my eyes nearly fell out, but I couldn't stop. Not for a second. I wouldn't have stopped to save my life.

Sister Assassin is a story about two sisters, Fia and Annie, and the narrative is divided between their two points of view. It also jumps back and forth in time, and these flashbacks (both Annie’s and Sofia’s) allow us to fill in the crucial backstory. The sisters live in a boarding school for talented girls. Annie is blind, but she is also a Seer, able to predict the future to a certain extent. However, the real asset is Fia, for whose talent there isn’t even a proper name. Her instinct, the tiny voice that tells right from wrong, never fails her. She always knows the best course of action, even when she doesn’t understand the reason.

Her ability doesn’t really help her to defend herself from the school and its owner, Mr. Keane, when he starts holding Annie hostage in order to force Fia to do his bidding. She’s a girl who can do anything – predict stocks, steal anything they need, kill and get away with it. She always knows which road to take if she needs to get away.

In the process of training her, they completely broke her. Fia is a disorganized mess of violent thoughts and White’s writing reflected this perfectly. I honestly didn’t think that she, as a writer, was capable of such a thing. It reminded me just a bit of Tahereh Mafi, and you all know how I feel about her. In Annie’s chapters, the writing was more balanced, but Fia’s was full of jumbled, disjointed sentences and repetitiveness. It was the perfect way to keep the damage that was done to her constantly present in the reader’s mind.

In this room I have picked which gun was unloaded out of ten options. And then they pulled the trigger on me. I have picked stocks that went on to skyrocket. I have picked which pencil I would shove into Ms. Robertson’s ear until she kicked me out for thinking about it.

Ms. Robertson, you see, is Mr. Keane’s secretary and a (mind) Reader. The school also has Seers, and Feelers (empaths). Under their watchful eye, it’s almost impossible to plan a successful escape, but Fia is better trained than any of them and she has her own ability to help her.

The romance was completely unconventional, and all the more exciting because of it. Sofia had no idea whom she could trust, and neither did I. I liked James a lot, but his every action was morally dubious, and it was precisely that that made him perfect for Fia in a sad, twisted way. Theirs is a romance I resisted for as long as I could because I felt that a part of it is rotten at its core, but in the end I had no choice but to accept it and want it for both of them.

Make sure to have a free afternoon when you decide to read this book. You will not be able to put it down, that much I can promise you, it will consume your every thought. Sister Assassin doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but things are far from resolved. The ending IS an ending, but it is also a promise of a great second installment. I’m in. How about you?

Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews931 followers
January 27, 2016

Today’s lesson is…


And guess what? It only requires 4 easy steps!

1). Don’t bother thinking up an original plot. Nobody will notice it’s just a cheap fan-fiction anyway.
I mean really… why go through all the work when there are thousands of other books you can just steal borrow ideas from?

So basically, our story is set in the future where there’s a school that uses children with “special abilities” (the ability to see the future, telekinesis, etc) and uses them for evil. Our protagonist, Fia has perfect instincts – her gut feeling is always right. Fia’s sister Annie is blind – but she has the power to see the future. Over and over again, Fia and Annie are asked to use their abilities for bad purposes, or to have each other killed. Fia loves Annie too much to risk having her killed; and she follows every order she’s given. Until the day she doesn’t…

Sounds good, right? That’s because someone else has already written a book almost exactly like this! All I have to say is… really Kiersten White? Really? I believe this exact same plot has been done hundreds of times – most famously with Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy. Being an author is about creating your own stories, not taking ideas from other people’s work.

*sigh* I guess they never learn, eh?
2). Write as quickly as you can, and cover up your crappy writing with some lame “character-related” excuse. nobody will notice anyway
.(No really… I heard somewhere that the first draft of this book was written in nine days! Whether that’s true or not, nine days if way to fast to write a good 200+ page book – not even by a longshot!)

The writing throughout the story really annoyed me (surprise, surprise)! It’s told through the POV of both Fia and Annie; but honestly I couldn’t tell either of them apart - they both sounded so similar, it was almost impossible to distinguish them apart.

And the flashbacks? They were completely pointless, and I loathed them. To be honest, they confused me out of my mind. From what I understand, the flashbacks are supposed to show what a “hard life” Fia and Annie have had, but they did exactly the opposite. They confused me so much – I lost count of what point each flashback was occurring during, making it awfully hard for me to make a chronological map of the story in my head to help me keep track of the story.

Okay, let me give you a sample of the beautiful (*snorts*) writing in this book:

“I have no idea. My plans changed about five minutes ago.” I look over my shoulder to see the men, three (tap tap tap – I hate the number three), thick shoulders, one gun between them based on the way the guy in the middle is walking (that was a mistake, they should all have guns – guess they’ll find out) matching our pace and getting closer.

“Okay,” I say, closing my eyelids because they are heavy, heavy, heavy.

I know how to twist it just so to pop-pop-pop it right out of the socket.
Honestly, do I really need to explain what I think is wrong with the paragraphs above?

I think my main problem with the writing was just simply the style in which it was written in. The book is written in 1st person present tense, which was a little hard to get into from the get-go. Pretty much it was like: “I brush my hair, I say hello to my friend, and I go to sch – Oh! Look! Here comes the bus!” The thing is, the writing could have been beautiful. But it seemed so rushed and so juvenile that it came to the point where I could care less.

And the thing is…Kiersten White follows Rule #2 and she covers up her really bad writing with some “character-driven” excuse! Apparently the writing is supposed to be so incoherent and rushed because it’s supposed to show us as readers how tormented and how disturbed Fia really was. Under normal circumstances, I would have really appreciated this; but Mrs. White used this technique in such a way that it seemed like she was using this excuse as a way to cover up her poor writing… :|

3). Characterization?

Fia and Annie are practically the same person. Not only do they sound alike, but they act alike as well. They’re so similar; it’s hard to distinguish them apart. They’re both selfish, ungrateful, whiny, and unintelligent. Definitely not two characters I’d like to be around!

The side characters are completely undeveloped. All the side characters had so little depth and so much stereotyping that to me it seemed they were nothing more than cardboard cutouts. :| Side characters are the ones who are supposed to bring an already amazing story up to an entirely better level, but the side characters in Mind Games definitely did exactly the opposite.

Annie REALLY bothered me. These days, there’s been so many YA books being written about the power and love sisters have for each other ((Hunger Games, The Fifth Wave, Angelfall; ; I could go ON AND ON!); but honestly Annie was the worst sister I’ve read about yet. She doesn’t even THANK her sister for continually risking her life to help keep her alive; she’s selfish and she’s arrogant – which really bothered me.

I didn’t like Fia. This was definitely my biggest problem regarding the characterization, because, honestly, how am I supposed to like a book if I can’t emotionally connect to it’s main character?

4). Make a really interesting futuristic world, but don’t bother to explain how it works
I think this should be a…

…sort of thing for authors, but if your story is a dystopian, you NEED to explain the world you’ve created! Really – it’s not that hard. YOU created the world, so you can do whatever you want with it.

The thing is, Kiersten White never explained how her world formed. She never explained what caused America to so drastically change; what happened to the government, or how these kids even got these superpowers! It’s like she thinks it’s supposed to be obvious, but it’s not. Because she never told us a darn thing about her world.

And that really confused me.


All in all, I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone; everything was just so messy, sloppy, and unorganized, and it really showed throughout the story.

Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews577 followers
January 24, 2013
The ratings system is inherently flawed in relation to book reviews. I tend to use the 1 star review solely for books that offended me, particularly in their romanticised depiction of rape culture, abusive relationships, women shaming, etc. I seldom, if ever, give a book 1 star because it was just awful as a piece of literature. I read somewhere that the author Kiersten White finished the first draft of this book in nine days. I don’t believe that. Nine days is far longer than my original prediction of a weekend. This book read like a NaNoWriMo novel written in the final two days because the author forgot about it. It’s been a long time since I read a book as painfully rushed, sloppy and lazy as “Mind Games” (known as “Sister Assassin” in UK).

The biggest failure of this book is the narration. Switching between the two sisters who are entirely matching in almost every way, White has chosen a stream-of-consciousness first person style to tell this story. Stream-of-consciousness was a particular favourite of the Modernist movement, and utilised to great effect by writers such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (if you’ve actually finished “Ulysses” then you’re a better person than I am). It’s tough to read even when it’s executed perfectly. Here it’s practically unbearable. Not only are the sisters’ narrations impossible to differentiate from, the constant repetition of words and phrases, coupled with the lazy and juvenile nature of the prose made the experience of reading this book seem far longer than its slim page numbers would suggest. The non-linear narrative feels like such a slog, and does nothing but make the story entirely incoherent. Any possibility of the book livening up with some action is quickly ruined by this unreadable style.

None of this is helped by the fact that both sisters are motivated by pretty much the same things, make completely irrational decisions that don’t fit with what the other cut-out characters tell us about them, and are both extremely annoying. I didn’t want to spend this book with them. Then again, it’s not as if the supporting cast offer up much either. Scooby Doo offered up stronger motivation and characterisation than this book does. However, I must briefly draw attention to one character called James (which I had to look up for this review because I have honestly forgotten everyone’s names except for the sisters), who plies an underage girl with alcohol to get her to talk. Of course, James is the dark, sexy and dangerous one who we are supposed to root for the woman he plies with alcohol to get together with. He also delightfully manipulates a young woman who struggles with her ability to feel everyone else’s emotions into believing he cares for her because that makes her easier to deal with. Not that the alcohol plied sister Fia really cares about the well-being of this young woman. She doesn’t care about anyone besides herself, regardless of her constant whining over looking after her blind sister. I’d be angrier at this mess if I in any way cared about Fia or Annie as characters.

The powers that the sisters have could be interesting if executed well, but instead they’re just there. They serve bare plot purposes in the most serviceable manner possible and are barely explained or expanded upon. In the end, everything that went on felt entirely inconsequential because I just didn’t care about anything (although I did wonder why any stereotypical evil organisation would use a woman with perfect instincts to kill people instead of just having her make them billions and screw around with democracy).

The style of the book and the childish approach to storytelling and prose just dragged me out of the experience. I can live with an unoriginal plot structure, which this book has in spades, if the execution is interesting, or interesting questions are asked, or if the characters and dialogue bring it to life. This book has none of that. I spent much more time thinking about why White was in such a hurry to push this book out than I did thinking about the book itself. “Mind Games” is bafflingly bad. I cannot understand how a relatively well acclaimed New York Times best-selling author can fail so badly with this book, although some blame must also go to the editor and agent for rushing this out so quickly as if publishing it was a race against time. I see that this book is the first in a duology, which makes me shudder, in all honesty. “Mind Games” was a waste of my time, a waste of the publisher’s time, and just a mess in every conceivable way.

