Books Young Adult Fiction The Darkest Minds

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5.0 (3)
 
4.9 (11)
5136   10
Age Range
12+
Release Date
December 18, 2012
ISBN
978-1423157373
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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.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 3 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (3)
Characters 
 
5.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (3)

From the first page, I was riveted by this story and this world. The concept of a disease that either kills or gives superpowers -- and that death may be preferable -- was amazing. It's never explained why it only affects the children (and apparently, only American children), and it doesn't really matter. Ruby doesn't know, so we don't need to know.

Then Ruby is sent to a "rehabilitation camp," which reeks of all the ugliest parts of human history. Ruby spends her adolescence in constant fear and misery. She has a power she doesn't understand and doesn't want, one which has stolen all the most important parts of her life. She's learned to hide it, more through instinct than through knowledge, but eventually, it comes out. And Ruby escapes, but her problems are far from over. It seems everyone she encounters either wants to use her or kill her, until she chances upon a group of renegade kids who are also on the run.

The kids she encounters -- Chubs, Liam, and Zu -- are all amazing characters. They're different and well-developed, and I loved the different ways they approach their relationship with Ruby. Zu, in particular, impressed me, because Alex Bracken managed to make her this amazingly sympathetic and beautiful character, without a word of dialogue. Then there's Chubs, who's suspicious and harsh, because of his fierce loyalty to his friends. And Liam, who is trusting and gentle and wants nothing more than for his friends to be safe. My heart broke for Liam again and again, because while he was trying so hard to lead their little ragtag group, there were moments where I remembered, he's just a kid. He's not cut out for this, but he's trying his best.

Ruby herself is both strong and fragile, broken but determined. She wants to believe the best of others but the worst of herself, and sometimes makes poor decisions because of this. I like that she was a very flawed and damaged character, and that one of her main struggles wasn't external, but internal. Watching Ruby learn to -- maybe not embrace, but accept her powers was wonderful. I did have one small complaint with Ruby, and that is for a kid who went to the camps at ten and lost all contact with the outside world, she seems to know quite a bit about pop culture and classic rock. I mean, she can recognize the synthesizers and vocalist of Pink Floyd, even though she doesn't know the song? Maybe I'm out of touch with the ten-year-olds of today, but that seemed like a bit of a stretch for me. However, that's a tiny complaint. Just something that took me out of the story now and then.

As for the pacing, this book is kind of a slow burn. There's a lot of tension, but not a lot of action for long stretches of time. I personally was a big fan of this, as I thought it added to the story's atmosphere, but if you're looking for a book brimming with action and adventure and superpower battles, this isn't it. Those things are certainly present, but they're not the main drive or focus of the story. But I was never bored. The dialogue is fabulous, and as I said before, the characters are wonderful.

I don't want to say much more about it, because there are some fabulous plot developments that, while I saw some of them coming, were just so perfect for the story and Ruby's growth as a character. And the ending is heartbreaking, but perfect, and left me itching for the sequel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent book with strong characters, a fascinating and terrifying world, and a tense plot that kept me rapidly turning pages until the end. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Lauren Thoman, Editor Reviewed by Lauren Thoman, Editor January 07, 2014
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (65)

Tense and disturbing story with an intriguing world and wonderful characters

From the first page, I was riveted by this story and this world. The concept of a disease that either kills or gives superpowers -- and that death may be preferable -- was amazing. It's never explained why it only affects the children (and apparently, only American children), and it doesn't really matter. Ruby doesn't know, so we don't need to know.

Then Ruby is sent to a "rehabilitation camp," which reeks of all the ugliest parts of human history. Ruby spends her adolescence in constant fear and misery. She has a power she doesn't understand and doesn't want, one which has stolen all the most important parts of her life. She's learned to hide it, more through instinct than through knowledge, but eventually, it comes out. And Ruby escapes, but her problems are far from over. It seems everyone she encounters either wants to use her or kill her, until she chances upon a group of renegade kids who are also on the run.

The kids she encounters -- Chubs, Liam, and Zu -- are all amazing characters. They're different and well-developed, and I loved the different ways they approach their relationship with Ruby. Zu, in particular, impressed me, because Alex Bracken managed to make her this amazingly sympathetic and beautiful character, without a word of dialogue. Then there's Chubs, who's suspicious and harsh, because of his fierce loyalty to his friends. And Liam, who is trusting and gentle and wants nothing more than for his friends to be safe. My heart broke for Liam again and again, because while he was trying so hard to lead their little ragtag group, there were moments where I remembered, he's just a kid. He's not cut out for this, but he's trying his best.

Ruby herself is both strong and fragile, broken but determined. She wants to believe the best of others but the worst of herself, and sometimes makes poor decisions because of this. I like that she was a very flawed and damaged character, and that one of her main struggles wasn't external, but internal. Watching Ruby learn to -- maybe not embrace, but accept her powers was wonderful. I did have one small complaint with Ruby, and that is for a kid who went to the camps at ten and lost all contact with the outside world, she seems to know quite a bit about pop culture and classic rock. I mean, she can recognize the synthesizers and vocalist of Pink Floyd, even though she doesn't know the song? Maybe I'm out of touch with the ten-year-olds of today, but that seemed like a bit of a stretch for me. However, that's a tiny complaint. Just something that took me out of the story now and then.

As for the pacing, this book is kind of a slow burn. There's a lot of tension, but not a lot of action for long stretches of time. I personally was a big fan of this, as I thought it added to the story's atmosphere, but if you're looking for a book brimming with action and adventure and superpower battles, this isn't it. Those things are certainly present, but they're not the main drive or focus of the story. But I was never bored. The dialogue is fabulous, and as I said before, the characters are wonderful.

I don't want to say much more about it, because there are some fabulous plot developments that, while I saw some of them coming, were just so perfect for the story and Ruby's growth as a character. And the ending is heartbreaking, but perfect, and left me itching for the sequel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent book with strong characters, a fascinating and terrifying world, and a tense plot that kept me rapidly turning pages until the end. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should.

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This one is going to be huge.

I lose my mind for anything that includes a training montage or teenagers discovering their special powers. It’s the reason I have seen The Craft, The Karate Kid, and the X-Men movies a ridiculous number of times. It’s also the reason I was in heaven reading The Darkest Minds.

A virus has wiped out almost an entire generation of kids, but those who survived have exceptional abilities which frighten the adults around them. Herded into “rehabilitation camps”, they are labeled by color. Reds are able to create fire, Oranges can control minds, Yellows can manipulate electricity, Greens are brilliant, and Blues are telekinetic. Before you join me in spending hours debating which ability you’d prefer, know that life is not rosy for the kids. If they manage to escape the camps, like our heroine Ruby, they may spend the rest of their lives being hunted by a variety of different agencies, all for nefarious purposes.

This is a premise I love, but even better are the characters. Ruby is well-developed and likable. She is haunted by so much–her powers, her past, and her fears for the future. Author Alexandra Bracken realistically describes the way she pushes through everything that scares her and becomes a brave protector of her friends. And what friends she has! It would be unfair to reduce them to Liam, the leader, Chubs, the brain, and Zu, the silent child. They are characters that the readers want to prevail, even when it seems like the entire world is against them.

The Darkest Minds is the first in a series, but the novel ends in a way that it could be a standalone title, albeit a sad one. The film rights have already been purchased, and I will be the first in line for the movie or the sequel, whichever comes first.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Megan Kelly, Editor Reviewed by Megan Kelly, Editor December 26, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (112)

Excellence

This one is going to be huge.

I lose my mind for anything that includes a training montage or teenagers discovering their special powers. It’s the reason I have seen The Craft, The Karate Kid, and the X-Men movies a ridiculous number of times. It’s also the reason I was in heaven reading The Darkest Minds.

A virus has wiped out almost an entire generation of kids, but those who survived have exceptional abilities which frighten the adults around them. Herded into “rehabilitation camps”, they are labeled by color. Reds are able to create fire, Oranges can control minds, Yellows can manipulate electricity, Greens are brilliant, and Blues are telekinetic. Before you join me in spending hours debating which ability you’d prefer, know that life is not rosy for the kids. If they manage to escape the camps, like our heroine Ruby, they may spend the rest of their lives being hunted by a variety of different agencies, all for nefarious purposes.

This is a premise I love, but even better are the characters. Ruby is well-developed and likable. She is haunted by so much–her powers, her past, and her fears for the future. Author Alexandra Bracken realistically describes the way she pushes through everything that scares her and becomes a brave protector of her friends. And what friends she has! It would be unfair to reduce them to Liam, the leader, Chubs, the brain, and Zu, the silent child. They are characters that the readers want to prevail, even when it seems like the entire world is against them.

The Darkest Minds is the first in a series, but the novel ends in a way that it could be a standalone title, albeit a sad one. The film rights have already been purchased, and I will be the first in line for the movie or the sequel, whichever comes first.

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I sat here for the longest time trying to wrap my head around the amazing book that The Darkest Minds was. I was blown away by the sheer brilliance the pages contained and really cannot gather the words to express the love I feel for this book. It was everything I was hoping for, but it was also more. This book was so drastically different from Alexandra Bracken's debut, Brightly Woven, but it still held the same exceptional strength and has become an instant favorite.

The Darkest Minds is intense from the start. I was sucked into the story starting on page one, entranced by the story and I barely stopped reading until I turned the last page. It was dark, thrilling, and a bit scary at parts. I never knew exactly who I could trust and I loved trying to call the shots, even though I was wrong most of the time.

Alexandra Bracken has written a story that is so intricately woven and so beautifully written. It takes an exceptional book for me to want to put down a book to flag a quote, and there was something on every page that had me marveling at the lyrical nature of her prose.

I love Alexandra Bracken's characters. They are all so dynamic and diverse. Even in this hard time for the characters, there is such a focus on great friendships. I loved Ruby - she was such a fabulous main character. She had unwavering strength and a good hearted nature. Liam, oh Liam. I cannot wait to see more of him in the sequel, as he was another character who was just so good and what a hottie too!

The plot builds until the very last moment. The ending was brutal, but even though I didn't see it coming, it was such a Ruby move, so I could accept it. I cannot even imagine where Alexandra Bracken will take readers next, but wherever that is, sign me up.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was one of those few books I could find no criticism for. It was just stunning and was everything I was looking for in another Alexandra Bracken read. The wait since Brightly Woven has been a long one indeed, but The Darkest Minds is the book that made that wait worth it. Another masterpiece from Alexandra Bracken and a book I will be sure to reread over and over again.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Erica, Editor Reviewed by Erica, Editor June 10, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (192)

The Best Book of the Year

I sat here for the longest time trying to wrap my head around the amazing book that The Darkest Minds was. I was blown away by the sheer brilliance the pages contained and really cannot gather the words to express the love I feel for this book. It was everything I was hoping for, but it was also more. This book was so drastically different from Alexandra Bracken's debut, Brightly Woven, but it still held the same exceptional strength and has become an instant favorite.

The Darkest Minds is intense from the start. I was sucked into the story starting on page one, entranced by the story and I barely stopped reading until I turned the last page. It was dark, thrilling, and a bit scary at parts. I never knew exactly who I could trust and I loved trying to call the shots, even though I was wrong most of the time.

Alexandra Bracken has written a story that is so intricately woven and so beautifully written. It takes an exceptional book for me to want to put down a book to flag a quote, and there was something on every page that had me marveling at the lyrical nature of her prose.

I love Alexandra Bracken's characters. They are all so dynamic and diverse. Even in this hard time for the characters, there is such a focus on great friendships. I loved Ruby - she was such a fabulous main character. She had unwavering strength and a good hearted nature. Liam, oh Liam. I cannot wait to see more of him in the sequel, as he was another character who was just so good and what a hottie too!

The plot builds until the very last moment. The ending was brutal, but even though I didn't see it coming, it was such a Ruby move, so I could accept it. I cannot even imagine where Alexandra Bracken will take readers next, but wherever that is, sign me up.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was one of those few books I could find no criticism for. It was just stunning and was everything I was looking for in another Alexandra Bracken read. The wait since Brightly Woven has been a long one indeed, but The Darkest Minds is the book that made that wait worth it. Another masterpiece from Alexandra Bracken and a book I will be sure to reread over and over again.

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Average user rating from: 11 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
4.7  (11)
Characters 
 
4.9  (11)
Writing Style 
 
4.9  (11)
It's been well over a year since I've read TDM but the characters and their lives still leave a mark on my heart. If there's anything Bracken can do extremely well, it's write easy to love characters.

There are parts of the story where the plot gets kind of messy and slows down but it builds up again and leaves you with a breathtaking ending.

The only serious problem I remember having is an action scene. It was a car chase around the middle of the book. I couldn't follow it or picture it properly at all.

I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes dystopia, scifi and needs good characters to love a book.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Kaniesha Reviewed by Kaniesha March 25, 2014
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (2)

TDM Micro Review

It's been well over a year since I've read TDM but the characters and their lives still leave a mark on my heart. If there's anything Bracken can do extremely well, it's write easy to love characters.

There are parts of the story where the plot gets kind of messy and slows down but it builds up again and leaves you with a breathtaking ending.

The only serious problem I remember having is an action scene. It was a car chase around the middle of the book. I couldn't follow it or picture it properly at all.

I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes dystopia, scifi and needs good characters to love a book.

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I don't think I can be quite as glowing as the other reviewers fro this book were but I did enjoy it and would recommend it.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Andrey Lavrov Reviewed by Andrey Lavrov February 25, 2014
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (3)

Pretty good

I don't think I can be quite as glowing as the other reviewers fro this book were but I did enjoy it and would recommend it.

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Full review in all its glory (with gifs) can be seen at http://ransom-reads.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/aristocrats-ransom-darkest-minds.html?showComment=1385408812153#c1764697058517408591

MAJOR SELLING POINTS:
Hype

Since the release of THE DARKEST MINDS, I have heard a little bit about it here and there but never too much. Until about two months ago. With the impending release of NEVER FADE, I saw it everywhere and decided it was about time I got to the review copy I got accepted for (sorry it took me so long...) Also, the awesomeness of the new AUS covers may or may not have had something to do with it.

Psychic Kids

Psychic powers are high on my interest lists and THE DARKEST MINDS has an interesting take on the way they develop and the types of powers that exist. Some are incredibly dangerous and powerful and I wish we had the opportunity to delve into more of the how these powers work, what they can do, and why it's possible.

SWASHBUCKLING:

Overall I found THE DARKEST MINDS to be pretty fast paced. Things take a while to get cracking as we're given background as to how our main character found her way to the camp and why. After that history however, things get moving. A lot of the novel is spent with the characters on the rode, running from people and searching for East River. It made for some hairy, edge of your seat moments where you didn't know if characters were going to survive, as well as some lovely relationship building scenes. AND THE ENDING. SO PAINFUL TO READ. But such a brave decision to make.

LINGO:

From what I remember, Alexandra Bracken's writing style was very enjoyable. The descriptions and explanations were easy to follow and understand, the dialogue was good, and the characters fantastic.

CREW:
Ruby

Since the night she discovered her powers, Ruby's life really has been terrible. From the first consequences to its use until now, nothing good has ever really come out of its use. It's made her scared to touch any other human and unwilling to get close to anyone. Ruby is very kind and considerate, always doing things for others, which does mean she has to make some terribly hard and brave decisions that made me cry.

Liam

Like Ruby, Liam is quite selfless. The scale of the things he'll do to save other people is crazy (and self destructive almost. Please stop trying to be so much of a hero I don't want you to die). He's incredibly loyal and will do anything for his friends or those he thinks needs his help. But he's not unreasonable. Liam is also an A+ leader and funny and just plain gorgeous.

SWOONABILITY:

THIS ROMANCE WAS ALMOST FLAWLESS. It developed nice and slowly, never got in the way of the plot, had two characters with SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION DHSJKHSHF, characters whose relationship wasn't the only good thing in their life, HAPPY SQUEE WORTHY MOMENTS, FEELS INDUCING MOMENTS OMG and yeah. If you can't gather from the bombardment of caps, I really really really really loved the romance in this as much pain as it caused me.

SHIPS:
-Ruby x Liam
-Ruby x the Slip Kid
-Chubs x Books
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Bec @ Ransom Reads Reviewed by Bec @ Ransom Reads November 25, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (7)

Aristocrat's Ransom: The Darkest Minds

Full review in all its glory (with gifs) can be seen at http://ransom-reads.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/aristocrats-ransom-darkest-minds.html?showComment=1385408812153#c1764697058517408591

MAJOR SELLING POINTS:
Hype

Since the release of THE DARKEST MINDS, I have heard a little bit about it here and there but never too much. Until about two months ago. With the impending release of NEVER FADE, I saw it everywhere and decided it was about time I got to the review copy I got accepted for (sorry it took me so long...) Also, the awesomeness of the new AUS covers may or may not have had something to do with it.

Psychic Kids

Psychic powers are high on my interest lists and THE DARKEST MINDS has an interesting take on the way they develop and the types of powers that exist. Some are incredibly dangerous and powerful and I wish we had the opportunity to delve into more of the how these powers work, what they can do, and why it's possible.

SWASHBUCKLING:

Overall I found THE DARKEST MINDS to be pretty fast paced. Things take a while to get cracking as we're given background as to how our main character found her way to the camp and why. After that history however, things get moving. A lot of the novel is spent with the characters on the rode, running from people and searching for East River. It made for some hairy, edge of your seat moments where you didn't know if characters were going to survive, as well as some lovely relationship building scenes. AND THE ENDING. SO PAINFUL TO READ. But such a brave decision to make.

LINGO:

From what I remember, Alexandra Bracken's writing style was very enjoyable. The descriptions and explanations were easy to follow and understand, the dialogue was good, and the characters fantastic.

CREW:
Ruby

Since the night she discovered her powers, Ruby's life really has been terrible. From the first consequences to its use until now, nothing good has ever really come out of its use. It's made her scared to touch any other human and unwilling to get close to anyone. Ruby is very kind and considerate, always doing things for others, which does mean she has to make some terribly hard and brave decisions that made me cry.

Liam

Like Ruby, Liam is quite selfless. The scale of the things he'll do to save other people is crazy (and self destructive almost. Please stop trying to be so much of a hero I don't want you to die). He's incredibly loyal and will do anything for his friends or those he thinks needs his help. But he's not unreasonable. Liam is also an A+ leader and funny and just plain gorgeous.

SWOONABILITY:

THIS ROMANCE WAS ALMOST FLAWLESS. It developed nice and slowly, never got in the way of the plot, had two characters with SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION DHSJKHSHF, characters whose relationship wasn't the only good thing in their life, HAPPY SQUEE WORTHY MOMENTS, FEELS INDUCING MOMENTS OMG and yeah. If you can't gather from the bombardment of caps, I really really really really loved the romance in this as much pain as it caused me.

SHIPS:
-Ruby x Liam
-Ruby x the Slip Kid
-Chubs x Books

Was this review helpful to you? 
THIS REVIEW IS FAIRLY SPOILER FREE. YOU MAY CONTINUE SAFELY IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THIS BOOK!

From the moment I read the first page in this book, I just knew, you know?

Do you know the feeling you get when you start reading a book and you can tell right off the bat this is going to be one of you absolute favorites?

The story starts with Ruby telling us about the disease. Iatrogeneic Acute Adolescent Neurodegeneration (IAAN) for short. It’s killing all the children of America. Kids as young as 9 or 10 are just dropping dead. Out of nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of them.

But the problem isn’t with the children who die. The real threat are the children who survived the disease and developed supernatural mental abilities so terrifying that the government decided to round them up and transport them in droves to forced labor camps. The ones that proved rehabilitable, that is.

But Ruby hasn’t told anyone what she can really do and that’s the only thing that’s kept her safe so far, but it’s also causing her to live in constant dread of being discovered. Of being labeled dangerous and shot like an animal. Or worse.

The story follows Ruby’s life in camp, the endless monotony of scheduled meals, scheduled sleeping and waking times, constant work and the ever present danger of the PSF officers who could kill you for the slightest infraction.

When Ruby is broken out of camp one day, she thinks a miracle has happened. That she was finally free. Little does she know that everyone has an agenda and the world outside has ceased to become what she once knew.

The Plot: is an absolute monster. You won’t see 90% of it coming.

The Ending: Heartbreaking. I won’t say anymore but just so you know. Brace yourself for the ending because it’ll hurt.

Character Development: Ruby starts out as a timid, gullible little child and over the course of the story and the horrible things that end up happening to her and her friend she becomes a stronger more self-sufficient person. However, with that she becomes harder. She’s forced to make difficult sacrifices to save the people she loves and it rips her up on the inside. It changes her in a profound and not all together better way.

The most fascinating part of the book for me was the disease itself and the kids who survived it and went on to become Psi.

They were classified according to their “powers” or “abilities” into colors.

The Greens: were intuitive and had the ability to know things without being told.

The Blues: were telekentic.

The Yellows: could manipulate electricity

The Oranges: Had the ability to control other peoples’ minds; bend them to their will.

The Reds: could manipulate and start fires, make objects burst into flame.

Society’s reaction was to call them freaks and look them up into concentration camps..especially the Oranges.

Obviously, I don’t condone it and I’m not saying it’s right. It’s a heinous and twisted thing to do to a bunch of helpless, scared, confused children. But I DO understand the urge.

Especially with the oranges; think about it: How can you trust a person who can manipulate your mind? Who can make you do whatever he/she wants you to do?

How do you know anything you’re doing is of your own volition? How do you know anything at all when it comes to this person?

One simple touch and you could be clucking like a chicken or shooting yourself in the head. Can you understand the fear that garners? Of course people would want to protect the security of the inside of their brains. Of course people would panic and become violent. Even towards children.

Will I read The sequel: ”Never fade”?: I will neither eat nor sleep (peacefully) until I get my hands on that book.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Yomnaz Reviewed by Yomnaz November 06, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (22)

Brilliant, Beautiful, Heartbreaking, Captivating

THIS REVIEW IS FAIRLY SPOILER FREE. YOU MAY CONTINUE SAFELY IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THIS BOOK!

From the moment I read the first page in this book, I just knew, you know?

Do you know the feeling you get when you start reading a book and you can tell right off the bat this is going to be one of you absolute favorites?

The story starts with Ruby telling us about the disease. Iatrogeneic Acute Adolescent Neurodegeneration (IAAN) for short. It’s killing all the children of America. Kids as young as 9 or 10 are just dropping dead. Out of nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of them.

But the problem isn’t with the children who die. The real threat are the children who survived the disease and developed supernatural mental abilities so terrifying that the government decided to round them up and transport them in droves to forced labor camps. The ones that proved rehabilitable, that is.

But Ruby hasn’t told anyone what she can really do and that’s the only thing that’s kept her safe so far, but it’s also causing her to live in constant dread of being discovered. Of being labeled dangerous and shot like an animal. Or worse.

The story follows Ruby’s life in camp, the endless monotony of scheduled meals, scheduled sleeping and waking times, constant work and the ever present danger of the PSF officers who could kill you for the slightest infraction.

When Ruby is broken out of camp one day, she thinks a miracle has happened. That she was finally free. Little does she know that everyone has an agenda and the world outside has ceased to become what she once knew.

The Plot: is an absolute monster. You won’t see 90% of it coming.

The Ending: Heartbreaking. I won’t say anymore but just so you know. Brace yourself for the ending because it’ll hurt.

Character Development: Ruby starts out as a timid, gullible little child and over the course of the story and the horrible things that end up happening to her and her friend she becomes a stronger more self-sufficient person. However, with that she becomes harder. She’s forced to make difficult sacrifices to save the people she loves and it rips her up on the inside. It changes her in a profound and not all together better way.

The most fascinating part of the book for me was the disease itself and the kids who survived it and went on to become Psi.

They were classified according to their “powers” or “abilities” into colors.

The Greens: were intuitive and had the ability to know things without being told.

The Blues: were telekentic.

The Yellows: could manipulate electricity

The Oranges: Had the ability to control other peoples’ minds; bend them to their will.

The Reds: could manipulate and start fires, make objects burst into flame.

Society’s reaction was to call them freaks and look them up into concentration camps..especially the Oranges.

Obviously, I don’t condone it and I’m not saying it’s right. It’s a heinous and twisted thing to do to a bunch of helpless, scared, confused children. But I DO understand the urge.

Especially with the oranges; think about it: How can you trust a person who can manipulate your mind? Who can make you do whatever he/she wants you to do?

How do you know anything you’re doing is of your own volition? How do you know anything at all when it comes to this person?

One simple touch and you could be clucking like a chicken or shooting yourself in the head. Can you understand the fear that garners? Of course people would want to protect the security of the inside of their brains. Of course people would panic and become violent. Even towards children.

Will I read The sequel: ”Never fade”?: I will neither eat nor sleep (peacefully) until I get my hands on that book.

Was this review helpful to you? 
The Darkest Minds is a relatively new dystopian novel written in December.
Unlike other Dystopians "cough" Gone *Cough!!!* this book does not glorify that children are great and adults are evil, and even though it shows that, it doesn't say it..not really. I really loved this book. Ruby was such a well rounded character, but she didn't know/understand somethings which happened to her which I can get because she only has a fourth grade education.. There was one part of the book that I didn't like, when you read it you will see..actually two parts. the part near the end and the ending. the ending made me want to rip Alexandra Bracken amazingly intelligent head off! She is lucky there is another book coming out, or I would have died. Ruby's been through a lot despite her sixteen years of age, and she isn't whiny or hopelessly in love like most characters now a days. There was no insta-love either which was amazing because too many books have that and it pisses me off. You will cry and scream and swoon so be prepared!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Maggie Reid Reviewed by Maggie Reid July 30, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (28)

I loved this book with a burning burning passion!

The Darkest Minds is a relatively new dystopian novel written in December.
Unlike other Dystopians "cough" Gone *Cough!!!* this book does not glorify that children are great and adults are evil, and even though it shows that, it doesn't say it..not really. I really loved this book. Ruby was such a well rounded character, but she didn't know/understand somethings which happened to her which I can get because she only has a fourth grade education.. There was one part of the book that I didn't like, when you read it you will see..actually two parts. the part near the end and the ending. the ending made me want to rip Alexandra Bracken amazingly intelligent head off! She is lucky there is another book coming out, or I would have died. Ruby's been through a lot despite her sixteen years of age, and she isn't whiny or hopelessly in love like most characters now a days. There was no insta-love either which was amazing because too many books have that and it pisses me off. You will cry and scream and swoon so be prepared!

Was this review helpful to you? 
Not every book I read hits me like a ton of bricks, in a good way. Not every book I read leaves me with a “Oh My God,” feeling. Not every book leaves me anticipating the sequel worse than anticipating The Hobbit 2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is a new dystopian novel for teens. There have been many to come out since Suzanne Collins “rebooted” the genre with The Hunger Games, some are too copycat and not very good. Not The Darkest Minds!!

The Darkest Minds begins with a little bit of background on the main character of Ruby. Ruby is one of the survivors in a world where all the children have disappeared. Taken to camps and tortured. But some look to escape. This book comes out on Tuesday so I don’t want to spoil anything about it. I highly recommend it if you enjoyed The Hunger Games or the X-Men Movies. It has a read X-Menish feel to the book. Don’t start this book until you have the time to dedicate to it.

Alexandra Braken writes with a unique style. She takes the time to develop her characters. While this may seem to make the novel move slowly at first, it is needed because you need to develop an attachment for Ruby. The second half of the book moves at the speed of light. I highly recommend this book to teens and for teen collections.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Pat Tierney Reviewed by Pat Tierney March 29, 2013
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Great Great book

Not every book I read hits me like a ton of bricks, in a good way. Not every book I read leaves me with a “Oh My God,” feeling. Not every book leaves me anticipating the sequel worse than anticipating The Hobbit 2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is a new dystopian novel for teens. There have been many to come out since Suzanne Collins “rebooted” the genre with The Hunger Games, some are too copycat and not very good. Not The Darkest Minds!!

