February 06, 2014

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

by Alexandra Bracken
published on December 18th 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Young Adult/Dystopia/Science Fiction/Romance
part of The Darkest Minds series (book #1)
488 pages


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.

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Here's what really happened.
Me, at the opening pages of The Darkest Minds:

Me, at the last pages of The Darkest Minds:

Basically, I was a mess. I read the synopsis before I read the book but at those opening pages, I felt like nothing make sense. I couldn't remember the colors or what they meant; Green what? Blue what? Red what? All I know was this 'desease' that made little kids being put into horrible 'rehabilitation' camps where they're forced to do *things*. Ruby managed to escape from her camp (called Thurmond) by the help of someone that I cannot even remember the name.

Skip to dozen pages later, Ruby was on the run, with 3 people she met (can't remember how they met, really) on the way. They travelled with a Black Betty, and their goal was to reach the East River to seek help from a figure named Slip Kid. From this point on, I started to understand the basics of it. Weird, really. Like reading a book written by two different authors. The first half was confusing, words jumbled out without a clear picture, I was having a hard time to comprehend it all. But after you go through 100-150 pages of it, the fun finally came. The slow pace may be unbearable for some, but all in all, The Darkest Minds was quite a strong series-starter. It has action, suspense, good humor, romance, friendship, kids with special powers...

The kids in The Darkest Minds were treated badly for things that out of their control. These children didn't understand where their ability came out of, or how to handle the thing, but they're being punished when they accidentally used it. The guilt of unintentionally causing harms to other people and the pain from being separated with their family also sucked, big time. The situation was horrible.

On the way, things definitely weren't easier. They struggled to escape from the authorities that kept chasing them, and at the same time they started to form a strong bond, trying to help each other and survive. We got to know more about Ruby and her companions. Liam, their brave telekinetic leader. Chubs, the brilliant mean boy. Zu, the silent electricity manipulator. Ruby herself was an Orange, which meant she could control people's minds, but she kept this fact hidden to keep other people from herself. Things that happened to them, eventually, brought them closer.

By this point, I was getting attached. Their friendship didn't start easily, with the basic of things like trust and honesty missing, but it was lovely to read the whole dynamics. These 4 teens really invigorate each other eventhough they have their own story, their own weaknesses and strength. Not to mention the relationship between Ruby and Liam which started to bloom. It was no insta-love, really, so plus point for it. They were truly adorable together. Their romance is not even the most important part of the book, but it was what got me hooked for realz. I LOVE LIAM! He's such a good leader, always trying to be optimistic and to do the right things. He had this *ability* to say the most awesome or the most swoon worthy things ever.

"Let's carpe the hell out of this diem."

“Ruby, give me one reason why we can’t be together, and I’ll give you a hundred why we can. We can go anywhere you want. I’m not your parents. I’m not going to abandon you or send you away, not ever.”

“Cause, frankly, the way I see it, you and me? Inevitable.”

(Believe me, there are more than those three)

The thing that BLEW ME AWAY and officialy sealed my 4 stars for this book, however, was the ending. My, oh, my. Someone really ought to tell me about the ending, really. It was OUT of my mind. I mean, HOW DARE YOU, MRS BRACKEN? I was horribly shocked, gutted, and saddened by Ruby's action, but then I remembered that it's only the first book. I need to read Never Fade, like, omg, RIGHT NOW.

Need more to convince you? Read these reviews of The Darkest Minds by: Serena Smiles | Kristy from Book Nerd

Have you read this series yet? What do you think of it? Got any recommendation that is similar to this one? Share it with me! I'll always love to read your thoughts and opinions.
Don't forget to have fun and read some more! ;)


  1. I agree with everything you said, Tirta! The ending was amazing! :D

    Aimee @ Read by the Undead

    1. I was totally BAFFLED by ending! I was like, 'Omg, omg, how could she do that?!' made me dizzy lol. Such a perfect way to make readers want to read the next book ASAP

  2. Enjoy the pain because what's life without the adversity? *yes, I'm quoting Liam's*
    Glad you like it, just struggle the 1st 100 pages (because it was confusingly intense!) and Liam will appear /////// I love Black Betty tribe <3
    Anyway, Alex has not married yet :D

    1. Whoops, my bad. Should be Ms instead of Mrs, yeah?
      I have to thank YOU for recommending this book! Sooooo awesome <3

  3. I've seen this book around, but honestly before your review not really paid much attention to it. I'm glad that you were able to overcome the early confusion and find a really decent book in Darkest Minds, you definitely have me intrigued about the ending! Lovely review Tirta!

    1. Glad that I gave it a chance instead of DNF-ing, too *grins*

  4. I understand what you mean about the beginning being confusing. I felt that way at the beginning of Divergent when the author was explaining all the different factions and whatnot. It's good to know that it's worth pushing through and you enjoyed the rest of the book. I'm so curious about this epic ending!

    1. Exactly. Like, too much information being thrown at me but I couldn't really comprehend the details. Thank God it doesn't stay that way all along until the last pages ;)

  5. I haven't read this book yet, but it's great to hear that you liked it! I can't wait to start the Darkest Minds series. (:

    1. Yay! Make sure to have the second book ready, because you'll want to devour it as soon as possible after THAT mindblowing ending x-D


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