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The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

I received this book from Disney Hyperion to read for an honest

I received this book from Disney Hyperion to read for an honest review. I want to thank them for sending it to me. Receiving this book for free in no way influenced my opinion or review.




Blurb from Goodreads:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about ...
I received this book from Disney Hyperion to read for an honest review. I want to thank them for sending it to me. Receiving this book for free in no way influenced my opinion or review.




Blurb from Goodreads:
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.




I'll start with the cover. Simple and to the point, I think. If you read the book, you'll completely understand the use of the Psi symbol on the cover. I like that the color scheme involves on two primary colors. And I really love how the symbol color makes it look like fire. The barbed wire around the bottom and top are perfect in conveying the message of the main characters really being trapped (which you'll understand more when you read the book as I don't want to spoil anything). I have a physical copy of this book and I love the feel of the cover. It's that soft paper. Job well done with the cover.




I really wasn't sure what to expect as far as the storyline was concerned. I knew it was kind of a dystopian type read, but I wasn't expecting the supernatural Xmen feel that this book gave. Since I love Xmen type stuff, this one was right up my ally. I love how the characters all have some type of power. I also love how the author chose to use a color system for character classification according to "how dangerous" they were: red being the most dangerous of all. Any story that involves people who are oppressed in some way by the government and choose to fight back is always a good read for me. With all the dystopian reads out there now, it's hard to find one that is different, and this certainly did the job for me. And the fun thing was you went into the story completely blind, without knowing the United States was slowly breaking down and without knowing why it was. And the author's world building is fun and different, giving the reader the opportunity to put the pieces together, rather than bore you with tons of explanations and descriptions.




Bracken's writing is crisp and clean. It flows and there are no awkward breaks or places to misunderstand what is going on. She unfolds details in subtle ways and allows the reader to work on building the puzzle within their own mind. She perfectly depicts the darkness and loneliness the characters are experiencing in a world that has pitted people against them for being different.




The characters are well thought out in this book.
I really love the main heroine, Ruby. I didn't find her to be too annoying with her teen angst and self-pitying as I do with other female main characters in YA books. No annoying whiny voice. She tells us her story and the stories of the other characters through her eyes. And she is as much a mystery to herself as she is to us. As she learns, we learn. As she grows, so do we. She is very relatable and certainly shows the innocence and naiveté of a character who has not been "out in the world" to learn.
Liam, well, he's sweet and good looking. Totally patient and unconditionally loving. He's nice to a fault and protective to his own detriment. He's funny and also mysterious. You can't help but fall for him. And watching him slowly fall for Ruby is great. He has a huge heart and is what you would certainly call one of the good boys.
Chubs and Zu are terrific supporting characters. Chubs is intelligent and a bit non-trusting. But he slowly grows to accept Ruby and it's great to watch their friendship blossom. And I love how Zu conveys all her thoughts through her actions, as she doesn't speak a word the entire book!
Clancy, well, I won't say much about it because it will give away the story. But I knew from the start he just was not what he was cracked up to be. And I could not bring myself to trust him at all.




One thing I loved about this book is that it did not revolve around the romance between the two characters. There is no insta-love, which is such a nice treat and far turn from so many other dystopians I have read recently. Sure, it was there, lingering until you are just about to explode if the characters don't give in to each other, but it's not the main theme. The main theme is focused on the character's experiences as they work their way through their powers and learn from each other along the way. And the pace is perfect, fast where it needs to be and slow where you would not expect it to be. And Bracken doesn't hold back on the heartbreak but does give you hope that at some point it will be mended.




If you enjoy books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Delirium, you will love The Darkest Minds. AS a matter of fact, this book reminded me of one of my favorite reads of the year, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (although there is MUCH less romance in this book than Shatter Me).




I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. Thank you again to Disney for providing me with this totally awesome book! 5 out of 5 stars!

posted by Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa on December 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

In a Sentence: The Darkest Minds had a steady-moving plot with m

In a Sentence: The Darkest Minds had a steady-moving plot with memorable secondary characters, but I kind of felt as if I'd heard it all before.

My Thoughts

I'd been interested in reading The Darkest Minds since I first heard of it, especially considering how much I e...
In a Sentence: The Darkest Minds had a steady-moving plot with memorable secondary characters, but I kind of felt as if I'd heard it all before.

My Thoughts

I'd been interested in reading The Darkest Minds since I first heard of it, especially considering how much I enjoyed Alexandra Bracken's first novel, Brightly Woven. Which means that when another blogger offered to lend me her ARC over this past summer, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, once my graduate teaching assistant orientation started in mid-August, followed shortly by the first week of school (and my first week of teaching!), my free reading time became virtually non-existent. I didn't actually get around to starting The Darkest Minds until the middle of November, and because my reading time was so limited, it took me nearly three weeks to finish it. 

The book itself had a relatively fast moving plot, and I had no trouble becoming quickly absorbed in Ruby's story. With The Darkest Minds, Bracken has created a gripping dystopian world with a cast of vivid characters. Personally, I thought that the secondary characters Zu and Chubs were particularly memorable, and I really appreciated the additions their presence made to the book. Aside from Zu and Chubs, I felt connections with several other characters as well because I sympathized with their plight. There's always something about a damaged character that draws me into a book, and all of these characters were definitely damaged. 

I also enjoyed the romance in The Darkest Minds. In young adult fiction (especially in sub-genres of fantasy), romances often lean towards the forbidden, stalkerish, or obsessive, and what Ruby and Liam had seemed to me to be refreshingly healthy, considering they were two superpowered teenagers on the run. 

My only problem with The Darkest Minds is a relatively minor one...in that it didn't seem all that different to me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, and I will definitely be reading (probably buying) the sequel, but I would have liked to have seen something that would have made it stand out a little bit more from all the other books in its genre. 

Overall, I found The Darkest Minds to be a steady-paced read with solid characters, if a little run-of-the-mill when it comes to the plot. I will definitely be continuing the series, and I'd recommend it to fans of the dystopian genre. A word to the wise though...brace yourself for the ending. It's one heck of a cliffhanger!

posted by natalierenae on December 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    Nitehawk

    He finally had enoughm "alright....so be it. You think thats how people think and treat you. Then thatd how we will strt treating you. We dt think that but aparntly you do. And nothing can change your mind." He snapped frustrated and angry. "From now on. We will treat you like you say we think. Like a loner and unliked." He hissed and stormed back to camp

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    To Froststorm

    Follows

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    Firegod

    Frost, please! Everyone wants you back!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 23, 2014

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    Posted May 18, 2014

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