Sunday, December 16, 2012

ARC Review of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds
The Darkest Minds
By: Alexandra Bracken 
Review by: Kaede 

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 488 (ARC); 496 (Finished Hardback)
Series: The Darkest Mind (#1) 
Source: Paperback ARC (Won)

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.

The Darkest Minds is a novel not only visibly attractive, but also contains a story worthy of the beautiful thing that is it's cover. With the cover picture seen above, you should be able to get a good idea of the cover. However, even with the ARC copy, The Darkest Minds has a pretty sheen that can only be seen when reflected on with light. However, as fond of it as I am, I'm 99% certain that you aren't reading this review to hear me ramble on shiny covers. Although, if you would like, I have no problem doing so...

Ruby, our darling female protagonist, is our narrator through the world Alexandra Bracken has crafted in her second published novel. See, I'm going to be the brave one here and admit a deep dark secret to you guys, although if you know me at all, you should know this: I have a hard time liking female characters in young adult literature. There's usually something, even if it's the littlest of things, that I find ridiculous and slightly offensive as a person of the same gender as the stupid girl who's just being...stupid. This is a problem many reviewers, if not all, have. Don't get me wrong, I love realistic characters, but see, there lies the fault. Realistic characters have flaws, they aren't perfect. However, realistic characters do not drop all common sense for a out of the world (and I use this term because so very often, the male love interest is not of this world) hot guy they've just met, like what, twenty pages or so ago? I didn't find the usual complaint I have though an issue with Ruby. While I wasn't in love love, Ruby's story is as engaging as she is strong. And that girl is in fact 110% kick-ass, if you know what I mean. (And if you honestly do know what I mean, please tell me. Because half the time I don't know what I mean when I ask if someone knows what I mean. You know what I mean?)

Admirable is Ruby's loyalty to Liam, and all the friends she meets. The writing in The Darkest Minds is exceptional, complete with it's vivid descriptions and elegance. Bracken's unique storytelling is able to bring her characters to life, making them only that much more likable.

Mind control, memory manipulation, and telekinesis; these are just some of the supernatural abilities that the teenagers are suddenly gaining in Bracken's world. However, you see, the so very accepting adults have not been quite...fond of this change in their children. As demonstrated through Ruby's locking in her garage and the calling of police, courtesy of her parents. Shipped to Thurmond, a government “rehabilitation camp", since she was young, Ruby now has to make her escape at sixteen. The year the truth is revealed. Ruby now has one objective: To reach East River and find a safe haven with a group of children that are like her. But what she doesn't expect to find there is love. 

Now the relationship between the leader, Liam, and our daring protagonist Ruby, is quite the interesting one. While I particularly enjoyed it, I could see how some people won't. But what I can say with certainty is that The Darkest Minds isn't focused on romance and fluffy cheesy kiss-y scenes. The world that Bracken depicts is a dark one, that has what is seemingly a grim future. But isn't that what dystopian readers look for in their choice of genre?  An action-packed story set in a futuristic world in which chaos runs amok, complete with fantastic and kick-ass characters worthy of the Best Kick-ass Characters of Year Whatever Award? If that describes your taste, or what you're looking for, I couldn't recommend The Darkest Minds more highly.

5 coffee cups!


Review also found: Goodreads


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede 
Twitter: Kami178xx


  1. Don't worry, I get you. XD And I don't know... I have only read one dystopian book.... *psst, matched, psst* and I didn't like and I WANT to get back in that genre, because it sounds interesting, I think...But, anyways, yeah, I do love boy narrations more than girls, but ehh, I can live with both, I've seen many phony and annoying girls at my school already. *gag*

    1. Oh, phew! I was getting a bit nervous that I might have been going insane in my seat. And don't worry, I get you too. I read Matched too, and, uh...not exactly the greatest book in the universe. But there are definitely better dystopian books out there that are actually good. I'm kinda surprised you didn't read the Hunger Games before though. o_o

      OH YEAH. PHONY AND ANNOYING GIRLS AT SCHOOL FOR THE WIN. I mean, seriously, some of them at my own school are worse than a few whiny fictional female characters that I know of. Such a shame. Boy narrations rock.

      I swear, you are like my twin that I've never met. We agree on so many things, it's almost scary. o_o >;D

  2. Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! <3 Thanks! Much love, darling. ♥

  3. I still have my copy sitting on my shelf... I never really got to pick it up! And Mary, after your review I#m still not sure... I'm not sure if I make it to the second date. But, I'm all about giving it a chance.