Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: December 18, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository


When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has 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.
One of the reasons I began reading young adult novels was because of my love of the dystopian genre. When I read the synopsis for the Darkest Minds I knew I had to read it. Bracken has written a clever tale intertwined with paranormal and science fiction elements. Creating a horrifying dystopian world where children are feared and most of America is brainwashed into believing the government is helping their children. This was a brilliant read with fleshed out characters that held me captive.

A rare virus is killing children around their tenth birthday. The government and schools have sent home letters with warning signs. They encourage parents to register if they notice any symptoms. What they don’t tell them is that they don’t care about the ones who die but the ones who live. When Ruby awakes on her tenth birthday, something horrible has happened and her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. She ends up being taken to a rehabilitation camp and the tale that unfolds held me captive till the last page.

I really became immersed in the tale and a lot of that had to do with the characters themselves. Ruby, Liam, Chubby and Zu were all unique and so fleshed out that they became very real to me. I love when that happens and I found myself swept up in what happens to them. Bracken slowly revealed each character to us, peeling back their layers to expose their raw feelings, fears and personalities. The way the characters interacted and drew strength from each other was so well done and believable. The romance was sweet, tender and tore my heart up.

World building is so important to me, and Bracken did a fantastic job. She reveals the world to us as the tale unfolds. She utilizes the show don’t tell method that I prefer as this allows me to knit the pieces together creating the world in my mind and breathing life into the pages. I loved the dark, gritty, violent world she has created and want to know more. The characters pop against this backdrop, making their experience all the more real. The ending flat out made me cry, no lie and I cannot wait to get my hands on book two as this tale is far from over.

Fans of dark dystopians and fleshed out characters who like a little paranormal woo-woo weaved into their tale are going to flip over The Darkest Minds. Book two and three have yet to be titled but are scheduled to release in 2013 and 2014. I look forward to reading more of Bracken’s work.

I want to thank Disney-Hyperion for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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33 Comments:

At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

A great review! I quite enjoyed this one as well, the world building was great & I really liked the supporting cast of characters.

Looking forward to the next book.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am quickly learning that :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you do!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous Anatea Oroz said...

I have seen this book around a lot. I can't wait to read it and I hope I do it soon! Great review!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I agree, i love world-building and this was done well, with just enough questions left unanswered to have me excited for book two!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous The Readingista said...

World building is one of the make it or break it qualities in my opinion, so it is great to hear that is done well in The Darkest Minds. I was drawn to this book from the moment that I first read up on it and have to grab a copy! I love dystopian too. A big thanks for your great review.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:57 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It was and you should!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:57 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh Megan is was so good..would love to hear your thoughts on it when/if you read it.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:57 AM , Anonymous Megan said...

This one sounds awesome! I'll definitely keep my eye out for it.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Candace's Book Blog said...

I have wanted to read this but I'm not adding more dystopia until I get through the series I have. I'm so glad that was had great world building. I look forward to reading it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ooo this one is a keeper!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I have been so curious about this one, I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are so welcome, I hope you get a chance to read it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Denise Z said...

I fell in love with the cover and am chomping at the bit to read it. Thank you so much for sharing your review with us. I am so glad you enjoyed it :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

it was! thanks for commenting!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Midnyte Reader said...

This sounds very exciting and tense!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

this was wonderful and I hope you get to read it!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Alicia said...

Dystopian books was a big reason for me to start blogging too :) Now this books sounds really intense-- virus, concentration camp, and a big bad government! Really curious as to what will happen to Ruby and Liam, I'm keeping my eyes opened for this one!

-Alicia
Book a World

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

the characters were amazing!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

I have this one to read. I have been putting it off because I hear up and down reviews. But with you loving it I must get to it NOW. Great Review.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

go, go read it..you won't be able to put it down!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

I do love dystopia, and I should read the two books I borrowed from the library ;)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yes read them and request this one!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Nick said...

You really need to stop giving these books of yours such high ratings.*whines*
You just make me want to read ALL of the freaking YA books there are out there!
Anyways, I'm so so glad to hear that this is a well-written dystopian. I've been wanting to read this one ever since I saw the cover! Good dystopian novels are becoming rarer these days.
I love the sound of the characters. Even their names sound fun and yay for strong world-building!
Fab review as always, Kim! :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hehehe..this is a must read!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Jenny Zemanek said...

SO excited for this one Kimba! I recently watched a video chat with her and she is absolutely adorable. The way she explained the world had me DYING to finally get my hands on this book. Glad to know you loved it so much, I can never turn away from a dark dystopian:)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Oooo I think you will love this Jen!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

Loved it too! The world building was great, and i couldn't take my eyes from the story.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I agree completely!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I loved this one too and could not agree more about her wolrd building and character development!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

sweet, i cannot wait for book two!

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I was so glad i squeezed it in!

 

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