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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Expected Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Page Count: 488 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher for review
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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.
I feel like I walked into Darkest Minds thinking one thing, and came out of it thinking something completely different. Even days later my mind is consumed with the horrific images depicted throughout the novel. This is my first Alexandra Bracken novel and I'm already preparing myself to order more of them. Not only is her writing hauntingly beautiful, but her use of imagery is undeniably powerful and will stay with me. Even the characters become people you know and people you want to save. I only recently found out about Darkest Minds but everything about it became an amazing story I won't easily forget. Super powers, deadly diseases, corrupt governments, terrorist groups, and Southern boys are just some of the tantalizing subjects this book holds within its pages.

The characters in Darkest Minds are all amazingly well-written. They're people you fall in love with from the very beginning. Ruby's story became my story; her fears became mine; her hopes, dreams, emotions, everything about her became something I could relate to. Her loyalty to Liam, Chubs, and Suzume is admirable and heartbreakingly beautiful. I loved how committed she was to saving them all without asking anything in return. And Liam... oh my God. That boy is one of the most romantic and faithful love interests I've read about in a long time. His Southern charm and caring personality are the best combination for heroic love interest out there. Even Chubs is someone I fell in love with. He's a bit wary of Ruby in the beginning, but like everyone else he grows to love her, and she him.

The writing in Darkest Minds is absolutely breath-taking. Bracken has an elegant and poetic way of molding words into extraordinary pictures. There were many times when I felt like I was walking alongside Ruby, through an abandoned countryside that was once part of her home. The vivid imagery allowed me to immerse myself in the story, barely coming up for air. This story is amazing, filled with super powers and intricate backgrounds for everyone which eventually surface enabling the reader to learn more about each character and their motivations. I loved slowly getting to know everyone, and the way that Bracken unfolded circumstances into a cohesive plot line that had me curled in the corner by the time it was over is just remarkable.

I feel like my review has become a mess of jumbled words and emotions, my thoughts attempting to fill the page with expressions of how deeply this book touched me. The emotional turmoil I was causes by the end had be gasping for air and reaching for the box of Kleenex while screaming, “But WHY?!” at my dog. I can't tell you how much I needed a hug by the time it was over, and how badly I want to get my hands on whatever Bracken has in store for me next. If you haven't already considered reading Darkest Minds you'll definitely want to add this one to your TBR. Fans of dystopian worlds, super powers, and heartbreaking romance will fawn over this one. 


  1. Great review! It makes me even more excited for The Darkest Minds :)
    I haven't read anything by Alexandra Bracken yet, but this one seems amazing! But it's good to hear that the writing is very good.

  2. Oh Wow have been great for this and yours is no exception..i love when a book grabs you like this and stays with you long after you have closed the book!

  3. How have I missed all the buzz about this one? HOW?? Your review makes me want to grab a copy and curl up for a good long day of reading!! I absolutely LOVE when the reader becomes the main character! Anytime an author can make you feel that attached, it's an EXCELLENT sign!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  4. Gah, yes, I think I stopped breathing for a second after that ending! I was pretty much this website in real life, hahaha. This entire book was so, so amazing and your review makes me remember the whirlwind of emotions in put me through. This was my first Alexandra Bracken book, too, but I'm so eager to read more from her!

  5. I am so very happy to read such a great review for this one. I have been really looking forward to it and plan on picking up a copy as soon as it is released. After reading this, I am sure I will love it too. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  6. oh wow you really enjoyed Darkest Minds huh? i would have dived straight into this novel if not for the "horrific images". Since I'm not a fan of gore i don't think it would be for me.

    Great review!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  7. Eep, this is another book that I'm going to be reading soon - and your review makes it sound FANTASTIC. I'm certainly excited at the prospect of encountering these wonderful characters soon!

  8. Strong characters AND good writing? I AM SO PUMPED UP TO HAVE THIS ON MY PHYSICAL TBR!

    For serious, your review was awesome and I'm glad to hear this book is NOT awful. :-)

  9. WOW. What a glowing review, Anna! Admittedly I had somewhat dismissed this book, thinking it wasn't for me. But after everything you said...I'll have to re-consider it!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  10. Wow this sounds like an amazing read. I haven't really paid too much attention to this one since it popped onto the radar but I'm definitely going to look into it now. Great review Anna!

  11. I was completly bawling at the end of this one...I hadn't realized how attached I'd gotten until that point!

  12. Told you that you were going to need the tissues by the end :)

    Was told that the second book will be out around the end of 2013! Going to kill me to wait that long.

  13. I loved this one too!!! It took me a while to read it but the last 100 completely won me over.

  14. I got this one from ALA, so I'll definitely have to read it soon now! Great review Anna :)

  15. Ahh! Can't believe this took me so long to comment on! I had to take an unexpected internet haitus, but this review was waiting for me to read all along.
    Great review! It sounds like Ruby is a character that I'll certainly get along with and love. And I gotta read me this Southern Liam dude! I want him to charm me and I haven't even the book! I can't wait to read this one. So I really am going to feel all the emotions, aren't I?

    Millie @ Millie D's Words


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