The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) – Alexandra Bracken

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10576365When 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.

 

I read this book for my September pick for Secret Readers. I’m so sorry that I didn’t finish this in September, but at least I have it up  now!

 

The Darkest Minds was a very interesting book for me, because I almost DNF’d it. I hated the first 100 pages. I found them boring and very difficult to read. The child abuse that occurred in this book was heartbreaking. I wasn’t okay with reading about adults abusing children, children abusing children, and children dying. I remember once that I argued with someone that Divergent was filled with child abuse. They couldn’t understand the concept that even in a dystopia book, if a child is getting abused by an adult….there’s an issue. It’s abuse. And, yes, I do have a slight problem reading about that in the YA genre….any genre actually. So, it bugged me in this one. A lot. To the point that I was bitching about it on Facebook and begging people to tell me there was a reason to continue this book. Thankfully, there was.

After I got through the initial 100 pages of The Darkest Minds, things really started to pick up. It was action packed and full of adventure. The characters…omg…the characters! I laughed so hard during this book. It was like being in the background of this book and actually watching real people. I would often forget that it was an actual book and just lose myself in it. It was so real, so mysterious, so action packed, so….everything. I loved it!

A couple negative things about The Darkest Minds. First, it was very predictable. I was never shocked. I always knew what was going to happen. WHERE is the fun in that? I mean…I still loved the book…but I wanted a few moments where I could just be like WOW! Did that REALLY just happen?! Yeah…that didn’t happen. Also, I didn’t care for the last 100 pages of the book. I guess that figures. I didn’t like the first 100…I didn’t like the last 100. FIGURES! I went back to my mind frame during the last 100 pages that it was full of abuse. It also got really boring. I don’t want to tell you why, because that would really just spoil a lot of things for you, but it was.

One thing that I really liked about this book was the paranormal magical quality that it included. Normally you don’t really see that type of stuff in Dystopia books. I liked that the kids were categorized into “colors.” I would have liked to see a wider diversity of colors and powers. I didn’t really like that all the kids had pretty much the same powers as their color.  I wanted to see more of an X-Men quality. I wanted to see someone come out who had the power to freeze someone to death or something. Or move metal with their minds! I mean….obviously not JUST the same as X-Men, but I did want a little more in the power department. I really enjoyed the power thing, though.

The romance is The Darkest Minds didn’t seem very “insta-lovely,” and there wasn’t a love triangle! It seemed to progress from acquaintances, to friends, to a crush, to love. We really didn’t see any kissing or anything until the very end of the book. The whole thing seemed more about friendship and survival…with a little mixture of romance. I liked that the romance didn’t smother the entire book.

Even though I have some negative things to say about this book, I really adored it. I read through this practically at the speed of lightning, and I’m already itching to get my hands on the second book. I NEED IT! It’s a great dystopia with amazing characters. Go get your hands on this one!

 

Pages: 488

Publication Date: December 18th 2012

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Rating: [rating: 4]

 

Teaser Quote: “…crackers…” a voice breathed out nehind us, “yesss…”
Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep.
I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling.
“He dreams about food,” he said. “A lot.” 

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