Mind Games is a dystopian thriller which takes the idea of living virtually to the extreme. With a theme of "what makes you different makes you dangerous" it is perfect for fans of Veronica Roth's Divergent series.
"Luna has always been able to exist in virtual and real worlds at the same time, a secret she is warned to keep. She hides her ability by being a Refuser: excluded by choice from the virtual spheres others inhabit.
But when she is singled out for testing, she can't hide any longer.
The safest thing to do would be to fail, to go back to a dead-end life, no future. But Luna is starting to hope for something better, and hope is a dangerous thing..."
I received an uncorrected proof copy through Goodreads so my opinion is not based on the final version of the novel. Also it's worth mentioning that Teri Terry is the author of the well-known Slated series, and there are some allusions to this in Mind Games.
I really enjoyed reading this book! Terry positions us as the reader in a privileged position so we get clued into other characters' motives before Luna understands what is going on around her, but she does this without spoiling climatic points. For instance, time is a big theme and the narrative toys with changing time so that we - as readers - are given glimpses of the future (and even the past) before Luna's personal clock catches up with us. This was something I loved about the book as I was able to completely transport myself into the story cinematically, which helped me to visualise the world in my mind.
If you're someone who reads the first line of a book to decide whether to continue reading or not, please don't do this with Mind Games! The first line - at least in my copy - is about school and I'm not a fan of books set in schools with the usual drama going on. But wait! Only the first few chapters of Mind Games are set in/around school and barely even touch the usual expectations. I mean, the opening is about hacking into virtual code! Keep reading, you'll enjoy it... trust me.
The scary thing about the concept of the book is that it is entirely plausible (ahhh)! Most of the virtual-reality lovers around Luna have a mantra that "virtual is better" and hold this belief because there is less danger in something that isn't real (at least, as far as they know). Is it possible for some crazy-scientist to do this with the internet in the future? The internet may be great but I sure as hell don't want to be trapped in it!
Thank you for reading!
Let me know in the comments what you think of Mind Games and also any book recommendations you may have.