Book Review: “The Darkest Minds” by Alexandra Bracken

This contains spoilers, so I am just warning you now.

Synopsis:

“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.”

Okay, so I read this book two weeks ago, right? I instantly got hooked. I have never read a book that has shattered me so completely as this one did. I have never read a book that I have gotten this attacked to the characters as I did with The Darkest Minds.

Roller coaster ride from start to finish. Just…My gosh.

I started reading TDM when I spent the weekend with my grandma, so I started to read it at like ten o’clock before I would go to sleep. I read the first eleven chapters, which was explaining everything, right? Nothing really big was happening, so I was just going to put it down, but for some unknown reason, I decided to read at least one more chapter.

OH. MY. GOSH.

That is when everything started happening. Every chapter had something going on. THERE WAS NO FILLER IN THE BOOK. I literally could not bring myself to put the book down. I read that night until THREE IN THE MORNING. I forced myself to stop reading and actually go to sleep.

I didn’t really have time to read until Sunday night (I started reading it on Friday night), so I read a few chapters. I actually had only planned on reading ten pages. But that did not happen. I was reading late. I hadn’t noticed the time. My mom opened my bedroom door, saw that I was still up reading, and proceeded to threaten to ground me from reading.

So I did the natural thing.

I put the book down, waited till she went back into her room, grabbed my flashlight, and started reading again. (I pray to God that she doesn’t read this) I did not read a lot on Monday because of school, but Tuesday and Wednesday…I read a lot. I read a ton on Tuesday and finished it on Wednesday.

For you to be able to understand the next few parts, I am going to break down the different levels of powers:

Green: the weakest, and also the most varied. It represents the minor abilities, such as eidetic memory, immunity to mind control, etc
Blue: telekinesis, or moving objects with your mind.
Yellow: related to technology and electricity. (Some need skin contact, others do not)
Orange: the ability of mind control, along with telepathy, the ability to read memories and thoughts,  the ability to erase memories of herself from others (though this may be exclusive to the main protagonist, Ruby)
Red: Not much to go on in the book other than the fact that they have the ability of pyrokinesis (ability to manipulate and control fire with the mind), or at the very least make things explode.

Plot:

Clancy is the President’s son. He is also the Slip Kid, which means he is last Orange, presumedly, other than Martin (minor character in beginning), and Ruby. Also, the “Slip  Kid” created this safe haven called East River where a lot of the kids with abilities live. You think he is a good guy when they get to his camp, until he eventually reveals his true colors. He is manipulative, narcissistic and a compulsive liar.

He betrays everyone. He started training Ruby, teaching her how to use her powers. That does eventually earn her trust. He does at one point use his mind control on Ruby to try and force himself on her, which revealed to her what he really is like. (I was so ticked off in this scene) Especially since I think her and Liam are soul mates. Anyway, she tells Liam about what Clancy did (more like showed; she unwittingly sent the image to Liam). He got so ticked off. Like major.

Him, Zu (she is like twelve and a mute), Chubs (Liam’s best friend), and Ruby all tried to escape but were stopped by Clancy who uses mind control on them and his followers. He has one of those said followers beat Liam nearly to death. Chubs and Rruby bring him back to one of their cabins and Clancy uses one of his followers to convince Ruby to go to him.

It is also really important to know that they are on the run from the government. They all (Zu, Liam, Chubs, and Ruby) escaped from a concentration camp (for kids with abilities; they get these abilities from surviving this disease). Ruby was from the worst concentration camp out there pretty much. She was not in the same one as the others.

Also, Zu’s cousin in East River, so she ends up leaving to go to California with some people, so they are not part of the next part.

Anyway, the soldiers who are the ones bringing the kids in are called Psi Special Forces and they attack the camp, intending to destroy it, and corral children. Clancy gets away as well as Ruby and the rest of the gang. They try to give this guy named Jack’s (dead, their friend; did not know Ruby or she him) letter to his dad.

He shoots Chubs (he is the one to try to give Jack’s father the letter), which makes Ruby press the Panic Button (she calls in the Children’s League, which is an organization made up of people intent on exploiting the government’s concentration camps and stuff, right? But that have awful means of doing it. They are corrupt and sometimes kill their own kind. They are the ones who helped Ruby escape)

They help chubs by getting him to a hospital, take Ruby back and recruit her to the group (more like forced) as well as Liam, but Ruby bargains to let Liam go, which they eventually do.

Here comes the extremely terrible part. I am already starting to tear up.

Ruby goes in his room with him at the Children’s League and they talk about what their life would be like if they hadn’t been in concentration camps. Liam says they’re meant to be. Totally cutsie moment.

My Thoughts:

BUT OH MY GOSH.

RUBY ERASES HERSELF FROM LIAM’S MEMORY BEFORE THEY LET HIM GO.

THERE I SAID IT.

I AM GOING TO GO DIE AGAIN NOW.

FOR LIKE THE MILLIONTH TIME.

*sobs in corner*

So, that was the Darkest Minds…

Maybe I can talk myself into reading the next book. Maybe.

LOVE YOU ALL TO LUNA AND BACK,

ALLIE

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