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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
Blurb from Goodreads:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about ...
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, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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
I'd been interested in reading The Darkest Minds since I first heard of it, especially considering how much I e...
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, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2014
I fell almost instantly in love with this book. From the very f
I fell almost instantly in love with this book. From the very first page, I was sucked into this world that was so full of horror and tragedy and yet also so fascinating and interesting, I just couldn't put it down. The Darkest Minds hooked me with its well-developed world, heart racing action, and characters that made their way easily into my heart.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I adored the way this book was written. The voice was so refreshing and captivating. It made it so easy to get caught up in the story the author was telling. I felt for these characters very deeply. The things that happened to them were absolutely heart wrenching and to see the way they had to fight to survive at such a young age was horrible.
Our protagonist, Ruby, was a character I admired and loved learning more about. She had many different layers to her and I enjoyed the way they were slowly pulled back and revealed. Her background with her parents was especially heart breaking to read about but I was happy to see that she didn't let it weaken her. She was so strong and smart and when she used her powers, I just felt like jumping all around and fist pumping the air! She was seriously bad ass when she wanted to be.
The rest of our cast was also awesome. I loved Levi from the start. He's not the type of book boy I usually go for but I just couldn't resist him. He was loyal and cunning and so caring. Every time he was in a scene, I found myself smiling and when he wasn't, I just was waiting for him to come back! The way he protected Chubs and Zu was endearing. Speaking of Chubs and Zu...I couldn't get enough of these two! They stood out on the page and they were different and quirky in their own ways.
The ending of this book absolutely killed me. I had not seen it coming at all and I just need to read the second book now so I can find out what happens to all of these characters that have found a way into my heart! The Darkest Minds was definitely a book that I will stick with me for a while!
Posted March 1, 2014
Posted February 2, 2014
AMAZING! READ IT!
I cannot even begin to find an adjective that adequately describes my love for this book. It will definitely be one of my favorites of the year.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
It was fast-paced, the world was amazing and the world-building was done extremely well, with characters that I absolutely loved (LIAMMMM).
I've never stopped talking about this book, and I made my friends read it. They all loved it.
Posted January 23, 2014
I was looking for a new series to read after I finished The Dive
I was looking for a new series to read after I finished The Divergent Series. Well if the rest are the books are as good as the first one, I'm am going to be thrilled. What a great read. I became attached to the characters so easily, and had a hard time putting the book down. I would definitely recommend this book to someone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2014
Posted January 2, 2014
Posted December 20, 2013
This is one of the greatest books I've read this year! Very fast pasted and action pacted, with a hint of romace. Ruby grows so much as a character through out the book along with other characters. The only thing that disappointed me was the end, I wanted more! Can't wait for the next book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2013
Posted October 12, 2013
Posted September 27, 2013
Posted May 28, 2013
The Darkest Minds was a much more emotional read for me than I i
The Darkest Minds was a much more emotional read for me than I initially expected. I went into it thinking it would be a X-Men type story full of action and excitement. What I found was something much more human. Alexandra Bracken evokes so many feelings throughout this book that you almost feel light headed at times.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I can't say what drove Ruby's parents to lock her in the garage and call the authorities to come pick her up. It would really be too spoilerish. But imagine this scenario, if you will. Children all over are hitting puberty and developing strange, powerful and sometimes deadly abilities. Maybe not the most unique idea, it's been done...but not quite like it has in The Darkest Minds. I digress. Parents are being conditioned to fear children and are told to turn them in for 'rehabilitation'. Not all parents go along with this idea, but most do.
Rehabilitation is really no more than imprisonment and the kids with the most dangerous abilities, coded by the colors 'Reds' and 'Oranges' , are quickly disappearing from these kiddy prison camps. When Ruby is picked up she manages to skate by and be coded as a 'Green', one of the least dangerous. However, eventually someone catches on and wants to use her abilities for their own profit and helps her leave the grand daddy of all camps. But Ruby escapes this second custody and hooks up with three other kids on the run. Liam, Chubs and Zu. Eventually, they find a haven for kids like them and a mastermind of an Orange named Clancy who wants to help Ruby develop her powers.
Ruby starts off as a fairly meek heroine. She hides behinds others and is terrified of herself. She eventually comes to use her powers when trying to protect others but still has this fear of them throughout the book. Towards the end I was mentally screaming at her to just let them loose already! Though, you absolutely have to feel for Ruby, she's spent six years at Camp Thurmond and knows really nothing of the outside world or human behavior. She's basically a ten year old in a sixteen year old body. Not to mention she is terrified to even touch anyone else because of her brains powerful ability to force its way into anyone's head and see all their memories, good or bad.
The relationships she slowly forms with Liam, Chubs, Zu and eventually Clancy change everything about Ruby and how she views herself and her life. She comes to realize that there are bigger threats than herself for those she cares about and they aren't all coming from obvious places. She learns how to love, how to be in control, how to be controlled and how much she is willing to sacrifice to protect others like her.