Profile Image for Maximiliano.
Author 1 book1,204 followers
January 10, 2020
Me enganchó desde la primera página. Es un libro tan impulsivo e impredecible como una de sus protagonistas. Lo único negativo que resaltaría es que el ritmo de lectura ágil se convierte en un cuchillo de doble filo. Las páginas no paraban de pasar, pero a veces sentía como si los personajes no tenían una base firme y algunas de sus motivaciones quedaban en duda. Aún así recomendadísimo.

VIDEO RESEÑA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apQ3M...
Profile Image for Sabrina.
477 reviews252 followers
October 16, 2018

1.5/5 ★

This has a very interesting synopsis, but unfortunately, it was just that that is was good.
I couldn’t get passed the first few chapters.

The writing

was weird - it kept repeating things three time, like when you add unnecessary words in a work so it has the sufficient word count - and extremely simple.
This was the major problem for me.
It was just NO.

The characters

were boring and stupid.
One of the main characters is just so bloody freaking stupid. She pissed me off so much in just a couple of chapters.

And aren’t there supposed to be two main characters? Because I could only find one!
They literally have the same personality, is not just that they look the same but they are EXACTLY the same.

When reading the chapters you only know of who the POV is because they say so, otherwise you would think it didn’t change.


I’m extremely disappointed.
This had the possibility to be a incredible book, but it just wasn’t.
Profile Image for Tiff.
581 reviews537 followers
February 19, 2013

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.

Read the rest of this review at Mostly YA Lit
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews92 followers
January 26, 2013
This book is absolutely amazing. Mind Games is simply that a perfect mind game that will leave you begging for more. I honestly have no clue how I am going to write this review but I am going to try.

The POV in this story alternates between Annie and Fia, two sisters each with very unique abilities. The time setting also changes from present time to the past making things even more complicated, but still in my opinion unique and amazing. The overall storyline is not simple either. It involves lots of espionage, murder, calculating, and deception. Annie and Fia are both being used for their abilities but Fia is the one that everyone wants. It isn't really clear what her ability actually is until later in the story but believe me it is one of the best creations I have ever read. When Fia can't take things anymore she starts to take things into her own hands, but with all eyes on her and her sister to protect she doesn't have many options. This story is really just the beginning, we get to see the background and the why of everything but I think the true story will start in the next one since Fia made a HUGE decision at the end of Mind Games and it is really a game changer for everybody.

The writing style I will admit may turn some people off. I personally loved it but I can see where it could be a little bit much at times. Fia has a habit of repeating certain things three times and tapping her leg three times, this is proven and shown throughout the book and to me it just showed me how broken she really was. I felt her being broken down and with the writing the way it is it just fit her mind perfectly.

I honestly just want to squee from the roof tops about this book. I know my review is all over the place but I just can't seem to find the words to do this book justice. Mind games is unique, amazing, interesting, and so so much more. I was so shocked at so many things that happened throughout, that by the end of the story I was exhausted emotionally and in shock over what is to come. I don't know how I am going to wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Kimberly Sabatini.
Author 1 book381 followers
October 5, 2012
I've erased this review like ten times because I'm having trouble. When I say that MIND GAMES is not the Paranormalcy Trilogy, I find myself stuck in an endless loop because I loved the Paranormalcy Trilogy, so I don't want you to think for a minute that this is better, because it isn't better--but yet--its better. *sheesh* The most accurate thing I can say is that Kiersten White has only begun to play mind games with her readers. It is evident by this unique, exciting and riveting book that White has just proven she's not a one trick pony. She's tiny like a pony--but she has lots of tricks and I love them. I love them so much, I want the sequel to this book NOW! So much so, I'm going to start harassing my agent to automatically put me on the top of the ARC list for MIND GAMES #2. Make a list. Check it twice. I'd better be on it. I know you hate me because it isn't February yet, and you're justified, but guess what--I'm not even a little bit sorry, because yeah, it was that good. LOL!
Profile Image for Anne.
4,065 reviews69.5k followers
September 7, 2018
Mind Games (or Sister Assassin in the UK) is the first book in White's new series of the same name. I've read her Paranormalcy trilogy, and for the most part enjoyed its fluffy heroine, Evie. I assumed Mind Games would be similar, and prepared myself for a book filled with silly humor and sparkly characters. Yeah, not so much.
I'm also bad about ordering a book, forgetting why I ordered it and then diving in without bothering to read what the blurb on the cover says. Lazy, I know. So I downloaded it thinking something along the lines of, "Two sisters...something, something...government-ish conspiracy...something, something...isn't one of them psychic?". Then settled in for a bit of a light read while the kids were on the playground.
Except it wasn't a light read, and instead of something to kill the time while the kids were playing, I ended up not being able to put it down. I'm pretty sure I fed and bathed them that night, but I wouldn't swear to it in a court of law. It probably sounded like this, "Hey! It's corn dog and french fry night, guys!", and "You smell alright to me, just don't forget to brush your teeth.". So am I a slack parent, or was the book just that good? Obviously, both, but today I'm blaming my smelly malnourished children on the book.

Annie and Fia (Sophia) are sisters, and the story is told between their alternating POV's. Fia was what I would consider the main character, though. Annie's voice seemed to be there more to fill in the gaps of Fia's story.
Warning: There are a lot of flashback sequences, and frequent time jumps between the past and present. If this is a pet peeve, you may not enjoy this as much as I did.

