Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds #1
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 488
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC from BEA
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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.
Wow. What a disturbingly amazing world. Alexandra Bracken created a strong world, and if there is one thing you can’t say is lacking, it’s the back-story. She gives us enough information to get a good understanding of the world and of the reasons why it becomes what it is. Alexandra Bracken really took us on an emotional rollercoaster ride, keeping us on the edge of our seat. The premises of the novel was one of the main reason why I wanted to read this book so badly, since it sounded like the kind of book I would love, and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. It felt new and fresh, and it was really addicting. It will even please some of you who are starting to get bored of dystopian.

The story follows Ruby, a young girl who has been stuck in a “rehabilitation camp” for the last six years. This gave her certain strength, but also a weakness. Thanks to everything that has been said about people like her (orange) and what she has seen of others like her, she sees herself as a monster, and she fears what she is. Having been in the camp for so long, she doesn’t know what is going on in the world outside the walls of the camp. I have to say, I really liked seeing her grow because of what she discovers on the other side, and because of everything she has to do to survive. By the end of the book, she has to face some difficult choices that will change her.

Along her way, she meets a group of kid like her, and she joins them on the road. The group had some really interesting characters and I liked seeing them with Ruby. Zu was so cute, and you really can’t help but want to protect her, to see her be okay. Then, there is Chub. He is the one that doesn’t accept Ruby at first, the one who is skeptical about the things she tells them. I like that there was at least one character who was cautious about the appearance of a new girl, as they are on the run. I think most people in their situation wouldn’t have been 100% welcoming. Finally, there’s Liam. He is the kind of character that gives you hope in their world, as he is the one who wants to see the good in people. The four of them together created a group with an interesting dynamic, and it was one of my favorite parts of the book.

The Darkest Minds was an excellent start to a series that promises a lot. This dystopian is dark and addicting, and I can’t wait to see where Alexandra Bracken will take Ruby and us in the next novel.

About the Author:
From GoodReads

Alexandra Bracken wrote Brightly Woven as a birthday present for a friend, and the story grew and flourished during a year of unpredictable, wild weather. A native of Arizona, she is a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she majored in History and English. She now lives in New York City.

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  1. wonderful review. you've convinced me to get this book!

  2. I have been wanting to read this book for a while, I am really looking forward to it because I am a huge dystopian fan, your review has definitely convinced me to move this one up my TBR list!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  3. I actually forgotten that I wanted to read this until seeing your review. Now it's back at the top of my list!

  4. I loved this review! I've read a few about this book, but this is the one that made me want to pick this up and read it right now! So, I'm not going to be able to actually read it right now, but I'll get my hands on it soon! Thanks for the wonderful review again!

  5. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about this book. It sounds great!

  6. I absolutely adored The Darkest Minds. It was one of those books that I bought the minute it came out and devoured in one sitting. I'm really looking forward to the next book. Great review :)


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  8. THE DARKEST MINDS won't be for everyone. It can get dark and bleak. There are few characters worthy of trust. The deck is stacked against Ruby and the other psychics, and they have few means of bettering their lives despite their powers. But I believe she and her friends can make it and change the world. (Once they decide they want to change the world, that is.) I'll definitely be following this series to see what happens next.

    Cleo Rogers (Seattle Plumber Pinky's)

  9. There's a lot going on in this story and Bracken shows it all in vivid detail -- it is definitely action-packed and the pace moves along quickly. Despite its chunkier size, I still moved through The Darkest Minds pretty quickly because I simply couldn't put it down.
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