The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Published by Disney Hyperion
Top 3 Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult, Paranormal
My rating: Set it on fire/If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Source: Paperback provided in exchange for an honest review by Chapters Indigo
To buy the book on Chapters: HereAdd to: Goodreads
Hello bookdragons! I’m coming back today with a book that came out a long time ago but that we heard a lot about lately because of the movie coming out: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Many thanks to Chapters Indigo for providing me their « At the Movies » box that included this book!
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 got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government « rehabilitation camp. » She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
But when the truth about Ruby’s abilities-the truth she’s hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities-comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who 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.
While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them-East River-they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they’ve dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Let’s start with a good dystopian base
If you do not know, The Darkest Minds came out in these years where we were surrounded by dystopian novels: Hunger Games, Divergent to name the most famous ones. And for me, it is just as good. The central concept: kids are getting a mysterious disease… most of them die, the others get superpowers. Except… well the government and the « adults » are not super happy about it and the kids are parked in camps. There, their powers are tested, in painful ways, and they are treated as if they were not even humans. Not all of them have the same powers, and they are categorized by colors: blue for telekinesis, green for the ones good with techs, yellow for the ones manipulating electricity and… orange for the ones who can manipulate the minds.
« They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived. »
Ruby, our main character is in the worst camp, where kids are mistreated on a daily basis, until the day she has a chance to escape, and uncover many truths about what the world has become in the years she was locked in. Quite a good start don’t you think?
Personally, I was hooked from the beginning. Ruby was a very attaching character (and you must know it now, first-person characters are my fav!), and I loved that we discovered things from her perspective.
Secrets inside and out
Another thing that really makes this novel great: Ruby is full of secrets, and we have to uncover them little by little, piece by piece, through the book. We are reconstructing her life, and what her power is until we build a full picture of what happened. But we are also reconstructing what happened to the world outside, to the other teenagers. Ruby finds out she is not the only one on the run and she makes some friends on the road. Liam, Zu or Chubs, who also have powers and try to find a place in this new world. I loved their dynamic and how Ruby slowly learns what having friends means. And how deceptive other can be! Let’s face it, she might be one of my favorite fictional characters!
In a few words
A great idea to start with (people with powers YESSSSS), characters that you will grow fond of very quickly and a good paced book even if there are some classical tropes. This is all I expect and more in a dystopian YA book! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
See you for a cup!