The Darkest Minds (Book 1)
by Alexandra Bracken
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.com)
Sometimes you read a book and it takes over your life. You go through the motions of every day routine, but all you can think about is that book and how you’d much rather be doing nothing except reading it and living in it. That was me with The Darkest Minds and that hook came right from the first page.
I hadn’t really even read the summary before I started the book. I picked up an ARC at BEA in June 2012 only because I knew I had loved the author’s fantasy debut, and I was curious about other books she was writing. I thought this would be some sort of paranormal love story, but I was way off. There’s something immensely gripping in the way that Bracken writes this novel. I could physically hear the words in my ears and see the images like they were real, right in front of my face. I was desperate to know more about Ruby and what the heck everything was all about.
The story twists and turns like there’s no tomorrow and it always kept me guessing. I did figure out a couple of the twists but I honestly said “Huh, I wasn’t expecting that” out loud at least once. Either way, I was sincerely enjoying the ride I was on.
And a ride it was, too. Much of this book is a road trip of sorts, with obstacles thrown in the way and a bunch of background told in story format or in memories. I grew to love all the characters that traveled in Black Betty, the mini-van. My image of Chubs was nothing like his description (which always caught me off guard when it was written and I had to wrestle my imagination back into what was on the page from what it had already created) but other than that, I loved these kids deeply.
Now that I think about it, there are three distinct parts to the book and they could easily have been separated by those little blank pages that say “Part I”, “Part II” and “Part III”. Each part of that story had it’s own mystery and surprises and scares and emotions.
There’s just so much I want to say about this book, but if you haven’t read it, I don’t want to ruin it for you. This was just an epic read for me and I am so happy I picked it up and devoted some time to it. Heck, I even brought it on the bus with me and made myself bus sick, just to read MORE!!
The day after I finished it, I brought it into work and handed it to a friend of mine and told her “You! Read this! Now!” I only hope she loves it as much as I did.
There are three books listed on Goodreads for this series. I don’t know how the sequel can keep the pace of this first book, so I am nervous about it, but I am also chomping at the bit to get that book in my hands. December seems so very, very far away. I have no Disney Hyperion contacts, so my getting an ARC of the sequel doesn’t seem to be likely. I shall have to suffer like the mere mortal readers do. heh (This is not me fishing for an ARC hook-up by the way. It’s my lamenting the fact that I have to wait almost a YEAR for the sequel. :))
The Darkest Minds
- The Darkest Minds
- Never Fade
- untitled – 2014