The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – REVIEW



Book: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Pages: 488

Read: 28th January, 2016

Rating: 4/5 Stars


When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living.


Plot: 4.5/5

Characters: 4.5/5

Writing: 3.98/5

I decided to pick this book up because I was finally in the mood for a dystopian, after not feeling like reading one for…well, basically a year, and this was not a disappointment!

The plot was really interesting and unique, which added greatly to my enjoyment of the novel. It was quite fast-paced and action-packed, making this almost 500-page book a lot easier to get through.

Our main protagonist is Ruby, she annoyed me a couple times throughout the novel because 1) she was knocked out half the time  2) she didn’t really speak for a fair bit of the start, but I guess that’s not really her fault. Although I warmed up to her over the course of the book.

Liam, the main male character/love interest was so fun to read about, I loved his humour and also just his personality as a whole.
Chubs, oh Chubs, he was such an enjoyable character, and honestly, the book wouldn’t have been what it was without him.
Zu also added an interesting dynamic to the story, and I love the relationship she created with Ruby throughout the book.

I absolutely loved the aspect of both Ruby and Liam in which they weren’t particularly strong but also weren’t weak, they were realistic teenagers (I mean, apart from the superpowers buuut you get my point.) Evident by the continual mention that Liam would surely lose in a fight, it was so refreshing to have a male love-interest not be what is often considered the ‘whole package’ or to be unreasonably ‘tough’, and just be a scared young boy as anyone would be in that situation. Also the fact that Liam can break down and be upset is such a refreshing trope and I commend Bracken on all of this.

The writing was really intricate and gave the whole novel a really dystopian feel, which is good considering it is a dystopian book, but anyway…at times I skimmed over Ruby’s internal monologue because I felt it dragged on for too long with no real purpose sometimes.

Also I feel like when they got to ‘East River’, most of it was simply Ruby and Clancy bantering back-and-forth, and more could’ve potentially happened there instead. Oh and while I’m on the topic of Clancy… he was so annoying! What an aggravating, manipulative antagonist, I wonder what he evolves to be in the next instalments.

I predicted most of the twists and turns that took place in the novel, but was still angry at how it ended even having guessed it. I don’t own the other books in the trilogy and I’m not sure whether or not to continue on but who knows, I probably will eventually. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book and it definitely satisfied my dystopian craving!

Yeah that’s it,

Kate 🙂


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