The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten WhiteTitle: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Publishing Info: September 25, 2018 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: ALAAC18, Scribd
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Retelling, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: October 13, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Mind Games (Mind Games #1)

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.


My history with Kiersten White books is quite rocky, finishing some with intermediate feelings and deciding to abandon others. I feel like I just don’t click with her writing style but I couldn’t resist this Frankenstein adaptation, especially when I saw it pop up as an available audiobook.

I still didn’t quite click with this one for some of the same reasons, but I also didn’t struggle as much either. The beginning intrigued me but I also still felt like so much was narration. With the adage of “show, don’t tell,” I feel like so much was still told to the readers from Elizabeth’s point of view and there wasn’t as much happening through the plot and dialogue. There were a lot of flashbacks to supplement the story line but I’m also not sure how I felt about them. As an audiobook, some of them seemed to come on abruptly and it took me a couple sentences to realize we were flashing back based on the characters ages and which characters were present.

I also felt like there wasn’t quite a clear direction for the characters and there wasn’t a commitment to their demeanor. I guess you can see it as the fact that people aren’t black and white, so I did like the shades of grey where you weren’t sure who had dark motives and if we were still rooting for said motives… but the way that some things in book ended was a little too light for me given other darker things and it just didn’t feel like it fit with the tone of the rest of the book. I ended up being bored and disappointed with Elizabeth’s actions towards the end and things really lost steam instead of having a big, thrilling conclusion.

I’m glad I read the book given its context and I like being able to continuously try authors that I haven’t quite connected with in the past. It’s still not something I’m thrilled with and it wasn’t a superb match for me but it did offer something different as far as a literary style, even if it wasn’t the best match for me.


Kept Me Hooked On: Frankenstein retellings. For some reason, I think Frankenstein retellings and adaptations are really cool and I liked this take on the story!
Left Me Wanting More: Thrills. This book had a cool, creepy vibe to it and it ended a little dully for me. I thought it was leading up to something insane and the ending just felt a little tame.

Addiction Rating
Try it

It looks like Kiersten White’s writing just isn’t for me. This was an okay read for me but for a cool retelling, I still didn’t love it.




Mind Games (Mind Games #1) – Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) – Kiersten WhiteTitle: Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
Publishing Info: February 19, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Won
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 9, 2013

    Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways... or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.
In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heart-stoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost


bookreview1Call me shallow, but looks matter. I mean, I totally judged this book by its cover. I LOVED the cover for this book (all the blues and purples and pinks – gorgeous) so admittedly, the cover drew me in initially and once I started to read more about it, I was super intrigued by the description! I love a good paranormal thriller so MIND GAMES quickly became one of my most anticipated reads for early 2013. Sadly, that was where the excitement ended as well.

MIND GAMES was really hard for me to get into. It’s a very fast-paced book and also somewhat shorter in length (only 237 pages) so it was quick to read and honestly, if it hadn’t been… I’m not sure I would have finished it. I really didn’t like reading from Fia’s point of view (also, did not like “Fia” as a nickname for Sofia, but that’s just my weird names hang-up) although I understood it.
Fia has natural instincts, incredibly so that she’s virtually always able to make the right decision without thinking and just trusting her gut. In order to keep the psychics and the mind readers of the book in the dark, Fia relies almost entirely on her instincts and doesn’t interrupt her thoughts at all, so the reader gets a sort of stream-of-consciousness POV from Fia at all times. While I understand it, it was difficult to read at times because I felt like I was reading the author’s stream of consciousness and not Fia’s. The whole style of her POV felt unfinished to me and it took away from the book instead of adding something special to it.

The book alternates between Fia’s POV and her sister Annie’s. Annie is much easier to read and understand because she kind of only relies on her mind. Even though she’s blind, she has the uncanny and ironic ability to “See”: she has visions of events in the future as if she can see them happening herself. Annie is much more put together and definitely less scarred and traumatized then Fia so I was able to follow her story much better.

Besides the alternating POVs, the story also switches back and forth between present day and the past, which normally I’m fine with, but it was a little too much in MIND GAMES. I had to follow “Monday night, Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon” in present day but also jump around from “Ten years ago, five years ago, three years ago” in the past. I just felt like it was all over the place and not terribly hard to follow but just enough that it took me out of the story for a second to put together the pieces of the timeline, adjust, and then jump back in. It felt like an interruption of the book instead of adding additional information.

That all being said, the plot didn’t knock me off my feet either. The concept was great and something really interesting, but going back to what I said earlier, the whole book just felt rushed all the time. I felt like details didn’t get explained, the past didn’t connect to the present well, and the characters never really got developed. I think it may have been worth it to add a few extra pages of explanations and character development to really hook the reader in and I just felt like I was really, really missing that.

Put all those elements together and add Fia’s annoying tics (tapping and repeating everything in threes “tap tap tap”  “hate hate hate”  “go go go” — can you tell I hate repetition in books?) and you have one disappointed reader. I was really sad that this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. All of the things that were different about this book felt like a weight pulling it down instead of letting the book shine and carry the reader through.

And the ending!?! That was really, really, (I’m pulling a Fia here), REALLY disappointing and did not make any sense to me whatsoever. I know MIND GAMES is a series. I don’t think I’ll continue on.


Fia: I didn’t hate Fia, but I certainly didn’t like her. I wanted so much more from her! Obviously she hasn’t had it easy, but the fact that the reader is never really allowed into her true and deep thoughts put up a wall and I was never able to connect with her. She could have been a really great character and she just totally fell flat for me. I just wanted a little bit more insight and explanation of some of her decisions and quirks.
Annie: I liked Annie a lot more, but even still, I think there could have been more character development for her… She did seem a lot more real to me than Fia was though.
James: What is up with James? Do we like him? Do we hate him? Do we trust him??? I was just confused all around and I’m hoping the readers get answers in future books because even after finishing MIND GAMES… I’m still not sure.

addiction_factor1Library Read

MIND GAMES was a bit of a struggle for me. It was an interesting concept and I wanted to like the characters but the book really fell flat. Maybe it just wasn’t the book for me!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MIND GAMES

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