The Darkest Minds begins with a little bit of background on the main character of Ruby. Ruby is one of the survivors in a world where all the children have disappeared. Taken to camps and tortured. But some look to escape. This book comes out on Tuesday so I don’t want to spoil anything about it. I highly recommend it if you enjoyed The Hunger Games or the X-Men Movies. It has a read X-Menish feel to the book. Don’t start this book until you have the time to dedicate to it.

Alexandra Braken writes with a unique style. She takes the time to develop her characters. While this may seem to make the novel move slowly at first, it is needed because you need to develop an attachment for Ruby. The second half of the book moves at the speed of light. I highly recommend this book to teens and for teen collections.

Was this review helpful to you? 
I thought my heart would only beat for Tris and Four, but now I have met Ruby and Liam. Ohmysweetgoodness. What a wonderful combination in The Darkest Minds.

There is no crazy love triangle (*cough Hunger Games *cough) to pull at your head and cloud your judgement. There is no lover's quarrel (Tris and Four) to confuse the emotions. There is simply Ruby and Liam.

I do believe that Liam is one of my new favorite protagonists. He is loyal, determined, and 100% honest. He loves Ruby regardless of her powers. They are the new Romeo and Juliet. I am SO glad to see this will be a series because I need more Liam pronto. as much gushing as I do for Liam, I should note that the other characters aren't half bad either. Ruby is pretty cool in that I-really-can't-do-anything-right kind of way. She grows on you. She also gets better with her powers, which makes for a pretty interesting conclusion in this book. But one of my other favorites in this story is Chubs. The legally blind book nerd. How can you not love a character that makes references to Watership Down and Lord of the Flies? He's witty and full of all sorts of dry humor. He makes such a great addition to this motley crew of X-men quality superkids.

For the fans of drama, there is plenty between these pages. Each chapter layers the complicated plot a little more. The action begins almost instantly with a pretty shocking and gruesome scene, and it doesn't stop. There are twists and turns to keep you guessing (even if some were pretty obvious). Best of all, there is a cliffhanger ending that actually works, even if it leaves you feeling that your heart has suddenly jumped into your throat. Side note: I strongly dislike cliffhangers that leave you asking a million questions about the entire plot or saying WTH to yourself. The Darkest Minds doesn't do that. The ending truly works, even if it's not a fairy tale inspired outcome (this is a dystopian afterall).

I encouraged everyone to read this one. It is wonderful. Refreshing even. Like all trends, things start to feel stale after a while. I mean, there are only so many ways you can write the end of the world/civilization without repeating someone's ideas, right? That seems to be the case with the majority of the newer novels hitting the market. They feel familiar. Too familiar. But, alas, The Darkest Minds did not conjure up any old memories or comparisons as I read, which was delightful. So, if you've read this one, I would love to discuss it! I think there could be some great conversations to spring from this gem.






Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Alanna Shaw Reviewed by Alanna Shaw January 08, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (192)

Incredible! New favorite!

I thought my heart would only beat for Tris and Four, but now I have met Ruby and Liam. Ohmysweetgoodness. What a wonderful combination in The Darkest Minds.

There is no crazy love triangle (*cough Hunger Games *cough) to pull at your head and cloud your judgement. There is no lover's quarrel (Tris and Four) to confuse the emotions. There is simply Ruby and Liam.

I do believe that Liam is one of my new favorite protagonists. He is loyal, determined, and 100% honest. He loves Ruby regardless of her powers. They are the new Romeo and Juliet. I am SO glad to see this will be a series because I need more Liam pronto. as much gushing as I do for Liam, I should note that the other characters aren't half bad either. Ruby is pretty cool in that I-really-can't-do-anything-right kind of way. She grows on you. She also gets better with her powers, which makes for a pretty interesting conclusion in this book. But one of my other favorites in this story is Chubs. The legally blind book nerd. How can you not love a character that makes references to Watership Down and Lord of the Flies? He's witty and full of all sorts of dry humor. He makes such a great addition to this motley crew of X-men quality superkids.

For the fans of drama, there is plenty between these pages. Each chapter layers the complicated plot a little more. The action begins almost instantly with a pretty shocking and gruesome scene, and it doesn't stop. There are twists and turns to keep you guessing (even if some were pretty obvious). Best of all, there is a cliffhanger ending that actually works, even if it leaves you feeling that your heart has suddenly jumped into your throat. Side note: I strongly dislike cliffhangers that leave you asking a million questions about the entire plot or saying WTH to yourself. The Darkest Minds doesn't do that. The ending truly works, even if it's not a fairy tale inspired outcome (this is a dystopian afterall).

I encouraged everyone to read this one. It is wonderful. Refreshing even. Like all trends, things start to feel stale after a while. I mean, there are only so many ways you can write the end of the world/civilization without repeating someone's ideas, right? That seems to be the case with the majority of the newer novels hitting the market. They feel familiar. Too familiar. But, alas, The Darkest Minds did not conjure up any old memories or comparisons as I read, which was delightful. So, if you've read this one, I would love to discuss it! I think there could be some great conversations to spring from this gem.






Was this review helpful to you? 
This must be one of my favourite books of the year (well last year now, 2012)! I underestimated it by far, and I'm awfully angry at myself for thinking so, but I guess that worked its favour as well, as I was truly blown away. The Darkest Minds is filled to the brim with heart-wrenching moments, magical characters and a style of writing that just captures your heart and soul. Its near impossible to describe in words how awesome this book was. It draws you in and steals your breath away, really easily. This book is gonna be the type that will make everyone who reads it, fall in love.

