Title: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Format: Hardback (Disney Hyperion | Borrowed)
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.
Why did I pick up this book?
I have heard people talking about this series since last year and the reviews I read were mainly positive. I mentioned in previous reviews before that I’m wary of those over-hyped books as I had bad experiences with some of them. I’m glad that this book did not disappoint me mainly because my expectations weren’t that high despite the hype.
The book is set in America and a few years after young children started dying due to a widespread disease however, some children did not die of it. And children who were suspected of carrying the disease were brought to camps to be quarantined. However, we find out that that’s not true as the government were actually afraid of the children who weren’t infected or immune to the disease. So Ruby, she’s was sent to the camp at 10 and she lied to one of the scientists’ that she was a Green. The children were classified according to their abilities. So the greens were the most normal among all the other colors. So in fact Ruby is an Orange meaning she has paranormal powers which was luckily dormant during her stay in the camp. One day, someone from the inside helped her escape and she claims to be against the government and there to help her. They were about to bring Ruby to their place but Ruby escaped from them and decided to join a gang of other kids who were on the run. Although they said that they do not have the resources to keep her with them, the group allowed her to stay and follow them. These kids were on a quest to find the Slip Kid hoping to contact their family and also to find solace. During their search for the Slip Kid, Ruby learnt more about herself and the world outside.
I felt that it was kind of slow-paced but it was essential that the world-building has a stable foundation before moving on. I kind of got bored after a while, but soon enough there was action going on and things started to move pretty quickly. I find the pacing really comfortable as there are breaks in-between fast-paced chapters and I dont feel that the author is rushing through the plot nor is it too slow to bore me. I really want to find out more about the disease and why is the government so afraid of the kids who were immune to it.
We have got great characters in this book and I really love Ruby’s and Liam’s conversations as well as Chubs. Their conversation really brought me closer to them and I felt more connected to them and could relate to them more. Then there’s Zu, she reminds me of Rue from the Hunger Games 9I’m not sure why). When Ruby and Zu were trying out clothes they really look like sisters playing dress-up which was really sweet. Although Zu does not talk, I really admire the special way they communicate with each other.
It was pretty easy to get accustomed to and it was a breeze for me while reading. I wished there were alternating POVs as I felt that it would give the story a much more in-depth and fuller plot.
What do I look for in the sequel?
I wish to learn more about the children’s abilities and how is it related to their immunity to the disease. I also wish to know more about what the government is really plotting and why are they afraid of the kids with immunity to the disease.