The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Published: 12-18-12 by Disney Hyperion
Get the book: Amazon
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.
Design – Marci Senders Execution – Sammy Yuen Rating – 4/5
I like this cover – it’s bold but still dark and mysterious. It makes me want to find out what the symbol represents. I wasn’t sure what was up with the barbed wire details, but after reading the book I think it’s a nice touch that hints toward how trapped the characters are – literally and figuratively.
I love Alexandra Bracken’s writing. This book got my emotions so riled up, that I was saying things like “no, no no no no” and “oh god no” under my breath while I was reading. Plus there are 17 pages of notes and marks on my kindle for this book. Usually there are 3 or 4 pages, tops. And the ending, thought I thought it might happen, tore my heart out. Sign me up for every book Alexandra Bracken ever writes please!
- Liam + Chubs – When Ruby met Liam and Chubs, my interest in this book doubled. The guys, with their slowly unwinding backstory, are such a breath of fresh air in Ruby’s life. They are so different from each other and their ways of doing things are risky and exciting. From the start, Chubs is guarded and against letting anyone else in. He’s quiet, a bit reluctant, and doesn’t know what to do with his anger over their situation. But Chubs is also really smart – he spends his free time reading and his medical knowledge comes in handy more than once. And Liam. Liam is a leader, but the decisions he makes weigh heavily on his conscience. He’s a little reserved but he does what he has to do and he does it with very little hesitation.
- abilities – The range of everyone’s abilities is vast, which makes things really interesting. From the very beginning there’s a built in kind of hierarchy among them and it definitely comes into play throughout the book. The abilities are also so different from one person to the next. Some are just off the wall strange, a few are similar, but it seems like no two people’s are the same. They’re kinda like the X-Men. It’s intense because with some people, their abilities are known from the start, some people have abilities that are revealed later on, and some have one ability while everyone thinks they have something else.
- high stakes – The stakes are crazy high. All that these people have is each other, but Ruby especially is cautious about getting close to other people. Everyone is literally being hunted down by multiple groups of people because of their abilities, but that doesn’t mean that they can automatically trust everyone else in that situation. My emotions were all over the place just trying to keep up with everything happening! and Miss Bracken certainly doesn’t hold back with the tear-your-heart-out moments.
- Liam – I just want to talk more about Liam because I loved every second he was around and it was noticeable when he wasn’t. From the 1st scene Liam’s in, he pops off the page and is an engaging character. There’s a buildup and a kinda will-they-won’t-they between Ruby and Liam that I adored. When Liam called Ruby darlin’ for the 1st time, my heart melted. Liam’s past is mysterious and I’m looking forward to finding out his backstory.
- confusing car chase – I am all for high-speed car chases, but when the action moves so fast things can get confusing. I have read over this scene at least 5 times and I’m still not sure who’s in which car. Our heroes are in Black Betty, their trusty minivan, and there’s a tan SUV and a red pickup truck both in pursuit. First, there’s an SUV coming at them, then the car behind them is the ruck. A guy named Rob is specifically said to be driving the SUV, but then he’s turning the truck around and I’m just so lost, because a page later he is definitely in the SUV. In the whole scheme of things it doesn’t make much difference, but it made me stop reading to try to puzzle out what was happening.
- trust – I don’t want to spoil things, so this is hard, but there’s a character that had me practically screaming at Ruby to run the other way. He’s manipulative, and despite her initial feelings toward him, Ruby quickly decides to trust him. She is aware that he used his abilities to push a thought into her head from across a room on their very first meeting, yet this is a person that Ruby decides it’s safe to trust and confide in. I really wanted one of her friends to shake some sense into her.
- The black bulb stayed perched exactly where it was, only now, the camera’s eye rotated to face me. It’s on, I thought through the haze of panic, searching for something to smash it with. It’s recording. – Ruby pg. 146
- When a girl cries, few things are more worthless than a boy. Having two of them just meant that they stared at each other helplessly instead of at me. Chubs and Liam stood, up to their ears in awkward, until Chubs finally reached out and patted my head like he would patted a dog. – pg. 303
Acquired: bought (ebook)