Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Darkest Minds (Alexandra Bracken)

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Hyperion
Length: 488
Rating: 4.5/5

Sixteen year old Ruby breaks out of a government-run rehab camp for kids who developed dangerous powers after a virus took out most children in the United States and threw the country into a panic. Ruby joins up with another group of escaped kids as they search for a legendary safe haven, called East River, for kids like them. But everyone, from the people searching for Ruby, to the teens at East River, has their own agenda, and Ruby is hiding her own dangerous secrets.

Want to know how great this book is? Story time! I was home for Memorial Day weekend, and requested this book from the library, in the off-chance that I would have time to read it. I started it, and didn’t want to put it down (but come on, it’s Memorial Day weekend and there’s no time for reading). Then it was time to leave, and so I took it with me, on the plane to New York, so that I didn’t actually have to put it down. I went to the bookstore in NYC the next day and bought a copy. (And then, yes, I had to ship the library book back to Kansas!)

Why couldn’t I put this book down, you ask? You can’t help but root for the characters, who have known nothing but brutality in the camps since they were children, but who still have some sort of belief that the world isn’t one giant terrible place. Ruby joins up with Liam, Chubs, and Suzume, and together, they become a family that believes in each other, and encourages each other to use their “dangerous powers” for good (and to escape the bad guys, because they’re constantly in danger).

The powers themselves were really interesting (who didn’t want to have a super power growing up?). These kids have real power in their hands—controlling minds, fire, electricity, and more—and some use it for good, and some for evil. This book was great at pointing out the grey areas of good and evil, and how hard it is to navigate that.

With awesome world building, characters, and twisting story full of impossible choices, this is one book you shouldn’t miss.  

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