Series: Mind Games, #2
Released: February 18th, 2014
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Surprising!
Reviewed by: Blythe
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.
The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.
But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.
Once upon a time, I was a little girl with a mom and a dad and a sister, and the only monsters in the world were imaginary.Then I became one of those monsters.
Perfect Lies was, hands down, one of the biggest surprises of 2013 for me. I dove into Perfect Lies with a combination of sheer curiosity and even some hope, along with a mindset of 'let's-just-get-this-over-with,' since I was expecting the worst. But little did I know that the mix of curiosity and hope I had for this sequel were proven to be for something, because I thought Perfect Lies was just a really good read.
As you may or may not know, I was not the biggest fan of Perfect Lies' predecessor, Mind Games...to say the least. I won't delve too much into why I did not like Mind Games, as you can find a full analyzation of that in my review for it; in short, my main issues with it were White's simple (and at times annoying) writing style, the abrupt transitioning between present day and flashbacks that resulted in something like book whiplash, and the fact that I truly did not care about the characters and what happened to them due to what I thought was poor characterization. Among other things, truthfully, but those were my three main issues.
Those issues, and some of the other lesser ones I had with Mind Games, were cleared up and even remedied completely with Perfect Lies. In this installment, Kiersten White's writing style resonated with me far more than it did in Mind Games, and I actually grew to find myself liking it. In Perfect Lies, I think White had a solid idea of who she wanted her characters to be and how she wanted her characters to be that she didn't truly have with Mind Games. In Mind Games, I soon became annoyed by the excessive use of repetition and a stream-of-consciousness writing style in Fia's chapters; I thought they were overused, and made her blatant mental instability feel almost forced and unnatural. In Perfect Lies, however, Kiersten White uses both the repetition and steam-of-consciousness writing style with Fia's chapters in moderation, with more of each towards the end of the novel to accentuate Fia's descent into further instability. That is what I was looking for and hoping Kiersten White would try to achieve in Mind Games, and was something I was left unfortunately very disappointed in. But of course, in Perfect Lies, I wholeheartedly feel that White has succeeded in depicting Fia's instability in a well-written and effective manner that left me caring for her as a character, even though I may not completely resonate with her on a personal level.
In addition to the growth in White's writing style, White's characterization was also met with a notable amount of growth. The characters and relationships are much more fleshed out, well-written, and realistically complex in Perfect Lies than they were in Mind Games. In this installment, Kiersten White used extremely good use of the character of Annie and her abilities, which was something I felt was lacking in Mind Games, and was hoping to see more of, since there is so much potential alongside having a blind MC. There's not much I can say or am able to say about the way in which Perfect Lies is written in regards to the chapters and POVs, but in simplest terms so as not to give anything away, the juxtaposition of both Annie and Fia's perspectives was great, and the countdown-like feel of the novel added a great layer of suspense and anxiety throughout.
Although there are some things I feel were left a bit too out in the open towards the end, especially with this installment being the series' final, and I wish I could have connected more emotionally with Fia, Perfect Lies was an absolute surprise and delight to read. I was about ready to give up on Kiersten White's novels after Mind Games, but I am incredibly happy I decided to give both her and this series a second shot. Fans of Mind Games are inevitably in for a treat with Perfect Lies, and yes, those who were not fans of Mind Games, like myself, could also be in for a treat with it.