Monday, August 6, 2018

Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds
(The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
December 18, 2012
488 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living.



I've had The Darkest Minds on my shelves for years but only recently picked it up because the film adaption is coming out and I knew I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. While I wouldn't say it's the most original dystopian novel I've read the focus on children was interesting.

The Darkest Minds is a hefty book and I definitely felt the length in the first 100 pages or so. The world-building and background-constructing took a fair bit of time since I wasn't very keen on the politics and the power struggles in the world. They weren't the most engaging things to read but I concede that they were necessary pieces of information. Once we got those out of the way the story picked up. The thrills were all in the unknown.

For six years Ruby has been kept in confinement. Once she got out, I enjoyed learning about the new world alongside her. I'm a little disappointed with Ruby though. Besides her extraordinary ability nothing about her felt special. Maybe that's a good thing seeing that without her powers she's really just an ordinary girl trying to navigate a hostile world which is realistic. I'd really like to see Ruby come out of her shell for the sequel. I have a feeling that's exactly what will happen since by the end of The Darkest Minds we do witness some small changes in her.

Liam is a boy with a heart of gold. He was so gentle with Ruby patiently coaxing her out of herself. The attraction was natural. Though his valiant acts and self-sacrificing ways had me constantly worried I loved his caring personality and charismatic nature. He deserves better... I need to see him secure his happiness!

Chubs stood out in the story and not just because of his name ;) Truth be told, I disliked him in the beginning because of how rude he was to Ruby. But the more I saw him interact with people/things the more he grew on me. He was a no nonsense type of guy who always gave it to you straight. Once Chubs is on your side, he's on your side forever. At the end of The Darkest Minds I liked him even more than Ruby.

The Darkest Minds leaves us with a cliffhanger ending where you can see a new chapter opening for the characters. They're all changed in some way and I'm definitely going to keep reading to see where things go for them!
4 Cats

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