What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Perfect Lies is the second installment in best-selling YA author Kiersten White's Mind Games series. A psychological thriller following teen sisters with paranormal abilities (one has perfect fighting instincts, the other is blind but can see the future), this installment features slightly less violence than the original, but there are still deaths via shooting. The romance includes mentions of love, attraction, and a few passionate kisses. The language is pretty mild: Characters are said to "swear," but it's rarely revealed what they actually say. Although the twin protagonists can act naive, confused, and morally questionable, they are also brave and utterly devoted to each other.
What's the story?
PERFECT LIES picks up right where Mind Games leaves off, after trained teen assassin Fia pretends to kill her older sister, blind "Seer" Annie. Free of the Keane Foundation's leverage to force Fia to do their bidding, Fia joins Keane's son (and her love interest) James to covertly dismantle the secret organization. Meanwhile, a very-much-alive Annie is protected by researcher Adam, attractive Keane Foundation nemesis Rafael, and the grouchy and brooding bodyguard Cole, who slowly but obviously starts to bring Annie out of her shell. Rafael's camp wants to save other girls with paranormal abilities before the Keane Foundation can use them. When Annie keeps having visions of something terrible happening to Fia, the sisters must once again decide how best to help each other as well as other girls like them.
Is it any good?
There's not much meat to these books. They're fine for an easy (and, at 232 pages, short) young adult novel, but don't expect anything substantial, either in plot or character development. The most interesting part of this two-protagonist story is Annie's arc from scared and sheltered blind Seer to a young woman more in touch with reality, ready to train and fight and to, for once, rescue her tough but tragically troubled sister, Fia. Another improvement is the narrative's structure as the buildup to a particular event (every chapter is a time line before or after a climactic encounter in Annie's visions). It worked far better than the confusing intermittent flashbacks employed in the first book.
The Fia chapters are considerably less appealing than the Annie ones, except for the introduction of a new Feeler (thought reader) named Mae, who challenges Fia's instincts: Can she be trusted, or is she a good actress/manipulator? As for the romance, it's definitively more believable (if predictable) in Perfect Lies, because it concentrates on Annie having a vision she's deeply in love with someone whose face she can't see but whose hand she holds with tenderness and desire. Readers will figure out immediately who the mystery future love is, but it doesn't make that particular romance any less sweet. Although not up to White's best work (that remains Paranormalcy), this sequel improves slightly on the original and is an effortlessly quick read.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the violence in Perfect Lies. How does it compare with that in Book 1? Do you think it's more common these days for a female teen character to perpetuate violence?
What do you think of the author's device of making characters swear by saying "she swore" instead of detailing the actual words? Do you think it makes the book more accessible to younger YA readers, or does it come off as less authentic?
White is known to downplay sex and strong language. The romances in her books rarely go beyond making out, but characters don't shy away from acknowledging their desires. How does this approach compare with the trend for steamier YA books?
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Book characters, Brothers and sisters, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publication date:||February 18, 2014|
|Number of pages:||232|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||12 - 18|
|Available on:||Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook|