** This is an advanced readers copy obtained from BookCon 2019**
Book Title: Mind Games
Author: Shana Silver
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Number of Pages: 307
Release Date: August 27, 2019
“” You’re remembering only how-to memories, things ingrained in you, like tying your shoe or riding a bike. Actions and knowledge but not moments. That type of stuff is harder to forget.””
“Some people find comfort in thinking of a cherished memory when things get rough…”
“A black cloud washes over the classroom like a tidal wave as the memory plays in my mind.”
“I saved my friend but sacrificed myself in the process.”
“I used to think the only way to lose someone was to have him or her leave you, whether by force or choice.”
“Memories from before HiveMind existed are often incomplete fragments, sometimes just thoughts, sometimes with multiple versions depending on how your recall of what happened changes when influenced by other people’s retellings.”
“… I like you the way you are, from what I’ve learned so far. I want to uncover you, piece by piece, and then put you back together. Sometimes a fresh start doesn’t always mean a blank slate.”
“” I’d say you’ve reached your quota for awkward situations in one day, but I’m afraid you’re about to have another one.””
“His arms cradle me and we sit there for a moment, both of us tethered to the only thing we can trust now, two people who have offered only the absolute truth to each other, as we know it anyway.”
“What I lacked, he had, a balance I could never find… where our strengths often clashed against each other rather than complimenting each other.”
“It’s nice to know that someone can read my mind just by looking at me and not by accessing my thoughts.”
Arden sells memories. Whether it’s becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate’s memories and upload the experience for you just as if you’d lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing 15 minutes of her life and all her memories of the hot boy across the school yard. The hot boy her friends assure her she’s had a crush on for years.
Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been deleted. And she’s not the only one, the hot stranger, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone with the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned?
I came across this book at BookCon when I found out they were giving copies away at the Swoon Reads booth. Once in line, I found out that in order to get a copy of the book, you had to unscramble a word. I figured out that it was ‘HIVEMIND’, so I ended up with a copy of the book!
The idea of this book was extremely interesting and unique, I have never read a book like this before. This book introduces you to Arden Varga, who attends a high school developed by her parents for students who excel in computer programming and technology. The main computer program that Arden’s school is known for is HiveMind, which is a program that stores everyone’s memory into a “cloud” where people are able to access their own memories in which they have long forgotten.
Arden, who is known by her classmates for hacking into their HiveMind accounts in order for them to relive their memories, is thrown for a loop when she discovers that somehow some of her memories have been hacked into. She also comes to find out that one of her classmates, whom she senses she knows but cant remember, also has had their memories hacked into. Both her and Sebastian have to figure out how and why their memories are being hacked into before they lose them for good.
I really felt for the characters Arden and Sebastian as they faced the fear of the possibility of losing their memories. It made me think about those suffering from dementia. I know it was a stretch, but it’s true. They are faced with something they have absolutely no control over, which is terrifying.
I really enjoyed how the author built tension throughout the novel regarding whether or not Arden and Sebastian (the other classmate who’s memories were hacked) would be able to figure out who hacked into their memories. There wasn’t a dull moment in this book and the plot kept me engaged until the end. I had a slight inkling to who the hacker was, but I was still surprised to find out. The author also did a really nice job of getting the reader to be dropped into Arden’s world and feeling what she was going through. The pacing of the story flowed very smoothly, with Silver spending the perfect amount of time on each part of the story. I was very eager to finish the story and not want to put the book down.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys books with elements of sci-fi, mystery and computer programming/technology.