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Book review: 'Mind Games' is a complicated thriller

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 12:45 p.m. MST

"MIND GAMES," by Kiersten White, Harper Teen, $17.99, 256 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

"Mind Games” by Kiersten White is a psychological thriller about two sisters with unique powers and abilities. The sisters are controlled by a powerful agency and are held captive against their will. Though the story is frustrating at times, the end of the book compensates for any confusion the reader may have.

Fia and Annie are sisters who will do anything for each other. After their parents die, they are recruited by a powerful company that promises them a top-notch education.

The girls eventually learn that their classmates have special abilities. There are people who can feel emotions in the room, people who can see visions of the future, and people who can read minds. The girls learn that they, too, have special talents.

Unbeknownst to the sisters, the school is really a place to train young ladies to hone their secret powers and do the dirty work for those in charge. Fia is trained as an assassin, and Annie, who is blind and can see visions, is kept hostage at the school. If Fia does not complete her missions, they threaten her with Annie's life.

Soon enough, Fia is told to kill a young man named Adam. She does not know why she has to kill him; she only knows she cannot complete her mission. There is something about Adam that is unique and Fia does not want to harm him. In the meantime, Fia has to make sure she keeps her sister safe until she figures out what her next move is.

“Mind Games” is a compelling young adult novel. Instead of focusing on an intense love story, the novel's main focus is on the relationship between the two sisters. It is a refreshing read for those who are ready for something other than high school paranormal romance stories.

A downside of the book is the stream of consciousness style the author shares the story. It can be difficult at times to figure out the plot of the story because of all the unnecessary jargon.

The two sisters narrate the book. The narration also takes place at different times in each sister’s life. Unless the reader pays attention to the chapter headings, this can be confusing because it interrupts the general flow of the story.

Overall, “Mind Games” is a family-friendly book, but does have some violence as Fia carries out her assignments and some more mature themes.

White is one of the presenters at the upcoming Teen Author Boot Camp on Saturday, March 16, at Utah Valley Univeristy. See teenauthorbootcamp.com for information.

If you go ...

What: Pitch Black Dark Days tour with Kiersten White; other authors include Dan Wells, "Partials"; Lauren Oliver, Delirium series; Claudia Gray, "Spellcaster" and the Evernight series; Debra Driza, "Mila 2.0"; and Brodi Ashton, Everneath series

When: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo Library ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com, www.pitchdark.com

Note: event is free; no tickets required

Shelby Scoffield has a bachelor's in English from Brigham Young University and a master's in rhetoric and composition from Stanislaus State University. She is currently working on her teaching credentials so she can teach high school English.

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