Monday, 7 January 2013

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken


Rating: Starry Eyes (5/5)
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 496
Source: Bought
Series: The Darkest Minds #1

A quick summary from Goodreads:

"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."

Let me start by saying how  absolutely wonderful The Darkest Minds is. Even though I'm sure an idea similar to this has been published before, Bracken's novel seemed so original and fresh and something that can stand completely on it's own. 

When kids started dying on their 10th birthday as a result of IAAN, the kids who survived started to show that they had unbelievable abilities and were forced into Thurmond and camps similar to it as a result in an attempt at "rehabilitation." Immediately upon their arrival, they were marked with a large red, orange, yellow, green, or blue X across the backs of their camp clothes.

The reds are able to set things on fire.

The oranges can simply whisper something into your ear and you have no choice but to follow their words.

The yellows have power over technology.

The greens are incredibly smart.

The blues can send things flying across a room with a flick of their wrists.

Ruby is classified as a green upon her arrival to camp Thurmond, where she's put into a cabin of other green girls. After a couple of months, all of the reds, oranges, and yellows are sent away after the camp finds them too hard to control, even with the effects of the Calming Wave, set to a certain frequency that only the kids can hear. One day while Ruby is working on the grounds, a Calming Wave is released and has more of an impact on Ruby than it usually does, leaving her head pounding, nose bleeding and passed out on the ground. When she wakes up, she's in the camp's hospital, and the doctor that's looking after Ruby leaves her a note of promised escape.

And from there the story takes off. Ruby then meets Chubs, Liam, and Suzumi, two blues and a yellow. Each character has their own wonderful back story and I just couldn't help but fall in love with everyone of them. Chubs is the unyeilding, loyal, cynical friend who would do anything for you once you get on his good side. 

Suzumi is the little girl who was dealt a harsh life and only wishes for a life where she can fill her days with simple things like pink dresses. 

Liam is the leader of the group. The one who trusts easily and leads with an eager heart. 

There is romance in this book, but this is a romance that only adds to the story, and never takes away from it. Without it, the ending would have had a completely different tone and wouldn't have left me in such an emotional wreck. 

The relationship between the four of them is just so well done that you can see the love that the four of them have for each other through every word, every look, every touch. And I absolutely love the fact that friendship plays such a large roll in this book. 'Cause while romance is great, let's face it. It's in just about every single YA book that you pick up off of the shelves and it can never substitute what the element of strong friendship does in a book.

All together, The Darkest Minds pulls together a little bit of everything that you could ever ask for in a book, and I absolutely loved it, and I can easily say that this book will stick within my top 10 - maybe even my top 3 - for this year. 

2 comments:

  1. This is the second post I have come across about this book recently and you only added my need to want to grab this book as soon as I can. It sounds so interesting and I love that the romance relationships isn't the focus, sometimes those get a little old.

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    1. I am further pushing your need to buy this book by saying GO BUY IT! It is SO worth it! I absolutely devoured this book irregardless of it's size! It was just SO. GOOD.

      Checking out your blog now! Thanks for stopping by. :D

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