Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: December 18th 2012.
My 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.

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces” 

The Darkest Minds was a book that I had seen for some time, but not really paid much attention to, however as soon as I started my copy, I was thrilled to hear from many readers that they had been huge fans of it. Also being in the mood that I was, not wanting to read much, largely because of lack of time, I was hoping that The Darkest Minds would be something that would blow me away. And despite it taking me nearly a month to read it, I ended up really enjoying The Darkest Minds. 

The Darkest Minds starts off with our MC Ruby in a rehabilitation camp called Thurmond, she’s been there since the age of 10, and all kids at around this age are tested and grouped according to their ability. Despite being stuck here for nearly six years, Ruby has lucked out sort of, she scraped under the radar, so could have found herself in a much worse situation. I liked how with Ruby, we weren’t given the full picture with her immediately, we didn’t really know the full extent of her abilities, or even how she ended up in Thurmond in the first place. So getting little titbits of her experiences was refreshing. I felt that I was getting to know her that little bit more when she began to open up and share more of her back story with us. 

Ruby’s story was at times a really heartbreaking one, with everything she had been through; you really wanted her to get her happy ending that she deserved. But I knew with everything going on it would be a struggle to achieve this. But The Darkest Minds was also a story filled with hope; hope that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel that children would be free once more. 

I loved the characters that Bracken created in this story; Liam, Chubs and Zu, people who found themselves in a situation with Ruby, but decided to trust her without knowing anything about her. I loved the relationships that formed with these characters over the course of the story, how such genuine characters they were, how they just got each other and knew they could trust one another. I’m glad that with this book like Olivia Pope from Scandal I had a gut feeling about characters. I knew which ones would remain loyal through and through. So when a particular character did make an appearance later on, I’m glad that despite being slightly swayed, I stuck to my gut instinct of knowing that there was something dodgy about them. Bracken really put my heart through the shredder when it came to her characters, I didn’t want anything to happen to them, especially to the ones that I had formed close relationships with. Chubs, Ruby, Zu and Liam really stood out for me; they really made a formidable team. I enjoyed getting their individual back stories and learning what bought them together. I especially loved the relationship that developed between Liam and Ruby. Liam really did take me by surprise as at first he didn’t come across boyfriend/fictional crush material, but seriously Liam completely won me over by the end. He had everything to offer and so much more; he would put his neck on the line by searching new places before anyone else, he would be there when little Zu had a bad dream, by comforting her and reassuring her that everything would be okay and he always had hope which he was easily able pass onto the others. But his scenes with Ruby just made my heart melt, there were so many obstacles in their way, especially later on, but I loved the moments they were able to steal together. 

The Darkest Minds was a book full of nonstop action, it was a read where I had an inkling that something major was about to go down, but I never knew to what extent. I would highly recommend giving The Darkest Minds a go, especially if you love your thrilling reads, sprinkled with a sweet romance. Also I have to mention the ending!! Why??? (I have been lurking about for the last few days for my copy of Never Fade to arrive, as things better be different in that book!).



20 comments:

  1. Yesss. I love love loved this book too and I agree, it's dark, fascinating and hopeful. I loved all the characters and Liam has a special place in my heart as well! Can't wait to read the final two bokks :)

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  2. ahhh this book was so awesome!!!! It was perfectly dark and action-packed and AMAZING. I'm so happy you liked it <3

    I have to say though, book 2 was nowhere near as good IMO. The pace was just a lot slower. Cannot wait to read book 3 though, because I have faith that'll be just as awesome as Darkest Minds

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  3. I haven't read this one but I have heard such amazing things about it. I really like the sound of Ruby and she sounds like someone I will connect with. Also the whole story seems so good. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Jasprit :)

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  4. Ohh! I'm glad you loved this book sweetie :D I... hah. I did not like it much at all :p So little that I don't really remember anything from it! ACK. That is not good, hah. But it do make me happy that you enjoyed it so much. Fingers crossed you will like the next ones too :)

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  5. I'm so happy you loved this as much as I did, Jasprit. This was very much a surprising read for me as well and I absolutely adored the characters. The secondary cast especially was lovely. I'm excited to read more about them,and I'm crossing my fingers that nothing bad happens to them either.
    Lovely review, Jasprit.

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  6. Yeah, I had that gut feeling, too! A sign of good writing, I guess. And I loved the guys, the way they interacted. I really enjoyed this story though I'm probably not going to continue with the series (of course, I'm terrible about continuing past book 1 anyway).

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  7. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I'm totally obsessed. I can't wait to find out how it all ends. I agree on the sense of hope the book creates despite the hardships and I absolutely want Ruby to have her happy ending. I'm also a huge fan of these characters. I slowly fell for Liam and well but I also love the bromance between Liam and Chubs. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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  8. A book full of nonstop action is always fun...and the characters sound fantastic! I'll have to bump this one up on my TBR pile.

    Great review! :)

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  9. Awesome review, Jas. I haven't had the chance to read my copy yet but you had me convinced. I like the premise and am interested to find out about why Liam is not a boyfriend material. :)

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  10. I have been hearing so much about this book for such a long time
    And it sounds so good and interesting
    I love your review,
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  11. I am one of those who has seen this series lurking around and haven't delved into it. I really need to just take the plunge. I love seeing all these older books getting reviewed.

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  12. I've heard SO many good things about this series, I'm glad you finally picked it up! All of the characters sound amazing and unique-- I'm curious to see what their powers are. I love a good ol' action-packed story, too! And despite the length, I'm glad you still really loved it. Fantastic review, Jasprit!

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  13. I've been putting this series off too, but I want to give it a try as soon as the third book releases! I'm glad you liked it so much; the characters and the romance sound wonderful. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, J!

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  14. This is one I've heard many great things about too, Jasprit. I think the premise sounds so good, as do the characters! Great review!

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  15. Glad to see that you liked this one, Jasprit! I may have DNFed this halfway (it got too angsty for my taste... and they're bloody kids! Haha), but I do agree that Ruby's plight is very heartbreaking. As I read more and more, I only wanted that things get better for her. Perhaps I should put on my big girl pants and read this through to the end!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  16. Bracken's debut is one of my favorite novels so when The Darkest Minds released I was incredibly excited. But the threat of a cliffhanger held me back and, again, Never Fade's cliffhanger held me back. I'm definitely going to be bumping this up my TBR though and hopefully I'll get to it soon. I can't wait to meet these characters and the story seems so unique and compelling. So glad you enjoyed it, Jasprit! Wonderful review. :)

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  17. Awww, I've read The Darkest Minds ages ago and I remember being so conflicted about it that I chickened out on writing a review for it. Never Fade is glaring at me, as I type, and I will try to read it as soon as possible. I'm so so happy you reminded me of all those details I really appreciated with this one. Lovely review, Jasprit!

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  18. Totally enjoyed the characters in this one too

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  19. Oh my, heartbreaking and full of non-stop action, huh?! I've had an ARC forever, but somehow have never gotten around to reading this. Tonya really liked this too, though, and so many people love this series so much, I really have to get with the program sometime. I'm glad you loved it, Jasprit! At least you won't have to wait for the sequel, and to wait too long for book 3. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  20. Look at you getting so into non contemporaries! I'm afraid of these cliffhangers, but I do plan to read through this series, assuming the finale ends okay. I love the talk of fast paced action and all the twists and the characters and romance sound great!

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