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GROUP READ OF THE MONTH--ARCHIVE > Mind Games--January Group Read--SPOILERS

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message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Ok to post spoilers here.

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message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra LOVED this book! Can't wait to talk about it!


message 3: by Galla (last edited Jan 05, 2011 08:50AM) (new)

Galla | 32 comments Really enjoyed this book! I'm still amazed the author actually managed to make this premise work so well.

I liked that there was a balance between presenting the characters' neuroses as serious afflictions and recognizing that there's humor in them. Several of the hypochondria scenes cracked me up.

"Aggie--" I look hard into her gray eyes. "Did you used to watch The Brady Bunch?" She nods. Of course she did. "Do you remember," I whisper, "when Peter thought he had that tropical fever?"

WIN. Crane writes scenes like this in a way that makes it easy for readers to relate. Really, how many of us have gone online with a minor allergic reaction and let WebMD convince us we have a kidney disease, parasite, leprosy, and/or toxic epidermal necrolysis? (Oh god. Say it's not just me! lol)

Really loved the secondary characters, too. The disillusionists form a type of family unit, and I particularly liked the friendship between Justine and Shelby.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I read this book last year, but I really enjoyed it. I loved the disillusionst idea! And the characters were really lovable.

Galla, you're not alone! I don't know how many times I've read about different symptoms online. Definitely the worst thing you can do, since you can have most diseases with the same symptoms. And they're not helpful at all in calming you down, haha.


message 5: by Galla (new)

Galla | 32 comments Rebecca wrote: "Definitely the worst thing you can do, since you can have most diseases with the same symptoms. And they're not helpful at all in calming you down, haha."

So true! For me, that was part of why the premise of the book actually works. Since the disillusionists feed fears people already have, it's not such a huge leap to believe that adding a supernatural element to neurosis projection could be psychologically devastating.


message 6: by Mariya (new)

Mariya (cr6zym0nkeyiz) | 60 comments I read this book last year and it was AMAZING! I still have to read the second book though, but I am looking forward to it.


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 05, 2011 10:46AM) (new)

Galla wrote: "So true! For me, that was part of why the premise of the book actually works. Since the disillusionists feed fears people already have, it's not such a huge leap to believe that adding a supernatural element to neurosis projection could be psychologically devastating."

I know what you mean, it all kind of made perfect sense.


message 8: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Michaels | 21 comments I absolutely love the psychological elements of this book. Such an unique idea. And hypochrondria is truly a paralyzing fear. Some of the paragraphs actually had my skin crawling. I got the 2nd book for X-mas and can't wait to read it.


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra I loved when she was pretending to try to make her marks feel better, but was really saying the things she knew drove her crazy to hear from medical professionals like; "I'm sure it's just a (insert benign thing that looks like horrible thing)" and "I'm sorry; I'm just not qualified to make a diagnosis."

p.s. the second one is great, I highly recommend it!


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Haha, oh yes, Sandra. I remember that; I know it would drive me crazy!

I can't wait to read it! Did you think it was as good as the first one? :)


message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra I gave the first one 5 stars, absolutely loved it. The second one was great and was a solid 4 star, but the last third or so I bumped back up to 5 star because there were some CRAZY twists I totally did not see coming that kinda had me freaking out! I don't want to give any hints to spoil it but it has me squirming for the third, can't wait!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooh, I do have to get it soon. Now I'm really curious!


message 13: by Galla (new)

Galla | 32 comments I wasn't quite as impressed with the second book as I was with the first. Justine comes across as whiny at times & pulls a TSTL move or two that had me facepalming. That said, the story was very engrossing as a whole, and I'm definitely still enthused about the series. Like Sandra said, there's a HUGE twist in Double Cross--it's brilliant and a little mean at the same time.


message 14: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Michaels | 21 comments Galla wrote: "I wasn't quite as impressed with the second book as I was with the first. Justine comes across as whiny at times & pulls a TSTL move or two that had me facepalming. That said, the story was very en..."

Ooh, now I'm really looking forward to reading it


message 15: by Josh (new)

Josh (firequake) I was not a fan of this book. I did enjoy seeing the story from the perspective of the crime boss, with the shift to the standard perspective later in the book. The disillusionist idea was also intriguing and definitely unique. However, there were two major issues I take with the book that made it worth not continuing in the series.

My first and primary issue is with the grotesque amount of sensual material in this book. Not that I'm against a romantic subplot, but the romance in the book was always so immature, with only surface level character development. Justine becomes romantically infatuated with almost every male character in the story, from Packard to Simon. The amount of physical intimacy she has with so many different male characters would almost classify her as a prostitute. These sensual encounters belong more in the erotica genre and less in the YA section, and simply take away from what could have been an excellent storyline.

