Book Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken


The darkest mindsTitle: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Summary: 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. -Goodreads

Review:

**Warning: Spoilers!**

**Warning #2: Contains ranting about this awesome book, gifs, a lot of caps lock, ridiculously long paragraphs.  Feels.  Lots of feels.**

I pulled out The Darkest Minds about fifteen minutes after finishing The Fault in Our Stars.  I needed to get my mind off of the sadness I felt after I finished it. I seriously didn’t think I could handle any more feels.  So, you can imagine my reaction when I read the review on the top of The Darkest Minds that said, “A riveting, emotional read that kept me on the edge.”

Emotional.

Emotional.

Emotional.

nope

I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE EMOTIONAL.

Ahem.  Anywho.

The beginning of The Darkest Minds seemed very vague to me.  Maybe I was a bit sidetracked and wasn’t paying close attention to what was on the page.  Dunno.  Also, I wish the parts where Ruby was going into someone else’s mind were italicized or something, just so I wouldn’t have to go back.

BUT IT WAS AWESOME!  Aside from that stuff, everything was so much fun!  I was having such a great time with The Darkest Minds that I was barely taking any notes (until things got super intense.  Then the note taking commenced).

About halfway through the book, I realized that this is, I believe, the first dystopian book I’ve read that was written in the past tense.

It was kind of funny that Ruby knew what a Walmart was, though, lol.

Let’s talk about Ruby.  I think Ruby is a very unique character.  We got to see MASSIVE character building and development for her.  It’s really great when an author makes their character’s weaknesses obvious and isn’t afraid to show that their character has weaknesses.  In the beginning of this book, she was so scared and timid, and she couldn’t even stand up for herself, and then BA-BAYUM!  Ruby got backbone.  She was so awesome.  I didn’t know how I felt about her in the beginning, but after all that… Cheesus.  Oh, I’m not happy with her at all after that ending, but you’ll get a rant about that in a minute.

LIAM!  GOOD GAWD.  THAT BOY.  HIM.  HIM.  I LOVE HIM.  OMG.  DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED (too late…).

Liam was just… *le sigh*.  So sweet.  I was already kind of spoiled about something happening to him.  I didn’t know what happened to him (*glares at Ruby*), but I knew that they were going to try to find him or something.  But anyway.  He’s such a good person, y’know?  He genuinely wanted to help people (UNLIKE THAT CLANCY *insert choice of word*).  I love how Liam called Ruby “Ruby Tuesday” or “darlin’.”  For me, it was like *INNER FANGIRL SQUEALING MOMENT*  Like, dude, STOP MELTING MY HEART.  THAT IS NOT ALLOWED (I’m in love…).  I was hoping for some more character development for him because I felt a little distanced from him (though, maybe that’s how we were supposed to feel).  But I think I’m almost satisfied with that aspect.  I assume we’ll get more of that in Never Fade, which is the first book I’ve ordered from the library in more than a month.  I kid you not.

But, seriously.  Liam.  Who do you think would be the perfect Liam in a movie?

I loved how Ruby and Liam were having their little moment in the car, and then Chubs starts talking in his sleep like, “… crackers… yessss…”  I died.  I also died on pages 302-303.  You know that part where Ruby woke up and realized everyone knew about her being an Orange?  And Chubs was all, “We need to consider getting rid of her,” and Ruby thought he was talking about her when he was actually talking about Betty (the car), and Ruby was all, “Okay, I’ll leave.”  And Chubs was like, “Ruby!  Oh, for the love of… we were talking about Black Betty, not your Orange ass.”  I.  Died.  (Obviously I died a lot during this book XD.)

I love how Ruby and Liam bonded over music.  The music aspect of the book was really cool because they actually listened to old music like Elton John, The Rolling Stones, which is kind of ironic, considering this is a futuristic book.  But, still, it’s cool.  I want to know now how far into the future this is set.

Chubs is, by far, one of my favorites.  I imagine him differently than how he was described in the book, but oh, well.  He was still awesome, even though he was mean to Ruby in the beginning.  When Chubs told off Clancy, I was like, “YOU GO, DUDE!”  And when he got shot… gahh my feels.

snape

Now… *tries to calm down*  Let’s talk about that you-know-what, Clancy.  First of all, I didn’t expect him to be the Slip Kid.  Awesome plot twist, Ms. Bracken.  I should have expected it, since “Clance” was mentioned a lot in the beginning.  And then when he was helping Ruby, I semi-trusted him.  I was actually wondering if there was going to be a Liam/Ruby/Clancy love triangle.  I was like, DON’T YOU DARE BREAK UP RIAM.  DON’T.  YOU.  DARE.

