It would seem pretty obvious that modern fiction, especially modern science fiction, would pick up on modern tech and take off with wildly creative ideas. And of course it often does. But I also find that too often books, especially YA books, tend to rehash tired themes – hoping to capitalize on previous successes. Mind Games by Shana Silver, though, started right off with what I thought to be a rather unique theme.
Arden is a teen who sells memories from the back corner of the school grounds the way other teens might sell a beer or a joint. It’s a successful venture for those who can afford it because who doesn’t want to experience what it’s like to be crowned Homecoming Queen or to know what it’s like to have studied so hard that it’s easy to pass a specific test? How does it work? Arden hacks into the memories of others, copies them, and then uploads them into those who can pay her price.
Business is pretty good until the day she realizes she’s lost some of her own memory. Losing even fifteen minutes is bad, but not exactly life-threatening. Unfortunately, things get worse and Arden begins losing more and more of her own memory. Someone is hacking her and they aren’t just moving or storing her memories somewhere – they’re deleting them! Without the previous days’ memories, how can she possibly hope to stop whoever is destroying her? How can she possibly complete her school project when she remembers nothing about it? And the good-looking guy she’s told she’s been partnered with on the school project … does she know him? Do they like each other? Does he remember anything about what’s going on?
I really got pulled into this story right from the start and the action moves along swiftly, revealing new obstacles or making new revelations at just the right time to keep me really interested. I also found that I was surprised by some of the plot twists that the story took. I definitely had not expected a major plot point, but it fit well with what was happening (I won’t reveal it here, but suffice it to say that it’s a pretty big deal).
There was the almost stereotypical YA romance. It didn’t really bother me too much that it was there, but it definitely took on the tone of so many other YA books and it’s the one part of this book that didn’t feel unique.
I enjoyed this a lot and I would definitely recommend this to YA readers who enjoy many of the popular books with a strong female heroine. This young lady doesn’t run around with a sword or a bow, and we’re not in some dystopian future, and I think that’s all to this books advantage.
Looking for a good book? Mind Games by Shana Silver is a thrilling science fiction YA read that is easy to get excited about.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Shana Silver
publisher: Swoon Books
hardcover, 320 pages