Orphaned at a young age by a car wreck, the girls are taken in by an aunt who would rather not deal with Annie's blindness and psychic nightmares. When an exclusive boarding school offers to give Annie a home, she jumps at the chance. Fia immediately feels something is very wrong with the school, but when she voices her opinion, it only serves to intrigue the interviewer and ensures that both girls are given a new home.
However, this is not where the story opens (remember the above mentioned time jumps?).

When we first meet Fia she is seventeen, lurking in the shadows, and trying to figure out a way to save the boy she was sent to kill. At this point, I'm totally sucked in.
And how did a teenager end up working as an assassin, you ask? See, Annie may be psychic, but Fia has what they call perfect instincts. Big deal, right? Well, the more I read, the more intrigued I became. Not only can she tell when people are lying, or which stock is going to skyrocket, she also knows instinctively when to duck so that she can avoid a punch, which way to turn on a street to avoid capture, and what person in a crowd will help her. There's more to it than that, but those are some of the highlights.

As the story progresses, you learn that Fia is working for a shadowy organization that runs the boarding school she and Annie were accepted into. While Annie was the original prize they wanted, it quickly became evident that Fia was far more important. Annie has now become a prisoner in what once was her home, and her life is the insurance policy that guarantees Fia's continued cooperation. Which makes Fia's choice to save the life of her target, Adam, that much more dangerous. After all, Annie and Fia aren't the only special girls that the school has recruited. With psychics, mind readers, and empaths all around her, how can she possibly hide her plans to save both Adam and Annie?

As if all of this wasn't enough, Fia has to contend with her handler, James. She's drawn to him in spite of every instinct screaming that she needs to stay away. He says he cares about what happens to her, but it could easily just be a lie. After all, he's the son of the very man responsible for what Fia has become. Could the heir to such an evil empire really love her?
Well, you'll just have to find out for yourself, because I'm certainly not telling you the answer.

I'd recommend this one for readers who like their heroines smart, snarky, and slightly unhinged.

Also on http://www.addicted2heroines.com/2013...
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
983 reviews749 followers
April 26, 2016
Mind Games is surely a dark novel which will eventually force your mind to think about it especially if you are in the head of two sisters who the one has a nearly insane and impulsive attitude and the other is calm and serene.

The book was direct to the point so there are small amounts of detailing about the environment and the people and I'm used to that writing (detailed) so this was really a shocker and the reason why it has only 237 pages.

The main point of the book is quite simple but the road to get there are full of complexity and the whole story has been told by the point of views of the two sisters, Fia and Annie. There are backtracks to their point of views that made sense in explaining the present and these two sisters has a great affection for each other and I loved that.

My only problem with the book is that the writing, though direct to the point, is quite juvenile and raw in my own perception of it. Fia also repeat words every now and then, though I understand, is quite annoying. All in all, the storyline was good and the characters aren't one dimensional and actually, there are mysteries you wouldn't expect about them.
Profile Image for Matilda.
71 reviews
Want to read
July 25, 2012
The cover ... enough said. Total Bookgasm.

Mind-blowingly beautiful. Oh, how I love you so, Kiersten White.

Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
296 reviews1,188 followers
November 3, 2020
Tengo opiniones muy diversas sobre este libro. Partamos que no es NADA el género que suelo acostumbrar y fue algo completamente nuevo para mi. Es el primer libro que leo de la autora y sinceramente en un comienzo no me llamaba demasiado la atención pero una vez que lo empecé me daba mucha curiosidad saber a qué llevaba toda la historia.
El libro nos presenta a dos hermanas. Annie, la mayor, quedó ciega de Chiquita y desde ese momento tiene visiones sobre el futuro. Su hermana Sofía se encarga de ella, a pesar de ser la menor, desde que su hermana quedó ciega asumió la responsabilidad de cuidarla, en especial después del accidente de sus padres.
Las dos hermanas son llevadas a un colegio donde les prometen un futuro "normal" y un montón de posibilidades. Annie está encantada pero Sofía desde un principio presiente que algo no es como se los están presentado. Y ahí descubrimos Sofía también tiene habilidades especiales...
Me gustó bastante el libro y en especial el final que me costó entender en un principio y cuando lo hice terminé completamente sorprendida. Amé que sea un final que a haya que pensar qué es lo que pasó y no te de todas las respuestas fácilmente.
El libro es entretenido, no es largo ni tiene páginas de más. El vínculo que se forma entre las hermanas es muy real y fue de lo que más me gustó.
Lo recomiendo si te gustan los libros con capacidades especiales, poderes mentales, corporaciones secretas, etc.
Yo leyendo juego mentales: 🤫🤭🤯😵🤔
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
January 15, 2013
Enjoyed the concept, but had a really hard time with the writing and how it was delivered. Mind Games is told in both Annie and Fia's pov and we are connected to both the past and the present, but it didn't quite work in it's favor since it felt scattered and erratic. String of repetitive words and the tap-tap-tapping was also very distracting and frustrating. The characters were intriguing in their own ways, but Annie and Fia felt, at times, like they had the same voice and inner-dialog and were hard to distinguish one from the other.

Kiersten White's Paranormalcy trilogy was bright and entertaining as hell, while this book took on a more dark and dire feel overall.
This has a wonderful story that has so much potential to be amazing, but the way it was written felt like it was from a completely different author and sadly I couldn't love this the way I wanted to.

(Arc provided by Edelweiss and Harper Teen)
Profile Image for Kassidy.
340 reviews11k followers
January 12, 2014
Really enjoyed this book!
It's so fast-paced and short, it is very hard to put down!
I really loved the two main characters, Annie and Fia. They are so strong!
This book has a lot of mystery, secrets, and action. It definitely kept me on my toes. The writing style is pretty unique. It switches between past and present, which helps give some backstory and depth in a plot that's driven by action. I got confused sometimes, but overall I liked it! I also switches points of view between the two sisters. I felt each one had their own personality and the author did a great job writing them.

The only complaint I have is that the world isn't very developed and there aren't many answers to "why" questions. Why are these girls like this? Why is this school set up? Why do they have to do they have to kill people?
I'm hoping these questions are answered in the following books!
Profile Image for Kira Simion.
831 reviews127 followers
February 9, 2017
2.5 stars.

A good read, but sometimes had no idea where the author was going with this.
Profile Image for Lilian.
84 reviews72 followers
February 20, 2013
Did I hear "heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller"? Because I want in. Mind Games is a refreshing addition to the YA genre, especially when psychological thrillers is often exclusive to adult fiction. White delivered a interesting plot and a fierce female character (albeit she stole the the spotlight from everyone else) all in a fast-paced two-hundred page novel. We've seen all the elements before from crazy training schools (Ender's Game, Insignia, Variant, The Vindico) to exploiting psychic abilities (Minority Report), but White takes these elements and weaves something her own. Unfortunately, despite the compelling premise, the delivery fell short, leaving much to be desired.

Poor Organization: I Usually Like Multiple Perspectives, Shifting Timelines and Fia Stealing The Whole Show
Fia and her older sister, Annie, both speak to us in first person. While usually perspectives alternate, Mind Games didn't follow a specific pattern: there might be a present Annie chapter directly preceding a 18 month ago Annie chapter. Eventually I gave up trying to do the math to figure out the chronological order between chapters. I often had to flip back to the start of the chapter to find out why a character supposedly imprisoned in the last chapter could be roaming free in the next. I know chapters from the past aid in giving backstory, but the sudden transition confused rather than enlightened. Many times, I didn't care what mundane stuff happened in the distant past, I want to get back to my "intense psychological thriller" already!

Another problem with the multiple perspectives was that Fia stole the show. From the start of the novel, she establishes herself as a femme fatale who is not afraid to lie and break a few bones to get what she wants. She is manipulative and cunning. After the first chapter, I was sold. But then I found out, Fia wasn't the only voice of the novel. Annie, Fia's older sister is radically different from Fia, she's the calm, reserved one. She basically sat around being emo. *yawn*

Writing Style:
White's writing didn't do it for me. I'm not sure if it's because this espionage training school forgot proper English lessons so neither character sound eloquent, or if both characters are too screwed up. Both characters speak in a stream of consciousness. From the writing, we can feel the sister's troubled state of mind, especially Fia's. I thought I was supposed to feel fear, frustration, and hurt from Fia, but I just kept thinking she was high on drugs. Her terse sentences and repetitions were meant for emphasis, and perhaps to imitate the impulsive, conflicted, uneditted human consciousness that characterizes Fia, but it wasn't long before I grew exhausted with those short sentences. There was not enough contrast between the two sisters' voices.

Action Scene Writing is Hard Stuff
Fia's passages are distinct from Annie's primarily due to her action scenes. I found it odd that her action scenes are the few moments when Fia turns "eloquent" (or her sentences turn long), but not in a good way. Her sentences turn into lists of action after action, then some other action. I kept wishing for sensory details to bring me into the scene. I admit I rarely come across action scenes that actually work in writing without sounding like a list but because of the rigid, un-varied nature of these sentences, they felt jarring--I didn't believe for a second it was Fia recalling the moment, but a third-person narrator giving me a summary of what he saw Cat Woman do in a movie. These action scenes drove the novel, but unfortunately, they were also the weakest parts.

The Emotions
I was not convinced. From romance to sisterly love, all of it was forced. The romance was borderline random; I had no reason to care for either prospective lover.
As for sisterly love, Fia and Annie are supposed to care deeply for each other, sacrificing and taking care of each other when they have nobody else. But I don't know what bonds them together at all. For most of the novel, they have no interaction (Annie misses Fia holding her hand) aside a few secret whispers here and there. I felt not warmth from these two. Only betrayal, negligence, and jealously.

So..What is This Story About Again?
There are so many subplots going on that aren't adequately explained that I really can't tell you what's going on. We have two sisters enrolled in a suspicious school run by a mysterious guy. That mysterious guy's sexy son is trying to overthrow his father. To overthrow his father, he "trains" Fia. This sexy guy is not to be trusted, but Fia likes him so she helps him overthrow his father. Somehow the president is involved in the school. There's a nice doctor who's saved by Fia and randomly reappears. There's a society going against the school (they have the weirdest logic where they kidnap people only to let them out the font door) On top of that, the sisters need to get their relationship sorted out. Yep, I'm lost. Too many random faucets are opened all at once, and we are still at square one trying to answer questions and figuring out why I need to care. I CAN'T KEEP UP.

Fia has...Perfect Instincts?
I am not sure what having perfect instincts entail, but that's Fia's special power and what makes her so valuable. Is it just keen perception? I find it weird that she can just pick the best selling stocks. Those things have nothing to do with gut feeling. Apparently her instincts also allow her to ace multiple choice tests. WHAT??!?!

Plot Twist:
Meh. I suspected it.

