Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by, Alexandra Bracken




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.


Pages: 488


Release Date: December 18th 2012



     When I started The Darkest Minds I had very high expectations, I had heard nothing but great reviews of the novel.  After finishing the novel, I was surprised that  I was not completely wowed.  The plot, the world, most of the characters, and the writing was fantastic.  But, the one problem that I had about the book was the plot twists, if they could be even called that.  All the 'plot twists' were predictable to me, which made my reading experience not as fantastic as I had hoped and assumed it would be.  It was still a great book.  I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.  
     The world of The Darkest Minds definitely makes up for the loss of plot twists.  It is set in a dystopian version of the U.S, where kids between the ages of 10 and 14 either die from the disease IANN or survive and have powers.  Not many survive. Those that do receive one of the following powers and are catagorized into a color group:  super intellectual (green), the ability to create and wield fire (red) or electricity (yellow), able to manipulate people (orange), and have telekinesis (blue).  It would be amazing if these powers actually existed, I would just hope they would not fall into the wrong hands.
      The characters for the most part were fantastic.  Chub (blue) and Zu (yellow) are my favorite characters.  Chub is witty, sarcastic, a reader, and determined.  Zu, on the other hand, is sweet, kind, shy, mute, funny, intelligent, and innocent.  I think I love both of them because all of those  traits describe my best friends.  The reviews that I have seen of the book tend to like Liam (blue) and Ruby (orange) the best though.  I do not see all the great characteristics and personality of Liam.  Ruby has so much character development throughout the novel, but that  did not change my view on her.  She has gone through a difficult past, and her powers can get in her way.  I feel as if she throws herself a pity party every time the plot gets harder and she has challenges.  I admire characters that overcome their challenges, unlike Ruby.  She could still possibly improve over the next two books.   From my current perspective, she has not won my admiration.
      When Clancy (orange) was first mentioned in the novel, I was picturing a kid that would be in his mid to late 20's.  It turns out he is only 18 years old.  The perfect age for the other side of the love triangle which I don't think belongs in the story.
      The cover is beautiful.  Both the title and cover design draws you in.  The symbol on the front is actually the PSI and/or the kids that survived IANN's symbol. The symbol is considered either.  
     The two saddest moments in the book had to have been when Zu left for California, and when Ruby's parents forgot who Ruby was because she had accidentally erased their memories of her.  The only time that I completely felt sorry for Ruby was at that moment.  Ruby may not be may favorite character, but who would wish something like that onto someone.  I found out that there is an e-book, In Time, that follows a guy named Gabe and he meets Zu on the way to California, so I am excited to read that, since Zu is one of my favorite characters!
     The ending was rather dramatic.  I thought that Ruby was going to erase Liam's memory of her to save him and get him out of the League. From the reviews I had read, the reviews figured that she would not go through with it.  I, on the other hand, knew how stubborn she was.  I thought erasing Liam's memory was one of the smartest but also stupidest ideas and things she has done. It was smart because there was really no other way to insure Liam's safety.  It was one of the stupidest because it is pretty obvious that she is going to need something from him in the future.  Only it will be difficult because he will not know who she is.
     One of the other stupidest mistakes Ruby made was calling the League in the first place.  I do realize most likely that Chub would have died but who says that he is still alive now!  The League could be doing anything to him right now or even send him back to the camp he broke out from!  Ruby should have disposed of that help button in the beginning like she was meant to, otherwise, none of them would be in this mess! 
     The cutest moment in the book was when Liam and Ruby took Chub's letter and found out that it was blank.  Chub left it blank intentionally because he hoped that he would be alive.  It was so cuteb but also really sad that Chub might not live to tell the tales.   
     Overall, The Darkest Minds was set in a brilliant world, had interesting characters, was action-packed, and somewhat of an emotional roller coaster.  Even though I had stated in my introduction that The Darkest Minds was not exactly what I had hoped for.  I will still continue reading the trilogy because most likely the author will have more writing experience from writing the first novel and give me more of what I had hoped for in the next novel Never Fade which is released October 15th of this year. 

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