Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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

Title: The Darkest Minds
Series: The Darkest Minds, #1
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Category: Dystopian/ Sci-Fi/ Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.

My thoughts

Let’s just say The Darkest Minds was not what I was expected at all. I’m going to be honest, this book has been sitting on my shelf for months. I had won an ARC some time back, but I just didn't pick it up. So, going into it, I had no idea what I was going to encounter. I now love The Darkest Minds.  

It was just after the first few pages that I was completely sucked in. I then knew I wasn't going to be able to put this one down. I was right, I devoured this book in no time, and when I shut it, I realized waiting for the next book was going to be my own personal hell. 
“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”
Alexandra created a world, very much her own. Yes, there are tons of dystopian books floating around. I have read my share, but Alexandra’s idea, though not all original, was very unique. I found her world to be refreshing.  The Darkest Minds had some brilliant twist and turns that left me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next. I couldn't even really guess what was going to happen with the story line or the characters.

Speaking of characters, Alexandra created some unique ones that went so well with her story. They made her world even more remarkable. Ruby was one girl I just really admired. And throughout the book, you can really empathize with her, with the situation she goes through. She does go through so much in the book, you get to see just how human she is despite what the ‘others’ think of her. Even though she has been treated as someone to fear, she cares for others, and puts others before herself. The ending really showed that!

Now, the guys (if you know me, you know I’m big on the boys in books) in The Darkest Minds, well, one guy in particular, really was different from the other hero types. Liam is so different from what I read in other books. Now, that doesn't make him a character you can't fall head over heels for, on the contrary, he is a very strong character. Now, what do I mean when I say Liam is different? Well, in most books( YA, NA, the such) the guy is good at sports, amazing, dashing looks, arrogant personality, et cetera et cetera. Liam does have those dashing good looks, but he isn't arrogant, he’s clumsy, which I found sweet. He treats everyone as equals. How he treated Ruby is what really made him an amazing character in my eyes.

Ruby and Liam really make the story, but so do the side characters. Suzume, I love her, and Chubs! These two are simply brilliant. I loved Suzume’s innocent and childlike character, and Chubs’ snarky attitude! He had me smiling so much! Each character, from the main characters to the side characters, they each had their own distinct personalities. 
“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived.”
Of course, no book would be complete without the antagonist. The Darkest Minds has some brilliant and scary ones. And some you don’t even notice are bad till they come and slap you in the face.

The world Alexandra paints is vivid and scary real. Though this book isn't all sweet and sunshine, Alexandra doesn't hold back on the glory details. But The Darkest Minds also has its sweet moments. This book is a mixture of hope and despair.  It was also more intense and dark then I had thought it would be.

The book also moved at a great pace, I never got lost or felt the pacing to be too much. The mystery also was pretty intense. I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next, and I love when a book can do that to me. Alexandra put just enough detail for me to be able to be in the world she created; to not be a reader, but become character. 
“I'm a monster, you know. I'm one of the dangerous ones.”



  1. Okay I am now intrigued. I really wasnt sure what to expect with this one, so I just never picked it up. But now I am really curious. It seems you really enjoyed this one. I am so picky with dystopians because they can be very similar to eachother, so it is good to hear this one is kinda unique. Deff keeping this on my radar now. Awesome review Magen! *muggle huggles*

  2. I need to read this book. I've heard so many great things but I have yet to get around reading it. Sigh. Hopefully I will find the time this summer.

  3. Loved this book. Has a sort of Hunger Games storyline but way better. Great character build ups, storyline has lots of unexpected twists and an intense ending. Would highly recommend this book to readers.


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