Overall, I appreciated the unique concept and the fast-paced kept me reading, but execution is far from perfect. This is one of the messiest books I've come across, with way too many subplots, confusing transitions, and no answers.
Profile Image for Katy.
611 reviews332 followers
December 24, 2012
I really like this one, but not for the reasons you would think. I kind of got the "Ocean's 13" satisfaction at the end of the book. And I think this book is better named "Mind Games." I think if I had read it as "Sister Assassin," I would have been extremely disappointed.


While the prologue and first chapter throws you right into it, the rest of the book lacked that "slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense" action I was expecting from this book. The action scenes were too short and kind of disappointing. For a book that promises to be about a kickass assassin, I couldn't get a good image of all the hits, all the kicks or all the blows Fia was giving. Nor did I really get to see much of that instinct that made her so deadly.

And the whole espionage thing could have used a bit of work. I was hoping to be wrapped up in this whole conspiracy behind the school of specials. While it's obvious from the very start that the girls are being used for their powers, I'm not exactly sure what that power is being used for. I mean, I'm assuming it's for some mafia-type assassin business, but really, what's the point?


When I started looking at the book from a psychological point of view, I began to see how crafty White had been. Don't get me wrong, it was a bit irritating at first - the constant switching back and forth of POV and from present to past. But, I really began to appreciate the style that White put into the book.

I did feel, that even though the POV were spread out quite evenly, Fia kind of dominated the book. I would have liked to see more character from Anna, especially since it all started because of her. But at the same time, I can see how her blindness fits so perfectly well in this book - how she could not see the very thing that was right in front of her all along.

And the constant flashbacks were a bit grating on my nerves because they interrupt the story at the most inopportune time. But I can see the effect White was going for, pushing readers forward, and the timing wasn't bad as far as giving us the background when it seemed to fit. The only place I felt it was just wrong was at the end You have an amazing end - kind of a cliffhanger, but kind of a forward-looking determination. Why in the world you use that point to give it a bland flashback? To me, it dulled a powerful end.

I would have liked to see more of the other characters in this book. I think James is way deeper than we give him credit for, and Adam may be linked to this whole thing, but his appearance in the book was weak considering his role and his powerful start. I wanted to know the story behind Ms. Robertson, and Eden is not the shadow that she appeared to be. With every amazing book is amazing supporting characters, and in this book, they were just taken for granted.


The reason why I liked this book so much was because it wasn't an easy read, partially because of the constant shifts and the writing style. But the thing that really got me was because although some parts were predictable, as expected, the most of it kept me guessing until the end, especially those questions concerning Adam and James and their roles in this book.

And the end? Holy crap! I never saw that one coming. I did understand about Anna's vision while she had it, but Fia's final move? Wow. So my question is: So many scenarios flying around in my head. So many questions still left unanswered. But like I said at the beginning. The book, sans last flashback, ended without that "Ocean's 13" satisfaction, where you walked out of the casino, knowing you have beater the system.
Profile Image for Rachel Finney.
154 reviews45 followers
January 20, 2016
It took me a second to get into this one and really understand what was going on, but I honestly flew through this book. It's definitely more on the action side rather than character development, but that's okay! It was a satisfying quick read and I can't wait to read the sequel! Also- James. Just James.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,282 reviews1,655 followers
January 24, 2013
Ugh, you guys. I was so excited for this pretty much until I started reading it. I mean, that cover! Also, I enjoyed the first two Paranormalcy books, though in Endlessly Lend and Evie went way over my sap-tolerance. Here's the thing: the best part of Paranormalcy is the humor; it may not be good literature or amazing writing, but Evie is funny. Neither Fia nor Annie has a sense of humor, and, without it, the book relies heavily on White's writing and plotting, which turns out not to be a great thing.

Sometimes when a book disappoints me, I leave feeling angry. I am pissed off for days that the marketing tricked me into reading something so awful. In this case, I really do not have any bad feelings towards Mind Games at all. This may be, in fact, the most meh I have ever felt upon finishing a book. I can almost feel the novel draining out of my head as I type this, so I should probably type with alacrity. Basically, this book bored me, from beginning to end (with brief breaks to annoy me). Despite its brevity, it took three days for me to finish because any distraction would be more interesting.

On the plus side, Mind Games starts off with a bang. Fia is an assassin, sent to complete a mission. Unfortunately, her mission turns out to be a cute guy who likes puppies, so she cannot follow through. This would be cheesy, except that saving him writes a death warrant for herself and her blind sister, Annie, with her employers. Even worse, three goons are chasing her and the guy, Adam. The opening scene catches the readers attention and creates a lot of curiosity about what precisely is going on.

Honestly, I'm torn on the writing. Personally, I really do not like it, because repetition and simplistic sentences bother me. However, I do give Kiersten White full credit for writing two disparate, easily-distinguished two person narratives. What really irritates me about the writing, primarily Fia's narrative, is the repetition. This done stylistically, though, so, if this does not bother you, then I suspect you will enjoy the writing. Here are a couple of samples from the ARC, so you can see what I mean, though note that they could be changed before publication:

"He's still helping the puppy, untangling the leash from a tree its owner tied it to outside the bar. And he's not only setting it free, he's talking to it. I can't hear the words but I can see in the puppy's tail that, however he's talking, he's talking just right, all tender sweet cheerful comfort as his long fingers deftly untwist and unwind and undo my entire day, my entire life."

