Name: The Darkest MindsAuthor: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Format: ARC Copy
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The Darkest Minds was, without a doubt, one of the best books I have read in 2012! After reading the synopsis, the book seemed like it would be good, but nothing special. However, as soon as I began reading, I knew that this book would be absolutely extraordinary! I was immediately swept into Ruby’s terrifying world and could not bear to put down the book for more than several minutes at a time.
One of my favorite parts of this book was how adeptly Bracken portrayed Ruby’s transformation. After spending six years confined in Thurmond – one of the world’s most horrific rehabilitation camps for children with abilities, which specializes in keeping children in line so that the government does not have to worry about them becoming too dangerous – she emerges as a shy little girl who barely utters even a word to defend herself. However, she quickly develops when she escapes Thurmond, trying to find her way to the safe haven at East River without getting captured by those who want to make money by selling her back to camp, those who want to kill her, or those who want to use her powers to fight against the government; it is at this time that she begins acting more like a girl of sixteen rather than ten, the age she was when she was first admitted into the camp after a terrible accident that her abilities inflicted upon her parents. Not only does she act more mature, but she also grows into a powerful young woman who is not in the least bit afraid to take dangerous risks to save those she loves. While she is frightened of her unique ability in the beginning of the novel, she slowly learns to embrace her powers, becoming more confident as she discovers that her powers do not have to be used for evil, but can also be used to save herself and her friends.
Another great part of this book was Ruby and Liam’s relationship. Liam is a natural born leader who cannot help but take complete responsibility for everyone he puts under his wing, which, in this terrifying world where most children are either sent to camps or killed, usually leaves him full of unnecessary guilt. When Ruby joins his band of outlaws – which includes Liam, his best friend Chubs, little Suzume, and their car, Black Betty – he immediately accepts her for all that she is. When Ruby finally reveals that her abilities are much more dangerous than she had first said, he is not frightened or wary of her in the least. Instead, he treats her the same as he did before he found out; he acts as if her powers are no big deal, which increases Ruby’s self-confidence greatly. Their relationship develops slowly throughout the book, mostly due to the fact that Ruby pushes people away from her, afraid that her spontaneous powers may cause them harm. However, the meticulous development of their relationship only makes it that much more exciting when they finally get together!
By the end of the book, Ruby is forced to make a terrible decision to save the lives of her friends. I was so sad when I read the ending! Even though I knew she would undoubtedly make the right choice no matter how hard it was, because that’s the kind of person she is, I was secretly hoping that there would be a way to end the book without her being forced to alienate those she loved. In the hopes of not giving away any spoilers, all I can say is that I seriously need to find out the consequences of her choice at the end of the book and I hope that her relationship with Liam can survive this major road block. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out and I very highly recommend that anyone and everyone read this book when it comes out in December! I promise that you will love it!