The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

December 28th, 2012 Kimberly Review 33 Comments

28th Dec
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Genres: Dystopian
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has 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.

One of the reasons I began reading young adult novels was because of my love of the dystopian genre. When I read the synopsis for the Darkest Minds I knew I had to read it. Bracken has written a clever tale intertwined with paranormal and science fiction elements. Creating a horrifying dystopian world where children are feared and most of America is brainwashed into believing the government is helping their children. This was a brilliant read with fleshed out characters that held me captive.

A rare virus is killing children around their tenth birthday. The government and schools have sent home letters with warning signs. They encourage parents to register if they notice any symptoms. What they don’t tell them is that they don’t care about the ones who die but the ones who live. When Ruby awakes on her tenth birthday, something horrible has happened and her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. She ends up being taken to a rehabilitation camp and the tale that unfolds held me captive till the last page.

I really became immersed in the tale and a lot of that had to do with the characters themselves. Ruby, Liam, Chubby and Zu were all unique and so fleshed out that they became very real to me. I love when that happens and I found myself swept up in what happens to them. Bracken slowly revealed each character to us, peeling back their layers to expose their raw feelings, fears, and personalities. The way the characters interacted and drew strength from each other was so well done and believable. The romance was sweet, tender and tore my heart up.

World building is so important to me, and Bracken did a fantastic job. She reveals the world to us as the tale unfolds. She utilizes the show don’t tell method that I prefer as this allows me to knit the pieces together creating the world in my mind and breathing life into the pages. I loved the dark, gritty, violent world she has created and want to know more. The characters pop against this backdrop, making their experience all the more real. The ending flat out made me cry, no lie and I cannot wait to get my hands on book two as this tale is far from over.

Fans of dark dystopians and fleshed out characters who like a little paranormal woo-woo weaved into their tale are going to flip over The Darkest Minds. Book two and three have yet to be titled but are scheduled to release in 2013 and 2014. I look forward to reading more of Bracken’s work.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

33 Responses to “The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken”

  1. Jenny Zemanek

    SO excited for this one Kimba! I recently watched a video chat with her and she is absolutely adorable. The way she explained the world had me DYING to finally get my hands on this book. Glad to know you loved it so much, I can never turn away from a dark dystopian:)

  2. Nick

    You really need to stop giving these books of yours such high ratings.*whines*
    You just make me want to read ALL of the freaking YA books there are out there!
    Anyways, I’m so so glad to hear that this is a well-written dystopian. I’ve been wanting to read this one ever since I saw the cover! Good dystopian novels are becoming rarer these days.
    I love the sound of the characters. Even their names sound fun and yay for strong world-building!
    Fab review as always, Kim! 🙂

  3. Jennifer Bielman

    I have this one to read. I have been putting it off because I hear up and down reviews. But with you loving it I must get to it NOW. Great Review.

  4. Denise Z

    I fell in love with the cover and am chomping at the bit to read it. Thank you so much for sharing your review with us. I am so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. kindlemom1

    I have been so curious about this one, I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  6. Candace's Book Blog

    I have wanted to read this but I’m not adding more dystopia until I get through the series I have. I’m so glad that was had great world building. I look forward to reading it!

  7. Megan

    This one sounds awesome! I’ll definitely keep my eye out for it.

  8. kimbacaffeinate

    I agree, i love world-building and this was done well, with just enough questions left unanswered to have me excited for book two!

  9. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    A great review! I quite enjoyed this one as well, the world building was great & I really liked the supporting cast of characters.

    Looking forward to the next book.

  10. Alicia

    Dystopian books was a big reason for me to start blogging too 🙂 Now this books sounds really intense– virus, concentration camp, and a big bad government! Really curious as to what will happen to Ruby and Liam, I’m keeping my eyes opened for this one!

    Book a World

  11. The Readingista

    World building is one of the make it or break it qualities in my opinion, so it is great to hear that is done well in The Darkest Minds. I was drawn to this book from the moment that I first read up on it and have to grab a copy! I love dystopian too. A big thanks for your great review.