Monday, December 17, 2012

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Book:  The Darkest Minds
Author:  Alexandra Bracken
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion
Date:  December 18, 2012
Source:  publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+

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.
(description and cover from
Initial reaction
What a ride!  And I think I’m in love…..

Cover story
I LOVE THIS COVER!  It is everything that a cover should be.  It has bold colors that catch the eye and the symbol on the front is an integral part of the story.  Just looking at this cover piques my curiosity and makes me want to read it.  The title does the same thing.

What’s the story?
This was one really cool dystopian.  I loved the whole idea of teens developing these super powers from the illness.  That was a new twist in this genre and it was very interesting to read.

This book had me literally holding my breath and sitting on the edge of my seat throughout long portions of the story.  It was like going through a Halloween haunted house; I never knew what was going to jump out at them next!  I thought the world building was phenomenal and I could really buy into the whole scenario.

One of the things I really liked is that the author didn’t give me all the information up front.  I had to work through the book and pick up bits and pieces before all was revealed.  That was a really cool way to find out about the back story and while I was picking up clues, I was also experiencing a fantastic game of cat and mouse with Ruby and the other teens and various and sundry evil adult groups.  I was exhausted by the time I finished.

Be aware that once you pick this book up, you will not want to put it down.

I fell in love with so many characters in this book.  I loved Ruby and thought she was a kick-butt heroine, but Chubs and Suzume were equally compelling.  I enjoyed watching the trust and friendship build within the whole group. 

Then there was Liam.  Gah!  Where do I begin with Liam?  He was a fabulous character.  Probably because there wasn’t anything really extraordinary about him, but as we have unfortunately seen in recent days, it’s ordinary people stepping up to do incredibly brave and heroic things that really makes someone a hero.  And if that is the case, Liam is the real hero of this novel.  It was inspiring to see a normal teenaged boy rise up to the challenge and help so many people and care for them.  He wasn’t constantly smirking, making smart comments or otherwise bad boying it up.  No, he was just a guy who became so much more in the face of adversity and that made him REAL to me.  I am totally in love with this boy.  Of course, the way he calls Ruby “darlin’” in his NC accent is a little helpful as well.  Seriously, though?  Liam is like one of the firefighters on 9-11 rushing into the Twin Towers while everyone else rushes out.  He doesn’t think of himself first, he thinks of everyone else first and that probably makes him the most beautiful soul in the book and perhaps the most beautiful soul I’ve read all year. 

The ending totally sucker punched me right in the gut.  I’m pretty sure I would pay exorbitant sums of money to get my hands on the next book NOW.  So remember that I warned you about that ending and the cliffhanger that comes with it.  But it was totally worth it!


Every Day Super Hero by Smash Mouth

Your Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Hero by Chad Kroeger and Scott Josey

We Can Be Heroes by The Wallflowers

Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls

Decisions, Decisions by The Starting Line

Walk Away by Ben Harper

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is A+.  This book is not to be missed.  Go get yourself an early Christmas present and then forget about the Christmas shopping, cookie baking and other holiday activities because this book will pull you in and keep you there.  And you will be glad.

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