Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Vanessa's Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

This book is being Reviewed by Vanessa from Book Butterfly Reviews.

Title:  The Darkest Minds
Series: The Darkest Minds Book 1
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, YA, dystopian, romance
Source: Paperback
Pages: 488 pages
Rating: 5 stars… easy.

Available at:

Blurb: (via 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.

My Review:
Where to begin, where to begin. For those who haven’t read the books and are fans of books such as Divergent or Hunger Games… this has that same dystopian feel…. With more fantasy worked in. I highly recommend giving it a try, I doubt you will be disappointed. This is one of the best books I have read in a while, so I am so excited to share it with you guys.

All right, so lets get right into it. Character wise, this story is absolutely fantastic. Each character is set apart and has such a unique personality. As you go throughout the story and learn about Ruby’s past and some of the other characters past you can latterly watch the character development unfold. Sometimes authors writing about teenagers make their characters either too overly or under developed interaction wise. Nope, not our girl Alexandra; she is right on the ball. The decisions these characters and actions these characters make made sense. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest move, but you can see where they are coming from, you can understand their mindset. Relationship wise, well, you know who the love interest is going to be as soon as you are introduced to him. I would have liked maybe a little doubt, but you knew it was going to happen. On a friendship level though, Alexandra expertly crafts situations and conversations that test the limits of Ruby’s relationships with others; some for the better, and some for the worst. It was amazing to be reading and go over one sentence and BAM, you just watched something shift. BAM, foreshadowing. BAM a light goes off in your head. It was awesome!

Now it should come to no surprise when I tell you that the plot is fantastic. These kids are running for their lives, and they are trying to find THE Safe Haven for other kids like them with the vaguest clue known to man. The events at the beginning of the book set you up to understand Ruby’s actions as the plot unfolds. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she just wants to be able to get close to those around her. You empathize with her character. And although you are thinking how awesome it would be to have her ability (and all the things that you can do with it) you kind of see how bad the ability sucks, and how much grief and heartache it has caused. I don’t want to say any more without giving something away. The writing was amazing., read the book!

The one and only problem I REALLY had with this book is the color-coding. Each kid is classified by color to signify what kind of ability they have. It seems that the cooler colors (like green and blue) are less dangerous and warmer colors (like orange and red) are more dangerous. My problem is two fold. One, you have to figure out what each color means by yourself. It isn’t laid out for you so you kind of have to piece it together from what you are told, which you can do more or less without too much of a problem. You don’t really understand what Reds are yet.. but if you figure how strong Oranges are… then DANNNGGG, it should be interesting. My second problem is that I have a problem with where telepathy is categorized. I figure this is a pretty dangerous power… but they put it in the coldest color (blue).. I didn’t think that it was quite right.

The last thing that I am going to say is that if you have had any doubts thus far, the ending is completely, 100% worth the entire book. It is sad, and heartbreaking and it will piss you off because you know it was the right thing, but the wisdom behind the decisions made and the selflessness of it all shows intelligence beyond her age. I can’t even wait to read the novella and the sequel that follows. Ok, that’s all I am going to say! I highly recommend the book, take a chance and read it!

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