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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
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The Darkest Minds (edition 2012)

by Alexandra Bracken

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912829,640 (3.92)11
Member:kmartin802
Title:The Darkest Minds
Authors:Alexandra Bracken
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2012), Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Kindle, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:YA, Review, NetGalley, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Kindle

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

  1. 00
    Unwind by Neal Shusterman (aeleone)
    aeleone: Similar set up with children abandoned by their parents sent to a camp. The Unwind series does not have supernatural powers, but it does have a very messed up world in which children are not valued.
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The Psi Kids....

The Darkest Minds, is set in a world where, when kids reach the age of ten they can contract this disease, IAAN, that leaves them with super powerful abilities, a.k.a. Psi abilities. The government and even a lot of the parents are afraid of the kids so the government instituted these supposed, rehabilitation camps which in reality are corrupt. The story follows a group of kids and how they are trying to survive in a world amidst the skip tracers and the Psi Special Forces that are always on the hunt to capture kids and send them to these camps, for a reward. 
 
When I first started reading this I was kind of wondering where this story was going and I didn't really take to one of the main characters, Ruby, that much. She was just very indecisive and unsure of herself and she kept everything inside which I understand was probably her nature as a result of her traumatic situation but some of the choices she made and things she did were beyond stupid and irritating. Once I got a little further into the story though and other characters came into the picture, like Chubs, Liam & Zu, I started really getting into it. I really like those three the most, but all of their stories were pretty heart-wrenching. Ruby even started to grow some confidence toward the end so it was nice to see her kind of shed a little of her emotional baggage. And the ending, wow, it was just like being on an emotional roller coaster ride. I literally felt my stomach drop! It was really good but awful on the heart! You definitely want to have the second book near at hand when you finish this one.  ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
I suspect that if I had been able to read this straight through, it would've gotten the full five stars. Unfortunately school started and homework limited my reading time, giving me time to assess the things in this book that weren't perfect. Still, it's definitely worth four stars.

One of the biggest reasons that I'm giving this book as high a rating as I am is because of Ruby. Ruby is a fantastic main character. It's easy to identify with her. She is sometimes stupid, but we always hear her reasoning of why she does the things she does. Except her erasure of Liam's memories at the end, that one wasn't reasoned out very well, and it was out of character for Ruby, given her terror of doing that very thing.

Liam was nice. One problem is that I have trouble seeing the sweet, harmless Liam who feels guilty if he even just looses his temper. Don't get me wrong, he's a good character with a good conscience, but he didn't have the vulnerability that I felt he would need to be who Ruby, and the author describe him to be. I also felt that his romance with Ruby was forced. I can see how they could, eventually have something, but it was put in the story way to fast to be as strong as the author wants us to believe.

Chubs is amazing. He is snarky, and stuck up, and annoying, but in some ways he has more vulnerability than Liam ever shows. Chubs is actually my second favorite character (after Ruby.) The ending was really, really annoying. I mean, couldn't they just let us know whether he survived? Please? How could you do that to us? How could you do that to Chubs?

Suzume was sweet, and I thought she was a good character to contrast the other three main characters, so her abrupt departure was kind of disappointing. I do hope we will see her again.

Clancy is everything you might expect. Handsome, charming, a natural leader, and ultimately a colossal jerk and a creep. One thing I wasn't totally sure on was whether he raped Ruby. It was almost implied because he froze her and kissed her, and then she woke up, but I was never actually sure if he was so evil as to force himself on her.

I hope Sam is eventually able to restore the memories of the people whose memories she accidentally stole. There hasn't been much hope for her parents or Sam, but I was hoping from the beginning that she would be able to fix that, and the twist at the end will need to be corrected, and if she can correct that one, then she really should fix Sam and her parents. At least I hope so.

The first three quarters (at least) of the book were incredible. In addition to being interrupted by stupid homework, the book got a little bit boring when the characters got to East End, but it snapped out of it pretty quickly. In time to provide us with a really, really irritating ending. That ending, combined with the slightly boring part that I got stuck at because of homework were what knocked off a star. Alexandra Bracken's characters are amazing, and she's pretty good at stories, she just needs to work on her endings. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
Loving this series!!! ( )
  Blondie539 | Apr 7, 2016 |
Dystopias are still wildly popular. This year's theme seems to be the tyrannical government's fear of teenagers. I guess author's are trying to imitate the success of The Hunger Games. This story was really exciting and I think that teens will enjoy it. I do think, though, that teens are tiring of dystopias. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
First off! I think the summary is very spoiler-y and I suggest not reading it! If you want to know what it's about, then I suggest only reading the first paragraph. I felt like the summary took away some of the tension that could have been there if I hadn't read it.

Now that that's out of the way, let me just tell you that this book stressed me out! The fact that these kids had people tracking them while they were on the run REALLY got to me. They got the PSF's and the Children's League after them the whole time and I don't know why, but it stressed me out. I just KNEW something was going to happen at anytime. So this book took me about a month to read because I would read a little bit, then have to put it down because I couldn't handle it. Yes, I realize how ridiculous I sound.

Besides the whole stressed out thing, I did really enjoy the book. I was curious about this East River place and who was running it (although, I figured out who was running it long before we actually find out, it's really not that difficult). The whole kids with powers thing was fascinating to me, and figuring out what everyone can do.

I absolutely LOVED Ruby's little crew, Liam, Chubs, and Zu. They have an awesome dynamic together that makes reading about their little road trip fun (and sometimes stressful). I got really close to this little group of friends and didn't want anything to happen to them (which added to the stress).

The ending was definitely heartbreaking. Granted, I did see it coming from a mile away and was not at all shocked about what happened, but it didn't make it any less painful and I am NOT happy about it. Though, I do have to say that I have read other books that had a similar ending. I can think of 2 off the top of my head, and I looked, and they all came out around the same year, which, I don't know, is interesting.

All in all, really enjoyed this, will read next book soon. I'll probably read Passenger next just because I've been anticipating it ever since it was announced. ( )
  taleofnight | Jan 13, 2016 |
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PROLOGUE: When the white noise went off, we were in the garden, pulling weeds.
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"Sixteen-year-old Ruby breaks out of a government-run 'rehabilitation camp' for teens who acquired dangerous powers after surviving a virus that wiped out most American children"--

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