Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)

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4.3
 
3.7 (3)
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Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 15, 2013
ISBN
1423157516
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Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The adventure continues.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Ruby's time with the Children's League is cut short as she is sent on a secret mission to recover a flashdrive. The information she is seeking could change the world as she knows it and, naturally, it rests in the hands of Liam Stewart - the boy she thought she left behind for his own good. Tracking him down means exposing herself, and her terrifying abilities, to those she loves and trusts. As she crosses the country she encounters danger at the hands of adults and teenagers alike and must decide whether her loyalty lies with her friends, or with her promises to the League.

I am a huge fan of The Darkest Minds. I have read it twice and I recommend it to all of my students and colleagues. I loved the way that Bracken managed to fill a young adult novel with cruelty and brutality but still maintain a warmth for her characters and a sense that things could get better. Though this theme continues in Never Fade, things do tend to seem a little more bleak. Ruby thought she had seen the worst that humanity had to offer, but she soon finds she has been mistaken. Nothing with the league is what it seems and her ability to trust has been destroyed time and time again. I still rooted for Ruby, and I love that she is a wonderfully broken character who continues to grow, but I found it a little difficult in getting to know the new characters. Perhaps, it is a testiment to how well Bracken wrote the characters in the last book, as I was simply awaiting their arrival. As such, I wasn't able to develop a love for the new characters while still mourning the old ones. Once we meet up with Chubs and Liam I almost sighed in relief and was finally able to relax into the story.

I almost wish I had done a re-read of The Darkest Minds before picking up Never Fade. There are very few reminders in the beginning of the book and I had a little trouble remembering the details of what had taken place already. I did really enjoy getting to see the inside of the League and the intrigue involved in determining exactly who was in charge. As the novel continued, it proved to be just as action packed as its predecessor, and just as poignant in its observation of the cruelty, but also the glimmers of kindness, possible by mankind. The ending did an excellent job of setting up for the next book in the series and leaving the reader itching to get their hands on book 3.

I am most definitely in this series for the long haul. Buying a copy of this book for my classroom, recommending it to my student book club and anxiously awaiting my next foray into this world.
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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.7  (3)
Characters 
 
3.3  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (3)
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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
"Never Fade" continues the Darkest Minds series with what felt a bit like an intermediate book. Beginning after the end of the first book, when Ruby is now with the League, trained and running missions, we meet a whole new cast of children with special abilities who live and work with the League. Uncovering a plot within the League, Ruby has a new mission- to save the children who are working within it. Added to that, she finds an opportunity (from Cole, Liam's brother) to seek out Liam, and she takes it- but of course, he will have no idea who she is.

Chubs and Liam are back from the first book (but not Zu), and we now get to know Jude and Vida from the League. The side characters in this book are really fantastic and they really are well formed. The first half/two-thirds of the book drag a bit as the action moves very slowly. The last parts of the book really pick up and pull you in, but it still took me a very long time to get through the first parts of the book. In that way, it felt like an intermediate. I wish it had been a bit faster paced and really moved the plot forward throughout and not just at the end.

This book is dark, in the same tone as the first. There is major character death plus all sorts of terrible things happening in the desperate country. There might be some alludes to sexual assault also (not spelled out, but it seemed like it), and added together with the many violent and horrifying scenes, this book is really appropriate only for older YA audiences. Overall, I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to picking up the next book!
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Be Still My Damaged Heart
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Darkest Minds is quickly becoming one of my favorite book series. Alexandra Braken has created such an amazing world that really highlights the faults of society and the American government system. This second book made me fall in love with Ruby all over again and the love between Ruby and Liam. They have been through so much, yet they continue to remain strong for themselves and for all of those around them. Ruby as a character also developed a lot from the first book. She is a very strong and independent person who has to make so many difficult decisions, but she takes it all in strides.
SPOILERS
Starting off, I was really disappointed with Ruby joining the Children's League and wiping Liam's memory. Everything became okay though when Liam got his memories back and I realized the intentions of the Children's League weren't so bad. I was glad that this allowed us to be introduced to her new gang of friends and Cole. Cole seems like a really interesting character with pent up anger. I really like Cole and it confused me so much cause I could see him and Ruby being a thing but I also like Ruby and Liam together.... Oh my conflicted shipper heart. Also the fact that he is a Red just blows my mind. Vida... I hated her with all of my guts in the beginning but she grew on me. Jude... god I loved that innocent and quirky kid. It pained me when he died. However, we saw the old gang including Chubs come back and that made me happy.
I was so glad to see Rob get killed off. They way he treated and killed those kids was sickening. I cannot believe adults would behave like that towards the children. It is not the children's fault that they are the way they are. And Clancy... oh I'm am so angry he lived. That little shit ruined everything.
Now that ending, I was so pissed President Gray didn't die and that he bombed LA. That just screwed up everything.
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Love it!
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The ending of The Darkest Minds left my heart in my stomach. But the ending of Never Fade left me with sweaty palms, a racing heart, and sitting on the edge of my seat. It was phenomenal! I’ve been saying this since I read The Darkest Minds, and I still stand by my claim—this is my new favorite dystopian. Move over Tris and Four, because Ruby and Liam are stealing the show.
It is so hard to find a second book in a series that is better than the first, but found it I have. Never Fade was every bit as good as the first book, if not better. There were surprises and heart aches all along the way. I was sucked into this story almost from the beginning.
For all those that said Ruby was the weak link in The Darkest Minds, you won’t be saying that now. She has grown so much. Ruby is now in control of her powers and takes them to a whole new level. Of course, that level comes with horrible consequences. She is strong, determined, and a serious force to be reckoned with. She’s also not alone. Vida is another strong female lead in the book, although my least favorite character. I never really cared for her. She is rough around the edges and foul, which makes me hesitant to recommend this to my school aged students. I’m very disappointed by that, too, since I rave about The Darkest Minds all the time.
I could analyze the plot, but it would take away so much. This is a book (series) that you need to experience for yourself. It’s fresh and exciting, and packs a serious punch.
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