"Oh no. Oh no, oh no. I didn't do it. I didn't kill Adam. He's sitting next to me, driving (I let him drive? Why did I let him drive?) and very much alive."

The plotting and world building confound me at many points, which is not something I say often. Two main things I really do not get: the school and the seers. First off, we've got these people with powers (like seers and readers), and some evil dude is collecting them into this school so he can use them for his nefarious purposes. We learn nothing about how this school started or where the powers came from. Perhaps more frustrating, Fia has a unique power, perfect instincts, but we never learn if there are other rare powers or if she's just that special.

Throughout the novel, much is made of the seers and how Fia is the only one who can possibly do anything they cannot see in advance. She has this capability because she acts on her perfect instincts. Since she acts impulsively, they cannot ever see her future, since it is not set. That sort of makes sense, except that she makes longer-range plans all the time. Maybe one instinctual decision in the middle prevents the seers from picking up on her endgame? I mean, in the, admittedly surprising, conclusion, she had a plan and they would have seen it; that was not instinct. This whole thing reminds me a lot of Minority Report. All of this might not bother people who do not feel the need to focus so much on nitty gritty details. For me, nothing made any sense, though I may be trying to apply logic where it's not meant to be.

Mind Games would benefit from characterization. Fia is the only one I know too much about, and the only one to really receive any back story, despite the fact that the flashbacks should give a lot more of a view into Annie and James, too. Fia never coalesces into a distinct person. She does a lot of things and feels a lot of things that never really seem to add up the way one might expect. Her motivations are often unclear, such as why a certain incident made her start tap tap tapping. I do like Fia's love of dancing, and that no one ever shames her for loving that or wearing sexy clothes. However, I do not care for Fia's desire to belong to James, like a pair of headphones or something; this seems both out of character and really backward. Everyone else is one-note. James is sexy and dangerous. Annie is blind and helpless. Cole has stubble. Eden is awful. Adam is sweet and loves puppies.

The portrayal of Annie upsets me the most. For all that the book should be equally about her (the UK version is even titled Sister Assassins), she has no role in the novel but to be the albatross around Fia's neck. Every single horrible thing in Fia's life happens because she has to watch out for Annie. Both of them feel this. Annie never does anything; even when she makes up her mind to make a change, her role in that change is entirely passive. Her visions of the future, too, should give her some power, but she always messes up, never leverages them properly. Characters should not exist solely to be a burden. The portrayal of Annie's character depresses me.

Much as this book bores me, I have no doubt that other readers will squee all over it. If you like the writing samples above and will not be digging around looking for plot holes, you can probably sit back and be entertained. If you're more like me, read a sample before spending your hard-earned money.
Profile Image for Emily Elizabeth.
478 reviews766 followers
January 26, 2013
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

1.5 Stars

When I first heard about Mind Games, I was immediately fascinated. The synopsis added in with the gorgeous cover made me desperate for this book. I thought I would love it and even when the negative reviews started to pour in, I wasn't phased. If I'm being totally honest, I probably should've been. Mind Games had the premise of a real winner, but was too short, too cliche and too predictable to make a mark.

There is so much that I didn't like about this novel. I should probably start off by saying what I did like. I liked ferocity of the love these sisters had for each other. Familial connections are often downplayed in young adult fiction, so it was nice to see a novel that was centered around that. I, also, liked the idea of the story. Two girls being trained to be high end assassins with special abilities? Sounds great, right? I thought so, too. And I liked the way Ms. White left her readers wanting to know what happened next. I may not have enjoyed the book, but the ending left me curious. So curious that I will probably continue with the series.

Now, what I didn't like? Pretty much the rest of it. I didn't really like the characters. I loathed Fia almost one-hundred percent of the time. Her perspective and her actions make her seems more like a four-year-old than a young adult. It was hard to read from and even harder to care about. She made no sense to me and I still am befuddled by her actions at the very end of the book, a week after finishing it. I did not like the point-of-view switch, because there were also quite a few flashbacks. It was hard to distinguish a true timeframe and was extremely difficult to keep up with. I must be honest and say that I have no idea what the timeframe of the story actually was because of the disorder of the layout.

The characters… I don't know what to say about them. Besides Fia and Annie, we don't get much insight into the characters' lives. That being said, even though Fia and Annie are the main characters they still felt like strangers to me by the end of the novel. In both cases, they were strangers that I did not care for in the least. In fact, I didn't like most of the characters. Adam was one of the two that I was genuinely curious about. James was the other who intrigued me, but their parts in this story felt so minor and unimportant. The way the author tried to make it seem like they were pretty key players was extremely forced. It was as though we were supposed to be truly enamored by them, and I almost was, but when I sat down to think about it, I had no idea why because I had no idea who they were. The readers will really only know Adam in name because he's barely in the story, though most of the conflict has to do with him. Reading Mind Games felt like reading a sequel because it felt like only the surface was skimmed and the reader was just supposed to automatically understand. That's why reading this book felt more like a chore than a pleasure.

The plot would've been thrilling, if I had any feelings for the characters, or if almost everything hadn't been utterly predictable. Fia and Annie are orphan sisters, with special abilities. They, unwilling, attend a school that is catered to those with abilities similar to theirs. (Though we only really ever meet one other student…) They are stuck there, stuck being used because they are trying to protect each other from what those who run the school threaten upon the other sister. Then one boy does something to muck it all up. Thus Mind Games was born.

