"The Darkest Minds"

"The Darkest Minds"

The Darkest Minds

by Alexandra Bracken

Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: December 18th, 2012
by Disney Hyperion




When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something alarmed her parents so much they locked her in the garage and called 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, after barely escaping Thurmond, 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. 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.


The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.

I love dystopian novels; but compared to some other fabulous novels such as The Hunger Games or The Giver, but I felt that The Darkest Minds didn’t meet up to the standards of either of those two fabulous novels unfortunately.

Six years ago, there was a mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children. The ones who did survive come out stronger – with special powers – mind control, telekinesis, power over electricity. Scared of these children, the government sends them to “rehabilitation camps.”

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.

16-year-old Ruby is one of the few who has survived, but she’s now on the run as she finds out that this “rehabilitation camp” isn’t what it seems.

Bracken has an extraordinary plot, but there were times when I felt she could have done more with the concept. The majority of the story felt like a road trip to me, and, quite honestly, it was a bit boring. The “action-packed” and “thrilling” adjectives the publicity department used to describe the novel really didn’t fit in my opinion.

Another problem I had with the novel was its world-building – or the lack thereof. We never learn what causes this disease or how, scientifically, these superpowers originate from this disease. Furthermore, while in the “rehabilitation camp,” the operators refer to the level of dangerousness of these children. We have orange, yellow, blue, and red; but it never really explains which powers correspond to each of these colors and that bothers me.

While it’s unfortunate I didn’t find this to be the gripping and heart-breaking novel that most readers did, I will say that it is quite strong in the entertainment department, and was certainly enjoyable despite its flaws.


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