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Book Review: The Darkest Minds

Title: Darkest Minds, the
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reviewer: Lyanna
Rating: 4.5 stars


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.

Darkest Minds was not really an entirely unique idea… evil-government regime, disease, super-power mutants, surviving on your own. Where have I heard it before? [taps chin] Oh right! It's a little bit of all those post-apocalypse-theories minus the aliens, zombies, and mother nature disasters merged into one. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. 

The writing makes up for its lack of uniqueness. I'm a sucker for road-trips and adventures so the Darkest Minds is right up my alley. It also has a staggering heart-shattering, soul-crushing, tear-inducing ending! Speaking of endings...


was that NECESSARY?
You know what? never mind! 

Carrying on… 

I picked up this book with no idea whatsoever of what it's about. Yeah, I'm an impulsive buyer. Darkest Minds has been on my TBR-list for a long, long time. It ended up there because it was recommended by a friend then it was recommended again by another friend, then again by another friend until I just HAD to buy it.

But I still didn't KNOW what it was about. So I went into this book completely blind.


There's something about reading books and not knowing anything about them that makes the surprise-factor that much more significant. In the beginning of this book we learn about the camps and the white noise and the disease and somehow I couldn't stop picturing the Holocaust and thinking of the Psi kids as Jews and it gnawed at my heart.

After that point, I simply couldn't put the book down.  

Zu stole my heart, Liam running a close second and Chubs for third. Zu was such a… little sister in the book that even the readers couldn't help being protective over her. Liam, well, is Liam. He's so adorable I want to eat him. Ruby… I can't say I love her but I don't hate her either. She's not stupid unlike almost all female protagonists nowadays so THANK GOD for that. Except she did have that stupid moment in the end of the book [cough] where she did that unforgivably [cough] horrifying thing to Liam [cough].

Liam, Chubs, Ruby & Zu. It's beautiful how these characters are so vividly different and yet they blend into the most beautiful colours and complete the most stunning abstracts when placed together.

Props to you, Alex Bracken, for your mad writing skills.


The plot.

I'm sorry, Ms. Bracken, I really really want to give this book 5 stars but the plot was too over-used. I've seen it so many times before. If only there could've been one defining factor that separated this book from the others like it, then it could've warranted 5 stars from me, alas, I did not find any such "defining factor."

On a brighter note, the writing redeemed the book. 
A very strong debut for a promising series.

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