I thought that it was really clever to have written Ruby the way she is. Even if her childhood was ruined beyond repair, she isn't as broken or destroyed as you'll expect her to be. I thought that she was really fragile at the start, because of what she did to her parents and her best friend, and she was, but in a different way entirely. She was fragile in a way that she didn't want to hurt people, not fragile in the way that people hurt her. I thought that this was brilliant.

Ruby is smart, aware, guarded, kind, thoughtful, selfless and very brave, very very brave. In the final pages of the book, it was so obvious what she was going to do, but that made it all the worse when she did it. It broke my heart, that last bit of sacrifice, and I can only hope that Ruby has the ability to bring back memories.

Throughout the entire book, I have wondered what Red's powers are. I thought that maybe they were the worst of all the colours, because a lot of people consider red bad, you know, like blood. I reckon that we might find out what they are truly like in the next book...

The Drakest Minds is one of the best books to be written, and it is certainly shouldn't be missed.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Casog Reviewed by Casog December 31, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (261)

One of the best books this year!!

This must be one of my favourite books of the year (well last year now, 2012)! I underestimated it by far, and I'm awfully angry at myself for thinking so, but I guess that worked its favour as well, as I was truly blown away. The Darkest Minds is filled to the brim with heart-wrenching moments, magical characters and a style of writing that just captures your heart and soul. Its near impossible to describe in words how awesome this book was. It draws you in and steals your breath away, really easily. This book is gonna be the type that will make everyone who reads it, fall in love.

I thought that it was really clever to have written Ruby the way she is. Even if her childhood was ruined beyond repair, she isn't as broken or destroyed as you'll expect her to be. I thought that she was really fragile at the start, because of what she did to her parents and her best friend, and she was, but in a different way entirely. She was fragile in a way that she didn't want to hurt people, not fragile in the way that people hurt her. I thought that this was brilliant.

Ruby is smart, aware, guarded, kind, thoughtful, selfless and very brave, very very brave. In the final pages of the book, it was so obvious what she was going to do, but that made it all the worse when she did it. It broke my heart, that last bit of sacrifice, and I can only hope that Ruby has the ability to bring back memories.

Throughout the entire book, I have wondered what Red's powers are. I thought that maybe they were the worst of all the colours, because a lot of people consider red bad, you know, like blood. I reckon that we might find out what they are truly like in the next book...

The Drakest Minds is one of the best books to be written, and it is certainly shouldn't be missed.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Can I just love on this book? A lot? The Darkest Minds is completely fantastic! It's full of emotion-twisting moments, captivating writing and awesome characters (Chubs, I love you, man!). This is one of those books that I devoured. I slipped into the story and let myself get wrapped up in it, which was probably a bad idea since the novel tried to rip out my heart and stomp on it a couple times. But it was so worth it!!

In The Darkest Minds, Ruby is taken to Thurmond, a kind of work camp for kids with special powers, the survivors of a disease that destroyed most of the USA’s population of children. There are five different kinds of powers, and Ruby is an Orange, which basically means her powers are mental-based. But Ruby manages to get herself labeled as a Green, but years later, when she’s about 17, she’s discovered as an Orange. A terrorist organization helps her escape the camp, but when it when it becomes clear that the group's motives might not be entirely altruistic, Ruby runs. She meets up with Liam, Chubs and Suzume, who are escapees from another camp. As they search for a fabled safe haven for their kind, Ruby and Liam become closer, even as she struggles to keep her deepest secrets from him and the rest of the group.

Even though she's been abused and suppressed for years, Ruby isn't a fragile little dandelion, waiting to be blow over by whoever comes along. She's caring, thoughtful, incredibly guarded, and selfless; her final act of sacrifice at the end of the novel had me wanting to beat my Kindle into my bed, even though I sort of knew it was coming. And I cannot express my silly joy over the fact that Liam is a good ol' North Carolina guy. Go Tar Heel boys that aren't painted to be complete country hicks! It gives me hope that there actually are guys like that in my home state, just waiting to be discovered. ;) Suzume is possibly the most adorable preteen ever…yeah, she is. And Chubs, he just rules. He’s the cynical, practical voice that keeps optimistic Liam somewhat grounded, and I love the friendship that grow between him and Ruby. It’s so good.

Oh, I wish I could just gush on it a fountain of spoilers, this book is awesome! There are so many scenes between the kids that are so, so, so wonderful and realistically done. Some kids-have-powers books can be corny and contrived, but this one…I love it! So if you like dystopians and sci-fi and great stories, go read The Darkest Minds!

Thank you SO MUCH to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley.com for letting me view this galley!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Amber McKinney Reviewed by Amber McKinney December 17, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (51)

so...awesome...LOVE IT!

Can I just love on this book? A lot? The Darkest Minds is completely fantastic! It's full of emotion-twisting moments, captivating writing and awesome characters (Chubs, I love you, man!). This is one of those books that I devoured. I slipped into the story and let myself get wrapped up in it, which was probably a bad idea since the novel tried to rip out my heart and stomp on it a couple times. But it was so worth it!!

In The Darkest Minds, Ruby is taken to Thurmond, a kind of work camp for kids with special powers, the survivors of a disease that destroyed most of the USA’s population of children. There are five different kinds of powers, and Ruby is an Orange, which basically means her powers are mental-based. But Ruby manages to get herself labeled as a Green, but years later, when she’s about 17, she’s discovered as an Orange. A terrorist organization helps her escape the camp, but when it when it becomes clear that the group's motives might not be entirely altruistic, Ruby runs. She meets up with Liam, Chubs and Suzume, who are escapees from another camp. As they search for a fabled safe haven for their kind, Ruby and Liam become closer, even as she struggles to keep her deepest secrets from him and the rest of the group.

