Review: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 496 (ARC)
Source: Gifted
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Despite its long length, THE DARKEST MINDS easily held my attention the whole way through and delivered a tale rich with originality, intrigue, plot twists, and awesome powers that I sort of wish I had as long as it wasn't set in this terrifying dystopian world. This review is going to be short because it's actually insanely hard not to be spoiler-y with this one. Even revealing the names of other characters would reveal something because you wonder how Ruby meets them! It's just that deliciously complicated!

Set in a future America, children are either dying because of disease or they're living with insane powers. Those who are living are the ones to be feared. Three are dangerous enough to fear for your true safety, but two kinds of kids have somewhat tolerable powers in the sense that you will not run the risk of immediately dying in their presence. These kids are sent off to camps where they are classified by color: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue. I liked this touch because it not only gave the book an air of mystery when the initial colors were being sorted, but it did help to organize the abilities that each kid possessed so that we could read the book without losing our minds with the complexity of the tale.

I also really enjoyed the characterization. I'm trying hard not to ruin anything and what happens to Ruby, so I'm truly only going to talk about Ruby. She's amazing, truly. She wants so badly to be wanted, to be a good person, to do the right thing, but she is limited in horrible places like the camps. Her growth and journey of self-discovery in this action-packed novel was breathtakingly done and truly mesmerizing. I loved every minute of it. She wasn't a character I was forced to pity, but a character I felt bad for and quickly learned to respect as she began to become her own person. As for her love interest? Well, he's pretty awesome too! But I can't say anything without revealing things I shouldn't! Ah!

Full of plot twists galore, I couldn't put this one down. And that ending! Though not a cliff-hanger, it has me dying for book two! I need it desperately because of the way that Bracken leaves off. I highly recommend this one to those who enjoy darker worlds and unique dystopians that truly do stand out among the rest.

5 stars



  1. EEEEEEEEEEPS! I've really been wanting to read this one. And you loved it too! I must get this. Ack! Awesome-sauce review Liligirl! :D

  2. I really like the sound of this book! I think I will like Ruby :D


  3. This book sits on my shelf, along with too many others that I am crazy excited about, unread. UNREAD, I SAY! After reading your review, I don't think that this one will be unread for much longer. It sounds fantastic. And I have trouble with wishing I had some of the abilities that I read about too!