Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Or:…. WOW

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Synopsis: 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

Every once and a while you find a book that has an original and ingenious plot and universe. This is one of those books.

This book was so interesting, and meaty, I had no clue what was going to happen, and I loved it.

I love complex main characters who acknowledge that they are imperfect. That is Ruby. Bracken was walking a fine line with Ruby; she could have easily made her a Mary Sue. She didn’t. Not by a long shot. She let Ruby make mistakes and let Ruby learn from them. This is such a breath of fresh air. If I didn’t love Bracken already from her skillful and beautiful story telling in this book, I certainly loved her for the way she crafted her characters.

Bracken’s characters are all so human. In fact her characters are so believable its sometimes hard to remember that this is fiction and this didn’t actually happen.I had to keep pinching myself; Bracken’s work is so good it’s hard not to take this as a warning of what COULD happen. That’s what makes a good dystopian story; when something hits so close to home that it’s possible.

It’s interesting how Bracken has chosen to write this story. Ruby doesn’t have flashbacks to explain her childhood- no Ruby’s story is told as chronologically as possible for the unreliable narrator that is Ruby. Bracken’s skill is so great that she manages to write the story so it’s believable that Ruby has a 10 year old’s education; Ruby is not exceptionally clever, she’s naive and childish. She doesn’t have complex problem solving skills and that’s why, partly, its so believable.

She doesn’t just write Ruby this way, she writes all the children/teenagers this way. Things happen the way they do- all the disasters of the quest to find east river- because the children lack the capacity to make complex decisions in a world twisted by fear. Zu is a notable character, both for her tenacity and for how well she pulls at your heart strings. Liam is every girls teenage fantasy and he is just as flawed as Ruby.

The end twists, I certainly didn’t see coming. I cried, I gasped and I spent hours sucked up into this world. The next book in the trilogy is in my TBR pile ready to go. But I want to pace myself with this series. Hopefully, the other two books are just as good as the first.

You could study this book for hours and find all the cleverness that Bracken has expertly worked in. In fact, I really want to give it to my best friend who’s studying to become a high school English teacher. She’d love this one.

This book deserves all the hype it gets. Trust me here; you’re going to want to read this one.

Read: Paperback English Version. 

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