I think the main problem with this book was the length. It had a ton of potential. Really, Mind Games could've been epic, but the author rushed everything and didn't delve deep enough into a world that needed to be seen so that the rest of the story could be enjoyed. It's pretty obvious that the first draft was written in nine days and it seemed like the author didn't add much too it since then. This novel was a real disappointment and I'm actually upset about it because I thought it was going to be fabulous. The amazing idea behind this story wasn't done justice. That's not to say others won't enjoy the book. I'm sure that many people will like Mind Games. It was an interesting story, it just wasn't for me.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Ashley Bogner.
Author 2 books69 followers
June 5, 2017
Mind Games is a book that had a lot of potential, but unfortunately just didn't work for me. I wanted to like it because it 1) is about people with superpowers 2) is written in an alternating first-person POV. However, several things prevented me from being able to really like it.

First of all, the writing style didn't fit. At all. The author loved repetition and run-on sentences. I eventually figured out this was part of the character perspective, but it quickly became distracting. Also, the tone felt a little too...fluffy for a book with a darker storyline like this one.

As I mentioned in one of my status updates for Mind Games , I did not approve of the relationship between Fia and a certain guy. Nope. He was way older than her, knew he was way older than her, made jokes about things that really weren't funny, kept secrets from her, and seemed to manipulate her. I think this was supposed to tie in with Fia's character arc, but if so, it just wasn't developed well.

Similarly, the story just wasn't built completely. A lot of things confused me. Personally, I think the book needed an extra fifty pages just to properly set things up. The awkward shifts in the timeline didn't help, either.

Don't get me wrong-- Mind Games did have some positive elements. The premise was really interesting and the story was very fast-paced. It didn't, however, leave me dying for the next book.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,766 reviews303 followers
August 17, 2018
It pains me to give a Kiersten White book 2 stars but I just did not like this one.

Fia and Annie are very special sisters. Annie is blind but can see the future while Fia has the best intuition known to man - every instinct of hers is right. After their parents die, they are sent to live with an aunt who really doesn't want to raise two girls. When a mysterious scholarship arrives for Annie, their Aunt wastes no time sending the girls off to the mysterious boarding school not really caring what happens to them. But this isn't a normal boarding school and soon Annie is being held captive while Fia does everything she can to find them a way out.

It sounds soooo good right?? And I really wanted it to be. But it was just all over the place. And a lot of that has to do with the way the story is told. It jumps from past to present quite frequently and then jumps around in those time periods as well so I never really had a feel for where we were or how much time had passed in the present.

On top of that, the sisters weren't that likable as MC's and I found that I didn't want to root for them. Annie was naive and gullible. And Fia was just downright horrible. And being in her head hurt. The two characters I liked were Adam and James - two mysterious boys who seem to be more than we are lead to believe. If we could have had more with them, or their POV I feel like it would have been more interesting.

I guess one good thing was that it was short. I have the sequel and I'm going to read it because I'm me, but I don't have high hopes for it.
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews330 followers
February 8, 2013
Being the Cover Whore that I am, I was dying to get my hands on Mind Games from the moment that I saw its stunning cover. I actually read the blurb for this one and it got me even more excited. Two sisters with extraordinary powers trapped in a school that wants to use their powers to carry out their evil deeds. How epic does that sound? This story had a stunning cover and a great premise going for it but unfortunately it failed to deliver...until the very last chapter.

Fia and Annie are sisters who at an early age began showing signs of having capabilities that other humans didn’t have. Fia can always feel what is right or wrong with her flawless instincts and Annie had a vision of their parents dying in a terrible car crash which came true later that night. The world that was created in which there is a school that houses all of these people with powers should have been so fascinating but instead fell flat. All we got were teachers who were so twisted that it was hard to believe that Annie could have been falling for their crap all along and thinking she was in this place that was good for her future. And instead of great friendships and a great sisterhood it was just full of people who didn’t really like each other and were constantly at each others throats.

There was not one student in the school that I liked, but we really don’t get to see any other than Annie, Fia and their friend Eden. I didn’t like Eden, and I can’t even really back that up with a strong reason why, we never got to know her in any way other than a few scenes where she was snarky towards Fia. Annie was pretty frustrating because she spent most of her time moping about all the things Fia had to go through to keep her safe. I felt like, as the older sister, she should have had some more wits about her but she really felt like she was so oblivious to absolutely everything. She knew that her sister was being trained and used as a weapon for murder but still she was selfish and wanted to reap the benefits she was receiving at the school. Fia was pretty snarky and in the beginning I was sure that I was going to like her but even she fell flat for me. She was always repeating things three times and tapping her fingers three times & I just never got a feel for what purpose this served in the plot other than annoying me.

Along with the repetitiveness of the story I was also bothered by the pacing. When I read the first chapter I was prepared for a story made of awesome because it was great! There was action and intensity & Fia looked promising with her sass and kicking ass capabilities. But I kept reading and I was extremely bored. There are all of these flashbacks that aren’t really cohesive; one will go back 7 years, then the next 2, then the next 5 and it ended up feeling all over the place to the point that I wasn’t sure if I was reading something that was happening in the now, or just how far back in the past it occurred. So in the middle I wanted to sleep and then the last chapter was like BAM awesome again. So it was like a sandwich with this really amazing bread filled with something you would never ever want to eat. Yeah, it was just like that.

Mind Games was my first White novel and there’s a pretty good chance it will be my last. The twist at the end was enough for my to bump my star rating up one but I don’t think it was enough to make me actually pick up the sequel. Such a shame too with such a pretty cover...


You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.
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