May 23, 2013

The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Pages: 488
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

From When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has 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 favorite moments in The Darkest Minds were the ones where the horrific world around the characters kind of fell away.  The ones where they were able to be normal kids despite the circumstances.  Zu and Ruby "shopping" at the store, Liam and Ruby dancing to the Beach Boys, Chubs and Ruby just having conversations.  Those were the moments I lived for in this book.  They're really highlighted by the fact that the world they live in is so bleak and tragic.

My absolute favorite thing about this book was its characters.  Spending so much time with the main foursome really connects you to them.  Whenever someone was separated from the rest of the group, keeping watch or whatever, I was on high alert the whole time, waiting for something terrible to happen.  Bracken really has the ability to make you feel like you're there with Ruby and the rest as they journey for answers.  I absolutely adored Liam.  He was always so worried about making sure everyone else was okay.  And he was so accepting of Ruby.  No question, of course they were going to take her with them.

What I remember most clearly about this book though, is crying all through the end.  Even afterwards, after I put the book down I couldn't stop.  My sister looked over at me like I was a crazy person, I was sitting in one of our living room chairs and I just had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't stop them.  So if you like dystopian/paranormal books or books that give you a lot of feelings definitely check out The Darkest Minds.

I feel I cheated a little bit on this one because this song, Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys, is actually in a scene in the book, but I think these lyrics fit pretty well.  Also, I grew up listening to The Beach Boys and I'll take any excuse to feature one of my favorite songs by them.

(Click on the lyrics to hear the song on youtube.)


  1. I simply can't imagine that song going with this a book with this cover! I'm intrigued... Guess I'll have to read it to find out :)

    1. Definitely check it out, it was an awesome read!

  2. I love The Darkest Minds so much! The end is heartbreaking and I was in tears as I read it.

    The characters are wonderful and while I loved Liam and Ruby, Chubs was just such a great character. Great review!

    1. Chubs is awesome! And I'm so excited to read the sequel, I'm hoping to get it at BEA this week. *crosses fingers*