My second issue regards the way in which the disillusionists "zing" people. They open a hole in their own energy level and transfer their emotions into someone else. Because the author did not mention any changes, it is assumed that the standard laws of physics apply. Herein lies the problem. According to the properties of Entropy, a high energy system will expand into a low energy system until the two systems have reach equilibrium. However, instead of becoming equal, ALL the negative emotions simply rush out of them. This simply cannot happen. Only if they could force the negative energy out would they be able to move from a high entropy system into a low entropy one. I have absolutely no issue with author's manipulating the laws of physics, but I expect them to define the laws of their universe, and not deviate from those laws. Given this story takes place on Earth during a modern age, standard laws apply unless otherwise specified. This is an almost unacceptable flaw, and my personal pet peeve.


message 16: by Galla (new)

Galla | 32 comments Josh wrote: "The amount of physical intimacy she has with so many different male characters would almost classify her as a prostitute."

Goodness gracious! IIRC, she had sex with two people, Cubby (w/ whom she was in a relationship at the time) and Otto (w/ whom she began a relationship). She kissed Packard, and I think she kissed Simon once, though that was for show--and I saw absolutely no infatuation between Simon and Justine.

I guess we all have our own frames of reference, but if that makes Justine a near-whore to you, I suppose this means that you and I just have vastly differing notions of "normal" sexual behavior and morality.


message 17: by Josh (new)

Josh (firequake) Yes I believe that she was wrong, primarily because of the time span that all these interactions occur in, and also that they overlapped significantly. If over time, these occurred, that's a different story. But yes, it is immoral to be romantically infatuated with another while you are in a relationship with someone. As you said, this is simply my opinion, I know that may others do not believe in devotion or loyalty, and so live by a different moral compass. So be it. The book didn't work well for me, may have worked well for others. This difference of tastes is why books are published with a variety of styles and opinions, so is on the whole a positive thing.


message 18: by Galla (new)

Galla | 32 comments Josh wrote: "I know that may others do not believe in devotion or loyalty"

Nice dig! That was a completely awesome leap of assumptive behavior right there.


message 19: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Josh wrote: "primarily because of the time span that all these interactions occur in, and also that they overlapped significantly. If over time, these occurred, that's a different story."

You're right that these different relationships did develop quickly and overlap, and I think if any of us were involved in this situation (from any side) in real life we might think she was being promiscuous. As it is, when reading books like this I often find that so much happens in the charters lives in such quick succession, I often forget that in the book world it's only been a few days. And while I can understand that if it bothered you it would certainly effect how you felt about the book as a whole, personally I didn't give much thought to it since it seemed like her feelings and relationships were following the course of the story and assisting with plot development. But I know I've read some stories with ongoing love triangles that bother me because the heroine can't decide and is basically sleeping with (or having some sort of emotional or physical connection) with both guys and basically leading them on, albeit unintentionally.


message 20: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Galla wrote: "Josh wrote: "I know that may others do not believe in devotion or loyalty"

Nice dig! That was a completely awesome leap of assumptive behavior right there."


Josh, your statement could be taken as a personal attack on a member of this group. Please understand that personal attacks are not allowed in this group and any further posts that are perceived to be of that nature will be removed without a warning. Depending on the severity of the comment(s), you may be removed from the group.

Thank you for your consideration.

The Moderator


message 21: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (sunnytat462) | 822 comments After reading this book I am not sure what to think of it. I think the best thing is the world building and how things work within it.

I both liked and disliked Justine and her actions. Sometimes she was TSTL and at others she was trying to stand up for what she thought was right.

But I did like this one enough that I plan on checking out the next book.


message 22: by Josh (new)

Josh (firequake) Theresa wrote: "Josh, your statement could be taken as a personal attack on a member of this group. Please understand that personal attacks are not allowed in this group and any further posts that are perceived to be of that nature will be removed without a warning. Depending on the severity of the comment(s), you may be removed from the group"

My statement was not intended to be a personal attack. I was referring back to the phrase "it is immoral to be romantically infatuated with another while you are in a relationship with someone." which I see as the complete opposite of both devotion and loyalty.
However taken out of context, I can see how this might have possibly been perceived as a personal attack. I apologize for the wording of my statement, and will try to be more careful in the future.


message 23: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Thanks, Josh. I appreciate your response. :)


message 24: by Rich (new)

Rich Too much Romance for me. The lead seemed to fall in and out of infatuation at lightning speed. At least I can say I've read a romance novel now. My wife will get a real chuckle ;) Forgive me if I'm wrong and this was not a romance novel.

