Review: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds1

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: 2012
Page Count: 488
Rating: 4/5

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At the age of ten, Ruby wakes up and her entire world is changed. A mysterious disease has killed most of American children, but the ones who survive are left with powers. And now people see these kids with abilities as a threat and they find them and send them to a government rehabilitation camp. They separate the kids based on what ability they have and Ruby spends six years there. Now, she is sixteen and she manages to escape Thurmond, the camp she is staying at. She meets Liam, Chubs and Zu who are on their way to East River, a hideout camp for kids who managed to escape from their rehabilitation camps. As her friendship builds with Liam, so do her feelings. But she can’t risk getting too close because of what happened with her parents. When they arrive at East River, it is not what they expected and Ruby must learn to control her powers.

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This reminded me of a mashup of The 5th Wave and Divergent. I have actually never read Divergent so I’m going based on the movie and I LOVED The 5th Wave. It’s crazy that all three are movies now. While this book reminded me of other books, it had it’s own story and Alexandra Bracken’s writing is so simple. And not in a bad way. I think the writing was straight forward but still told a great story. I also think that the characters had some great development through the book and I grew to like them so much more by the end.

The relationship between Ruby and Liam was so cute! I really enjoyed Liam as a character. He was caring and just a really nice guy. Him and Chubs were so protective over Zu, who is only eleven years old. Zu doesn’t speak because of how terrible things have been. She ‘talks’ to them by writing down things in her notebook. Charles “Chubs” doesn’t like Ruby at first. She kind of just joins their little group and Chubs doesn’t trust her. But he has some great character development and comes around to being really good friends with Ruby. I love this group of friends so because they will do anything for each other.

The mysterious leader of the East River took me by surprise. I really didn’t know who to expect there. But as soon as we meet him, I instantly am skeptical of him. He’s weird and creepy for just staring at Ruby throughout the day and I don’t like him. The entire idea of the East River is odd to me, even when we first arrive there. How does this one guy keep all the officials out of the area? But we learn who he is and it all becomes clear.

I really enjoyed this book and I realize that it has its issues. Alexandra Bracken does overuse some descriptions. Specifically the description of Ruby’s stomach. Ruby’s stomach rolled or she felt sick to her stomach. Bracken also uses the cliche ‘I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding’. I think I read that same sentence about five times throughout the book. But I still recommend it and hope that you like it just as much as I did.

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