Saturday, 12 January 2013

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Goodreads Summary: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government ′rehabilitation camp′. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America′s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control. 
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she 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 Liam. But there are also 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 - and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

Title: The Darkest Minds
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: 11th December 2012
Format: e-galley
Source: HarperCollins Australia via NetGalley & my own shelf

**may contain small spoilers**

I absolutely loved this book! I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and put it down again, I just wasn't ready to read it at the time. I grabbed this one from NetGalley and knew it was due to expire soon, so thought I had better get it read. I have no idea why it did take me so long now, once I started, BANG, I couldn't put it down. The pages just kept turning and the story kept twisting and evolving. This is fantastic and Alexandra Bracken’s writing style is fabulous.

Ruby is almost ten and the kids in her class are starting to drop dead. There is a disease that is affecting children from eight to seventeen, some survive and others….don’t. The adults are afraid of the ones that do survive and they are taken away to a camp for rehabilitation. Ruby goes to bed the night before her tenth birthday and goes in to kiss her parents goodnight. Upon waking the day of her birthday, everything has changed; her parents don’t know who Ruby is, they have no memory of her at all. Ruby freaks and tries to run!

This day is beginning of her horrible existence and she is captured and taken to a camp. Camps are split into different colours, depending on the abilities of the children. Green is the lowest with low, not harmful abilities and Ruby is sorted into that colour. The years go by and Ruby has to work out how to survive. She makes a friend and something happens that she loses her.

The camp controllers have a crowd controlling noise that they call white noise and it helps control the kids with abilities. One day Ruby hears this horrible, horrible noise and the next time she wakes up, she is in the infirmary. Ruby’s secret is out and now she is in danger. One of the doctor’s tries to help her and a plan is formed to get her out before she gets killed.

Ruby decides to use the help and escape this horrible place. She and another boy were the only two that could be saved this day. Ruby has a bad feeling about the people that helped rescue her and she runs away from them. Now on the run from everybody, Ruby is lucky enough to find some other children on the run and joins their crew. Suzume, Liam and Chubs are the kids she joins; immediately she is attracted to Liam. Ruby hasn't had to socialise with boys before and this is all new.

Their sole purpose is to survive and not be caught by the rebels or the camp controllers again. There are rumours about a kid, the Slip Kid that has formed a camp and takes in lost children. The camp provides food, education, safety and a way to contact their families if they like. But the trouble is trying to find the elusive camp.

By sheer luck, they find the camp and are accepted with open arms. During their time in camp, they are issued their orders and they all have something to do. Ruby still has strong feelings for Liam, but is frightened to get close because of her abilities. She doesn't know how to control them and this Slip Kid is able to train her.

Things don’t appear as they seem in this camp, Ruby is being hit on by the Slip Kid and she doesn't know how to handle it all. After an incident, they decide enough is enough and want to leave.

Follow Ruby on her journey of self-discovery and discovering what falling in love is like. Learning how to use her abilities, fight the urges and the guilt associated. This book has everything in a YA fantasy, a lot of romance, action, adventure, betrayal, friendship and loyalty. I was crying at the end with the emotional turmoil that Ruby had to endure and can’t believe that book 2 isn't being released until December this year. I can’t wait that long, I must read the next one now!


About the Author

Alexandra Bracken wrote Brightly Woven as a birthday present for a friend, and the story grew and flourished during a year of unpredictable, wild weather. A native of Arizona, she is a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she majored in History and English. She now lives in New York City.


  1. I really, really want to read this--but I might have to wait now, until the sequel is coming a little sooner!

  2. Hi there, the January edition of Books You Loved is open for entries. Here is the link Books You Loved January Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book/s you loved. Maybe this post? Cheers and Happy New Year!

  3. This sounds awesomely amazing! Totally adding to my TBR - great review :)

  4. This book does sound really good. I was iffy about this one at first, but now I'm convinced I need to read it :)

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  5. Thanks for sharing.

    My featured book is SEVEN LOCKS.

    Stopping by from Carole's January Books I Loved. I am in that list as # 46.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog