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. – Goodreads
Haunting. Bleak. Devastating. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve grown too used to a lot of the lighter “dystopian” books out there because I was unprepared for the heartbreak contained inside the pages of Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. In this world, children either die from a mysterious disease, or they survive but evolve with unexplainable abilities. The unexplainable is always accompanied by fear and, in this case, the children are rounded up and locked up in “rehabilitation” camps. From the first page, Alexandra Bracken offered a tense — and often draining — reading experience but I must say it was a welcome departure from a lot of the fluffier dystopian fare I’ve read.
Just as her world was richly detailed, Alexandra Bracken’s characters were also layered and multidimensional. It would have been so easy to make Ruby such a miserable character to read about, but instead she grew throughout the course of the novel. She endured a lot, struggled with herself and what she could do (and did do), but she was also admirably resilient. Liam, Chubs, and Suzume are the three other core characters and it was so interesting to learn their backstories and abilities. I must say that the bond that Ruby forms with them was the highlight of The Darkest Minds for me. It was so organic, from the initial mistrust to the gradual acceptance, and I loved the heavy focus on their dynamic.
As I reached the conclusion for the book I was pretty much this in real life, no joke. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS, ALEXANDRA BRACKEN?! The sequel is now easily one of my most anticipated titles for the new year. The Darkest Minds will make you sad and break your heart, but it’s so perfectly paced and you will grow so attached to the Black Betty gang. This is definitely a book worth your time.
|More Info||Other Reviews|
|Add it on Goodreads • Author Website • Twitter||Literary Exploration • Citrus Reads • Sophistikatied Reviews|