Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds) by Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Publication date: December 11th, 2012
Number of pages: 488
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository | Book World (Aus)

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government ′rehabilitation camp′. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America′s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she 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 Liam. But there are also 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 - and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
From the very first instant I heard about this book I knew I wanted to read it. The world building that Alexandra Bracken has created in this novel is simply divine. It's a class act of just how brutal a post-apocalyptic world would be.
Tragic. Horrifying. Dark and real.

The moment Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday she knew something was different. She didn't understand how different until she was then shipped off to a government 'rehabilitation' camp. After being one of the few kids who survived the epidemic illness that killed off the majority of her classmates, Ruby knew there was a reason she was left alone.
Just when she begins to think she has made a friend in such a lonely world she and these new kids have found themselves in; Ruby does the impossible: she erases her best friend's memories without even realizing it.
Thurmond is split up into different colours depending on what sort of risk they think you are or might be in the future.
The treatment of these kids are so horrible. It becomes to the stage where you are not afraid of the adults --- they are afraid of YOU.

After managing to escape from Thurmond, Ruby finds herself on the run until she stumbles upon a group of other runaways just like herself, others who have each escaped from camps just like she did with Thurmond. They are on search for East River, which is rumored to be a safe place for kids like themselves.

Not only is this an action-packed story full of surprises at every end, it's also very character-building. You begin to understand what lies beneath the heart of Ruby. Why she doesn't want anyone close to her and how she will protect those she does care about to the very end.
She doesn't start out as a strong character.... but it's something that gradually grows into something so much bigger than an outright kickass heroine.
Ruby is someone I think we can relate to. A scared girl who was taken from her family at a young age and is trying to find her way in the world. A place for someone like her can belong.
It's also with the help of Liam, the leader of the runaways can she truly see what is worth living for. Slowly, the more she is around him... she begins to open up her heart in a magnificent way.

I definitely look forward to the second book in this series... especially with we are indeed left with a cliffhanger that makes you yearn for more.
I enjoyed this book so much, and I thank goodness I found this story in my life.

Review: 4.5/5

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