I can say the parts that were not romantic interest centric were neat and the premise was fun. The romance angles just detracted from it for me.


message 25: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I am smiling at the "romance" label this book is getting from some readers. I didn't get promisicuous from her behavior. Confused, yes, but not slutty. I guess I feel Justine's feelings for Otto were foreshadowed the entire book, so I can't say I was surprised when she sealed the deal with him. As for Packard, why wouldn't she be attracted to him? He did save her from herself and her fears. I felt that was very believable to have her feel so much so quickly. The zinging and bonding thing explains some of that, too. The zinging and "glory hour" makes all the ramped up sensual feelings she got for everyone make sense too. I think that was the authors way of showing what "glory hour" felt like. I loved the book, but I have to say, the ending was a bit anti-climatic. I love all the characters, except Otto. I'm a bit disappointed she ended up feeling so strongly for him. I still think it's a bit fishy. The entire book, any time she saw him on tv, in the paper or even on a billboard, she was immediately overwhelmed with positive feelings about him. I could be reading more into that, but I feel there is something wrong there. If nothing else, it's part of why I wasn't surprised she ends up falling so hard for him. It just came up so often that it bothered me. I'm definitely going to read the next one.


message 26: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Melissa wrote: "I am smiling at the "romance" label this book is getting from some readers. I didn't get promisicuous from her behavior. Confused, yes, but not slutty. I guess I feel Justine's feelings for Otto..."

I think you had some great insight into the whole Otto situation and I think you'll really love the 2nd one. Def no anti-climactic ending!


message 27: by Melissa (new)

Melissa OH! Sandra! Thanks! I can not stop thinking about her strange total belief in Otto! I am going to have to get the second book sooner than later now. Author website says second half of 2011 for book three.


message 28: by Rich (last edited Feb 03, 2011 10:44AM) (new)

Rich Melissa wrote: I am smiling at the "romance" label this book is getting from some readers

Was it not a romance novel? Serious question here since I've never read one. I can see the point your making about the sex - glory hour angle but wasn't the Otto hot tube thing pre-zing? Wasn't the Packard Kiss(es) pre-zing or post glory hour.

The romance tag has been put on it by two guys I think, so I guess you can just consider the source.


message 29: by Galla (new)

Galla | 32 comments Rich, I'd consider it an Urban Fantasy with an atypical romance component. A romance novel basically guarantees a happy ending between the novel's primary couple. If this had been a more typical romance, Justine would have worked through her issues with Packard and ended up with him in the end. Otto sort of snuck in there instead, in a way that a writer adhering to romance conventions would have avoided.

Of course, this is a trilogy, and the third book isn't out yet, so it's hard to say if Crane's overall arc will end up looking like a UF romance that proceeded over the course of the three books (having read book 2, I'm guessing it might, but there's a heckuva cliffhanger at the end of book 2).

A good example of an UF that does follow more typical romance conventions is The Iron Duke. You get some excellent world-building, a mystery with multiple layers, and a steamy romance, complete with a period of angst (which gets resolved in the end, since it's a romance).

I really enjoyed both that book and Mind Games, but to me, The Iron Duke is UF-Romance, and Mind Games is UF with a side order of smexin. ;)


message 30: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I was only laughing at the romance comments because it was mild in comparison to some books that I've read that are labeled "romance". I agree that there was a strong romantic element to the storyline, but I am finding that true in more and more UF. Sex sells...


message 31: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Yeah, like you said, even in UF the couple usually ends up together but not until the end of the series with a lot of back and forth turmoil in between. Whereas Romance books have a HEA immediately . But they can both be pretty heavy on the sexin, not that I'm complaining!


message 32: by Lisa O. (new)

Lisa O. | 48 comments I finally got around to this one, and I think it's about 3 stars for me. I just didn't like the writing style or Justine's character for the first half of the book. I did really enjoy the little twist and her falling for Otto. I wasn't expecting that ending at all. I didn't see Justine as too promiscuous though. I think the book actually took place over several months, every now and then she would make a comment along those lines. So I didn't think the romance and sex was too overdone. I'm not sure if I'll read the second one or not, maybe someday.


message 33: by Rich (new)

Rich Thanks for setting me straight Galla :) I'm probably out for the next two novels as they seem more along the "Mind Games" line. I did however start the nightside series that was one of the possibles for Feb/March. That is more my speed ;) You all are awesome and hope to be back on the group read in April.


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