Even though she's been abused and suppressed for years, Ruby isn't a fragile little dandelion, waiting to be blow over by whoever comes along. She's caring, thoughtful, incredibly guarded, and selfless; her final act of sacrifice at the end of the novel had me wanting to beat my Kindle into my bed, even though I sort of knew it was coming. And I cannot express my silly joy over the fact that Liam is a good ol' North Carolina guy. Go Tar Heel boys that aren't painted to be complete country hicks! It gives me hope that there actually are guys like that in my home state, just waiting to be discovered. ;) Suzume is possibly the most adorable preteen ever…yeah, she is. And Chubs, he just rules. He’s the cynical, practical voice that keeps optimistic Liam somewhat grounded, and I love the friendship that grow between him and Ruby. It’s so good.

Oh, I wish I could just gush on it a fountain of spoilers, this book is awesome! There are so many scenes between the kids that are so, so, so wonderful and realistically done. Some kids-have-powers books can be corny and contrived, but this one…I love it! So if you like dystopians and sci-fi and great stories, go read The Darkest Minds!

Thank you SO MUCH to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley.com for letting me view this galley!

Was this review helpful to you? 
When I first read this description, I was drawn in by just reading the first two sentences. As I read even more, I was just about dying in ancticipation. You want to know why? I'm now a 100% sure that I have mentioned before my love for supernatural powers, and this is no exception.
Ruby's life turns into a disaster the day she turns 10. She wakes up and her mom and dad no longer know her daughter. For real, they have absolutely no memories about her. You will later realize that she accidentally used her powers on her parents, and erased all their memories of her. Her parents call the cops, but the PSF soldiers get there before they do. They take her to a rehabilitation camp, where you can imagine, is nothing as it is said to be. They don't treat them good, and care for them like they promised their parents. They run dangerous tests on them and use them like lab rats. Ruby is classified as a "Green" but is really an "Orange", which later you will realize, saved her very life. A couple years after she is there, the reds and oranges are taken from the camp, never to be seen again.
After that, she becomes even more rare and valueable to the "Children's League", which is an government organization to "save" children from the camps, but really uses the children's power for their own purposes.
I adored this book so, so much, but I gotta say what I liked most about this book was the premise. I just had fallen in love with this made-up world, where there was powers and evil villians. I know that sounds so wrong, since I should be pitying them because their life sucks, but...I don't know it just managed to get my attention and keep me reading to the very last page. The descriptions helped alot, since they were so profound and I could picture them perfectly in my head.
On to the characters: I really loved Ruby. There I said it. She was just so honest, and caring, it was so hard not to love her. From the beginning, I felt for her. She went through so much at such a young age, and that made her that much smarter and stronger. So, in a way, it helped her alot.
Liam...what to say? He was so great...smart, funny, compassionate, caring, and hopeful. I can't think of one bad thing to say about him. From the start, I KNEW I would love him, because of...just the way he was. Ok, that is my best I can do about describing my feelings for him.
The other minor characters like Chubs and Zu, were such a huge, GIGANTIC part of this story too! I have to give them some credit :D
The ENDING to this story was just so...heartbreaking and sad. I was (seriously) cying and screaming "WHY, OH WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN?" So, if you don't like sad endings...don't read this book, but the good news? It does make me want to read the second book VERY badly.
Overall, this book was incredible and awesome and I would recommend this to everybody!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Kierra Reviewed by Kierra December 01, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

Loved this book so much!

When I first read this description, I was drawn in by just reading the first two sentences. As I read even more, I was just about dying in ancticipation. You want to know why? I'm now a 100% sure that I have mentioned before my love for supernatural powers, and this is no exception.
Ruby's life turns into a disaster the day she turns 10. She wakes up and her mom and dad no longer know her daughter. For real, they have absolutely no memories about her. You will later realize that she accidentally used her powers on her parents, and erased all their memories of her. Her parents call the cops, but the PSF soldiers get there before they do. They take her to a rehabilitation camp, where you can imagine, is nothing as it is said to be. They don't treat them good, and care for them like they promised their parents. They run dangerous tests on them and use them like lab rats. Ruby is classified as a "Green" but is really an "Orange", which later you will realize, saved her very life. A couple years after she is there, the reds and oranges are taken from the camp, never to be seen again.
After that, she becomes even more rare and valueable to the "Children's League", which is an government organization to "save" children from the camps, but really uses the children's power for their own purposes.
I adored this book so, so much, but I gotta say what I liked most about this book was the premise. I just had fallen in love with this made-up world, where there was powers and evil villians. I know that sounds so wrong, since I should be pitying them because their life sucks, but...I don't know it just managed to get my attention and keep me reading to the very last page. The descriptions helped alot, since they were so profound and I could picture them perfectly in my head.
On to the characters: I really loved Ruby. There I said it. She was just so honest, and caring, it was so hard not to love her. From the beginning, I felt for her. She went through so much at such a young age, and that made her that much smarter and stronger. So, in a way, it helped her alot.
Liam...what to say? He was so great...smart, funny, compassionate, caring, and hopeful. I can't think of one bad thing to say about him. From the start, I KNEW I would love him, because of...just the way he was. Ok, that is my best I can do about describing my feelings for him.
The other minor characters like Chubs and Zu, were such a huge, GIGANTIC part of this story too! I have to give them some credit :D
The ENDING to this story was just so...heartbreaking and sad. I was (seriously) cying and screaming "WHY, OH WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN?" So, if you don't like sad endings...don't read this book, but the good news? It does make me want to read the second book VERY badly.
Overall, this book was incredible and awesome and I would recommend this to everybody!

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