Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken ReviewReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 496 Pages
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Narration: First Person: Ruby
Genre: Dystopian
The Darkest Minds Series:
Book One: The Darkest Minds 
Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
My Review:
Since I'm sick and feel like absolute crap at the moment,
I apologize if the following review is not entirely coherent.

I have been restlessly waiting for The Darkest Minds for what has seemed to me like an entire millennium. Ever since I glanced at the cover in my recommendations bar, I knew that it was going to be a keeper. Ya know, one of those books that you buy in Kindle form, fall in love with, then rush off to Barnes and Noble to buy a physical copy just to stare at all day. Is that normal? Hopefully I'm not the only one who does this.... 

The simple black textured cover, adorned with an orange Psi symbol, and barbed wire to finish it off intrigued me endlessly! Of course I had no idea what the symbol meant before reading the novel, but when I finished, it made perfect sense! The cover was so different compared to other YA novels that usually consist of a pretty girl in a long dress looking off into the distance dramatically or a broody and mysterious bad boy caught in an intimate embrace with his soul mate or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these covers if they actually coincide with the novel. But to be honest, they usually don't.

The Darkest Minds takes place in a futuristic world, when America is basically bankrupt and more than half of the younger generation (Usually 10-14) is infected with IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration). Those who survive this life threatening condition come out stronger and develop abilities that the government deems dangerous and deadly. The parents of these children send their kids off to "rehabilitation camps," a place the government claims is helping to find a cure for these children, but instead is forcing them to work long strenuous hours and treating them like savage animals. In these camps, each child is sorted into five categories according to how dangerous their ability is.
Green: Mentally advanced children/photographic memories.
Blue: Telekinesis.
Yellow: Electricity.
Orange: Mind Control
Red: ability to create and wield fire.

The protagonist, Ruby, was nothing like I expected her to be! She was strong, brave, fiercely loyal, intelligent, and yet also had a tendency to be unconfident at times. She was afraid of what her powers were capable of, and because of this, she thought of herself as a monster, something that could not be controlled. Ruby constantly thought about the wellbeing of others and always put the lives of her friends, or even complete strangers, in front of her own. She was compassionate the majority of the time, however, there were a couple moments when her actions were at odd with her benevolent nature. One of the biggest reasons I loved Ruby was because she didn't hesitate to fight back. Even though she had no training whatsoever, she didn't cower in the corner like some annoying damsel in distress. She fought back with everything she had and didn't hesitate to risk her life to save others even if it meant the end of her own.

There were two love interests (sort of) in this novel, but it was far from what you would call a love triangle. Liam was the leader of their little gang, had a slight southern drawl, and was so cute! He was always brave and put together when it came to leading his friends, but when it came to talking to Ruby about...other things, he was just so adorably awkward! There were so many times that I let out an audible "Awwww!" every time he did something sweet. And the one thing I loved best about their relationship? It was NOT one of those despicable insta love connections! When Ruby and Liam first met, there was a slight attraction to each other, but it was realistic. It wasn't this out of the blue, "We were meant to be together." or "Your my soul mate, and I would do anything to be with you." kind of thing. It started off as a friendship and it grew over time into something more. They were each independent people and didn't let love change who they really were. It felt real. The other love interest (Don't want to say his name, because it's a huge spoiler!), made me a little wary as soon as he was introduced. He was just so.......perfect and slightly creepy.

The one point where this novel really shined, was the depths of the supporting characters. I have never, in all my years of reading, loved and connected to every single character in a book! Love you, Chubs! :D.

The action was well paced! In the beginning, I was kind of confused on what was happening, which resulted in me having to reread a few things over. But after I got a few chapters into the story, I was immediately sucked into the dark and violent world Alexandra managed to create. I thought I had everything figured out halfway through the novel, but I. Was. So. Wrong! I wasn't able to predict anything correctly, and that's saying something because since I've read so many books, It's become easy to know what's coming next just by paying attention to all the minor details. The Darkest Minds was an exception to that! There were so many times that Alexandra played with my emotions! One time, I literally felt my heart drop, and I was like no no No No! Then I read the next sentence, and I could finally breathe again. AND THAT ENDING!? WHAT? WHY!? WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US!?

Overall, The Darkest Minds put a unique spin to the well known world of Dystopian novels. If you enjoy dark dystopians, unpredictable twists and turns, a strong heroine, and unbreakable friendships, you should pick this book up ASAP!

Favorite Quotes:

"They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived."
"I'm a monster, you know. I'm one of the dangerous ones."
"No you aren't," he promised. "Your one of us."
"The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces."

Heroine- 4/5
Romance- 5/5
Action- 4/5
Comedy- 3/5
Overall- 4/5



  1. Whoa. When I first started reading your review I was all like 'Ooh, she sounds angry, I hope she doesn't end up hating it too much.' But you completely took me by surprise.
    I'm so happy this was a good read cause I've been dying to read it too! I'm totally getting it!! :D

    1. Haha nahh. I was just being cranky, because I'm sick. :P And yeah it's definitely a must read for dystopian lovers! :D

  2. Ha! You are soooo not the only one that buys the physical copy of the book if you love the ebook! I do this too! It's like a security blanket for me! I've lived through cassette tapes, down to CDs, now down to digital music... so I know that nothing lasts forever. What happens when epub, pdf, & mobi formats no longer are the popular format? We'd lose our books! Travesty!!! So buying them and placing them on my bookshelf makes me a happy girl :) hahaha :)

    Love this review! I need to check into buying a copy! I haven't heard of it until now!


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