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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (edition 2012)

by Alexandra Bracken

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1,055927,963 (3.97)15
Title:The Darkest Minds
Authors:Alexandra Bracken
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2012), Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Kindle, Read but unowned
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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Ahh, this book is so good. The ending is absolutely heartbreaking though!! The only problem I can think of is that there are quite a few typos, which bothers me immensely. ( )
  brideofsevenless | Apr 18, 2017 |
This book has been on my TBR list forever – the way my hardcopy reading is going, I would have never gotten to it. Thank goodness for the audiobook! Although I think I really would have liked it better without the narrator….

I’ve bounced back and forth on whether I liked the characters or not in this book, and ultimately, it really came down to the character. For a protagonist, Ruby’s not bad. She definitely grows and evolves, and I love the fact she isn’t awesome at everything. It’s immensely frustrating when a protagonist excels at everything. The lead boy, Liam, is not my favorite, but I thought Chubs was pretty well developed. Zu was adorable. Clancy was the worst. Overall I have to say that Braken did a pretty good job with character development.

The Darkest Minds takes place in a crumbling world, but not a post-apocalyptic one. Especially at the beginning of the book, you get a sense of the chaos that has ensued in the ten years Ruby’s been in camp. Empty houses and city blocks, looted stores, a partially exploded school – all these are nuances breaking apart what used to be a normal life. I had some issues with the calm highway miles and the complete lack of people who weren’t bounty hunters, but neither of these things are enough to break the illusion of the world.

I kept trying to predict this book, and I kept failing. I kept waiting for things to blow up in Ruby’s face, and for the most part, they didn’t. I kept waiting for the worst YA cliches to bounce in and although they started to trickle from time to time… they didn’t fully evolve. Thank you. The book ended differently than I expected, too. When it comes to YA, it’s so important to me that I not be able to predict the book. Predictable books are boring.

Overall, Braken is telling a story of a generation that has developed mutant powers (five varieties only). The older generation, terrified of their children (mostly), have abandoned them to the government. The morality of this has split the country, and meanwhile, the children are tortured, tested on like lab animals, and generally neglected. It’s not a great situation. It’s not the most original idea, but Braken does manage to tell it in an original way.

Also, I kept waiting for a love triangle. I was sure it would happen. It didn’t. Some bits with one of the characters near the end got pretty sappy… but it never actually became a triangle!

The biggest reason for the loss of a heart in this category is the narrator. Amy McFadden was not the worst narrator I’ve heard, but several of her voices (Liam’s!) really bugged me. Ruby always sounded like she had such an attitude as well, which didn’t come across in the writing at all. It just irritated me.

Braken made some interesting writing choice for a YA novel, including what is implied to be a rape scene. Very little of this is described as the main character is being mentally manipulated, but it may not be what some parents want their ‘tweens reading. The scene that bothered me the most? Within an hour of waking after the attack, the protagonist very nearly starts making out with someone else. Not quite, but almost. I was enraged. If Braken allowed it to go from rape to teen makeout session, I was done. It didn’t, but it felt really, really close.

Overall, I really did like this book. There were a couple things that made me mad, but the story as a whole was well-done and interesting, with characters that I became invested in. The book ended with several questions that I want answered – such as Did that character live? Did that other one reach his/her destination? WTF is Ruby’s plan? and so forth. I’ll be picking up the sequel at some point for sure.


Originally posted on The Literary Phoenix. ( )
  Morteana | Apr 5, 2017 |
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken is one creepy, but good book! Something happened to the kids when mistake happened. The white noise buffer they always hear stopped. A strange loud noise pierced the air and the ears of the kids. Many kids died right away, others slowly, and others changed. Some slowly, others quickly. The government took all the kids to a brutal camp. One of the camp "doctors" save her and got her out of the camp, but she knows this doctor is going to use her. Very intense story. These kids have 'gifts' they use. Very cool book! Loved it. I got this at the library. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Mar 31, 2017 |


Really the only thing that didn't work for me was Chubs. Don't get me wrong, I love love love him, but he just doesn't make sense. Why is the practically blind kid the one who reads all the time, writes in neat handwriting, and stitches people's wounds up? It doesn't quite add up.

Man this book is a ride. That ending though.

Clancy creeps me out. Ruby is cool. Liam is adorable. Chubs, like I said, is probably my favorite despite the plotholes surrounding him. Suzume is of course adorable.

Man that ending. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Jan 6, 2017 |
The best thing about the Darkest Minds was that no one suggested it to me. I had no predisposition about what I would find behind its pages. No lofty goals it would have to meet. Even better, it wasn’t toted around as the ‘next Twilight’ or the next ‘Hunger Games’. I also have never read anything else by Alexandra Bracken, so there was nothing to compare it to. It had everything I wanted visually — a catchy cover, and more intriguing synopsis. So while the Darkest Minds had no expectations to hit, it seemed to surpass them with flying colors (You’ll eventually get why that is funny later.)

Set in a future America, children are the target of an unseen virus. Between the ages of eight and twelve, the virus can kill a child with no warning. But those who are not infected, the children who don’t suffer some horrible death, develop psychic abilities (also known as Psi). Human nature tends to make people crazy for things they don’t understand and of course, no one knows how to handle the Psi — instead, their idea is to place them in work camps for experiments!

Meanwhile, America is on an economic downward spiral.. We are past recessions, folks. We are in straight up metamorphosis into a third-world country that even Canada has closed itself off from. You know we’re in trouble now.

More at BOOKISH reviews

( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
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For Stephanie and Daniel, who were in every minivan with me
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PROLOGUE: When the white noise went off, we were in the garden, pulling weeds.
Grace Somerfield was the first to die.
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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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