But then that jerk face Clancy wanted to see how Ruby had erased her parents’ memories and Ruby was hesitant, but she was all, “He wouldn’t overstep his boundaries.”  THAT’S when I stopped trusting him.  I.  Did.  Not.  Trust.  Clancy.  Stupid idiot ._.

AND THEN WHAT HE DID TO RUBY?!  NO—JUST NO.  I HATE CLANCY, UGHHHHHH!

Page 426 is when I began to frantically pace/read.

When Hayes was beating up Liam—good gods.  I was a mess.  I think I actually whimpered O_o

I feel like this is the first book in ages that didn’t make me cry.  No, in fact, it made me angry.  I was rooting for Ruby and the others to get through and I HATED CLANCY SO MUCH (if I hadn’t made that obvious up there ^)

**SPOILERS FOR EVERMORE BY ALYSON NOEL AND UGLIES BY SCOTT WESTERFELD**

Oh!  So I was reading this review of Evermore by Alyson Noel, and I remembered that Ever had the power to see people’s thoughts just by touching them, like Ruby.  I’d actually forgotten Ever had that power.

I also realized that the panic button Ruby had reminded me of that thing Tally from Uglies to find the Smoke.  And Cate reminded me of that Special from Uglies .  Remember her?  I can’t remember her name…

**END OF SPOILERS**

Now I’m going to rant about Ruby.  And spoil Champion by Marie Lu.  I know, I’m talking about a lot of books in here.  I must…

WHY THE HECK DID YOU PRESS THAT STUPID PANIC BUTTON?  WHY?  WHYYYYY???  I’M JUST LIKE… I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE ANYTHING.  JUST… don’t talk to me…

EXPLAIN TO ME, RUBY, WHAT YOU WERE THINKING WHEN YOU ERASED LIAM’S MEMORY??!?!  YOU PULLED A JUNE IPARIS!!!  WHY, WOMAN, WHY?!?  YOU AND LIAM NEEDED TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER AND THEN YOU PULL THIS?!  I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU AND LIAM AND CHUBS AND ZU AND NOW YOU’RE ALL SEPARATED!!!

we were all rooting for you

Favorite Lines:

Chubs groaned.  “Why are you so weird?”

“Because my weird has to be able to cancel out your weird, Lady Cross-stitch.”

“At least what I do is considered an art form,” Chubs said.

~

“We want you,” he said, his hand slipping through my hair to cup the back of my neck.  “We wanted you yesterday, we want you today, and we’ll want you tomorrow.  There’s nothing you could do to chance that.  If you’re scared and you don’t understand your crazy abilities, then we’ll help you understand—but don’t think, not for one second, that we would ever just leave you.” ~Liam

Me while reading that: *hysterical fangirl giggling*

5/5 stars.  I am angry.  I am mad.  I must read Never Fade.

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

  1. thebookheap says:

    That octopus gif is my favourite thing ever oh my bloody god.
    This book has been on my list for like a year because it’s all over booktube but I’ve yet to actually spot it in UK bookstores, so it’s quite expensive here still 😦 le sigh

    Like

  2. I skimmed this entire review per the spoilers but all I needed to see was “awesome book” *breathes a sigh of relief* I have this on my shelf to be read and I’ve been antsy to start it. Now I’m really excited!!!

    Like

  3. morethanbookish says:

    I need to get Never Fade and the next book and AHHH THAT ENDING!! RUBY NO!! I’m loving this series, even though reading this book was like being in the worst emotional roller coaster ever!

    Like

  4. Soooooo I don’t mean to be that person who’s constantly like “you MUST read the next book ASAPlease” Buuuuttttt “YOU MUST READ NEVER FADE Immediately” 🙂 It is SO good… I think you will feel better about life the universe and everything after you do! And if you want to fangirl over the series I am available cuz I was pretty much right there with you when I wrote this : http://lilajunesbooksaloon.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/the-darkest-minds/
    This series is super high on my list of favorites and I can’t wait for the third book to come out!

    Like

    • HAHAHA!!! I already ordered Never Fade from the library. I’m mentally cursing the person who I have to wait for to finish it lol. I’m super pumped about this series, though!

      Now it’s time for me to Fangirl over TDM over at you blog 😀

      Like

      • Oh lord I would have DIED. I am a publishers best friend because I always buy books on Kindle and then again in hardcopy because I can’t stand to wait but I want to own them all so I can read again and again. Pretty much I’m nuts!
        I shall keep you in my thoughts and pray for your sanity until such time as the other reader relinquishes Never Fade to you 🙂

        Like

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