Now, there is some of X-Men type action, it's not chalked full of it, but there are some scenes and they are pretty fricking cool. I'm hoping for much more of them in the books to come, because they really are very exciting and kids kicking ass is just fun. There is also a large amount of humor. Liam and Chubs are both great characters with smart mouths and tender hearts. Zu is a total sweetheart that I dare anyone not to love.
The relationships in The Darkest Minds will tickle your heart, the action scenes will jump start it, the mystery and intrigue may cause it to skip a beat here and there and the ending will threaten to stop it for a second or two.
Posted May 28, 2013
Posted April 15, 2013
Posted April 11, 2013
Posted March 7, 2013
Posted February 21, 2013
Posted February 20, 2013
I read this book and was completely...absorbed by it. It was so
I read this book and was completely...absorbed by it. It was so beautifully written; trying to figure out what happened next was impossible. I couldn't stop reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
So my actual rating is 4.5, because as much as I loved this boo
So my actual rating is 4.5, because as much as I loved this book there were a few things that I did have a problem with, however they didn't take too much away from my absolute enjoyment of this wonderful book! (Which I recommend to everyone!) I will outline the goods and the bads, like usual.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
What I liked:
- The characters. They were amazing. Likable, fairly realistic (for distopian characters), they got along nicely, there wasn't that one character that just drives you insane, they were all normal and enjoyable. (though not too perfect, no Mary-Sues or anything)
- The writing is absolutely what drew me in, and kept me from being able to put the book down! It was a lot less choppy sounding than a lot of distopian books are, which was really nice. For the most part I was able to picture exactly what was going on, because she describes stuff enough, but she didn't make the mistake of spending an entire page just talking about the inside of the car, so that was a nice balance.
- The idea was fairly original (as far as distopian/super power books go) very different than the usual two plots. A. Society chose my boyfriend or B. I'm a special snowflake type post-apocalypse plots. (Ruby had a reason to be a bit of a special snowflake, because there were others like her, but they were killed, you'll see)
What I didn't like:
- We never really got many explanations. We never got an explanation about what made the kids like that. Why did some die from IAAN while others got powers? They never actually said what it meant to be a Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red (as in; what's the difference between the colors?) I was able to figure it out by myself, but I feel like it was left so open that some people might have trouble figuring it out.
- Sometimes they got out of trouble too fast. There were a few times when on one page they'd just gotten caught in some big issue, and on the next they were back in the safety having a normal conversation. Maybe this is just a transition problem, because there was also a problem with the transitions between reality and Ruby slipping into people's memories.
Overall, though, the book was great, and I can't wait for the sequel! If it were out tomorrow that would still be too much waiting!
Posted February 6, 2013
Dark and Brilliant!
My review: I received The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken as an ARC during BEA 2012 and I have had it on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up. I did pick it up more than once, but decided to read it in the beginning of 2013. Boy, was I glad I did that! The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is an intriguing novel which is amazingly well written. I loved the world and the characters which author created and I was literally stunned by it. I used to read Science Fiction books seldom, but now, after reading The Darkest Minds and few other YA Science Fiction books, it seems I have turned into the sci-fi fan. Let me rephrase it, I have turned into the fan of YA Sci-fi authors and that definitely includes Alexandra Bracken! Plot: The opening scenes of The Darkest Minds take you to rehabilitation camp where you meet Ruby, a sixteen years old teenage girl working. Thurmond, a camp which gathers few thousands of kids who have survived the age ten. There is a virus which either kills you when 10 years old and if you survive this virus, you get abilities which the government is scared of and you are sent to the camps run by military. Kids are divided into colors according to how dangerous their abilities are considered. Ruby has survived for 6 years by hiding who she really is and which abilities she has. When the leaders of the camp are getting suspicious about her, she is in severe danger. Ruby manages to escape with the help from the member of the League which is a rebellion movement saving the kids. At least that is what they want her to believe. What they don't know is, that Ruby can read minds. Ruby escapes again and while doing her best to not getting caught, she meets a group of kids who are heading to the only place which should be safe for kids - East River. Things I loved about the book: I loved the settings - contemporary world where US was a country left out and cut off of any relationships to other countries. It was isolated. Canadians even built a wall on the border! It was horrifying and interesting to read what the country did to their own children: they gave them to authorities, they did not do a thing to save their kids from the camps where the most probable outcome was a death of their children. It was a country where kids were put to camps similar to concentration camps where kids had to do hard work and got killed. It's a world where you can trust no one, none at all - even children. I admired the author of ending the first book with heart-wrenching cliffhanger. Can't wait to read what will happen in the next book. The world Alexandra Bracken created were dark and horrid and I loved it! Characters: I loved how Ruby grew from being a scared and damaged teenager to confident person who knew exactly what to do in order to protect herself and especially persons she loved. I enjoyed the dynamics of the relationship she had with Liam and how protective she was of her friends Zu and Chubs. Liam was awesome! His hope and positive way of thinking were energizing! He is a guy who is easy to relate to and love. What is fun about the characters in The Darkest Minds is that they are alive and colorful and fascinating. They all have stories to tell and they add a lot to the unpredictable plot! Generally: The Darkest Minds is a great book with wonderful and dark plot and fascinating characters! I truly enjoyed it and recommend it highly!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2013