The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

Book - 2012
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red_dog_1711
Jun 29, 2020

In the pandemic and I watched the movie a year ago. Looks so cool. Now I am going to read it.

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IndigoDragon77
Jun 20, 2020

I really really enjoyed this book. I am a little obsessed with pandemics right now, and I love a bit of fantasy, so this was a perfect combination for me. I found it easy to relate to Ruby even though she makes several poor decisions. I did actually feel satisfied with the ending as it did tie up most of the threads in the story, but it felt a little rushed. Highly recommend!

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BookDragon07
May 14, 2020

so so so so so good. I highly recommend.

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Banna25
Nov 10, 2019

I started reading this book at friends house a few months ago. I had been thinking about this book, and decided to read the whole book this time. It was so good! I just had one small problem... there are two Liams, and a Ruby in my grade. Still an amazing book!

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Anna Beyer
Jun 25, 2019

so touching. sometimes I'm crying, others i feel like the book grabbed my insides and was shaking them up. Liam is my favorite character, by far. Clancy was a bully, he liked Ruby then he hurt her. what is up with that? My friend recommended it for me, it was amazing!!!!! I totally suggest any one to read this book. there are a few swears, but the book it's self was a great read. And it ends with a cliffhanger,( when do they not?!) so I'm soo exited to read Never Fade.

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pink_horse_867
May 19, 2019

it was an ok book, the movie was better though

k
Kaelynmcintyre
Apr 01, 2019

A friend of mine suggested this book to me and I read it in two days!! I love the plot and how Ruby stays somwhat strong in the worst of times. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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goddessbeth
Jan 20, 2019

This was one of those books I had a difficult time putting down. The concept is not entirely new (dystopian future as a result of biochemical sudden evolution and catastrophic decisions made by a panicked populace), and though it bothered me that no one questioned WHY or HOW the psi powers could have happened, it was entirely understandable that they didn't, given everything else going on. Except Chubs. Why didn't Chubs mull it over?

Ruby is the MC and narrator, but by the end of the novel it's an ensemble cast. She's the kind of heroine you like but not the kind who is universally liked- she's vulnerable and persistent and can think on her feet, but she's also spiky and naive. I had no problem coming along for the ride, with her perspective. Zu is the least-developed, primarily because her backstory is an intentional mystery. I'm really hoping that means we see more of her in later books, although the way this one ended....*ahem*
Liam is, as he's meant to be, amazing and swoonworthy. And Chubs goes from over-the-top snide to understandable and sweet throughout the course of the book. Everyone else serves as a plot point, but it works.

Although I was invested in the book, I wasn't emotionally torn open by it (as I am with Patrick Ness' books, and a few others). Which is fine- I don't have the energy for that kind of literary evisceration. But I have to say, the ending was surprisingly brutal. No spoilers, but don't think you'll be putting the book down with three chapters to go, I don't care how late it is.

Overall, I recommend it for fans of dystopian, especially if you like some science fiction in there (think X-Men), fast-paced YA, realistic romance (even though Liam was maybe *too* perfect, the pace of the romance was sweet, realistic, and well-balanced with the peril), and flawed heroines. Now to get my grubby paws on book 2!

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WittySofa
Nov 13, 2018

THE DARKEST MINDS: ALEXANDRA BRACKEN
CHARACTERS: First off, the characters are all pretty shallow. There really wasn’t anything about them that came as a surprise to me. Clancy was extremely predictable, and within seconds of meeting Liam, I thought: here we go, the stereotypical romance. I really didn’t like how Ruby didn’t seem to … do anything. She didn’t feel like a strong female lead, just someone bumbling around. And was that a rape I read there? I mean, if Clancy knows how to erase memory, then she wouldn’t remember, but really? Oh, and Lady Jane? I felt as if she was just there because the author thought, “You know what’d be cool? A foreign Bounty Hunter Lady with a regal name.” No real purpose to her.
PLOT: Road trip. The first couple of chapters pulled me in, and the rest afterwards was predictable and kinda sad. I wasn’t entertained, and the whole book had a “this is an introduction to a bigger series” feel to it. It felt like a prologue that was long and pretty boring.
ACCURACY: Alright, I love me a good dystopia. I was interested into finding out more about this strange America, but the more I tried to figure it out the more confused I was. First off, why is this IAAN only in America? If it’s contagious, airports all over the world would be shut down because it would spread like wildfire. Also, what are the differences between Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red? All we know is they get progressively more dangerous, but do the powers change based on the person? Is it like Blues are telekinetic and Yellows have lightning fingers? The world building was extremely minimal, and while I understand holding back some info for the end, you gotta give me the basics straight out.
RECOMMENDATION: This book made me remember why I don’t follow the hype (Like with Divergent). It’s poorly written with a basic plot and a stereotypical dystopia that can’t explain itself to save its life. It doesn’t surprise me the hype followed to the movie, where the audience liked it but the critics realized this story can’t carry itself even in cinematic format.

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Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Huh. Well, I don't exactly see what all the hype is about, and also I don't see why they made this into a movie (speaking of the movie, it was WAAAAAYY better than the book—surprise!).

The Plot
The Darkest Minds was a bit cluttered. It starts really well and the plot climbs rapidly with plenty of fight scenes and plenty of thrills. But the moment Ruby and her friends step into East River, everything crashes into a train wreck. Ridiculous twists and turns make the plot completely unsatisfactory, even if it was fairly entertaining.

The Premise
From when I began reading this book I was skeptical. I just couldn't believe that there was a deadly disease that killed most of the world's kids, leaving the survivors with superpowers. I also couldn't believe that the government would actually lock them away in prisons. That just wouldn't happen.

The Writing
The writing was pretty solid, but the amount of times the characters swore just wore on my nerves and made me wince every time they said "oh my god" or "what an asshole". I don't mind a bit of swearing. I just don't like it when it's overused. And The Darkest Minds completely overused it. And those three f-bombs? Were they really necessary?

The Romance
Liam was perfect for Ruby. Ruby was perfect for Liam. But Clancy? Love triangle? Why? NOOOOOOOO! Love triangles are overused in YA literature (with exceptions). The Darkest Minds utilized every stereotypical expression or twist to "build" the love triangle. This just made me wince and cringe and scream.

The Characters
The characters were very good at the beginning, but as the book progressed they get worse and worse, doing things for ridiculous motives and getting more and more irritating. When Clancy steps into the picture Ruby gets irritating, mopey, and silly, which is so different from the Ruby I knew at the beginning of the book. She was so strong, so determined, so real. Liam was adorable and Chubs was funny and Suzume was sweet.

Conclusion
I liked The Darkest Minds well enough, but not enough to read it again or read the sequels.

t
trickbag22
Aug 12, 2018

I purchased this first book in the series after the movie was released. I hadn't seen it but had been intrigued. The book did not disappoint. An exciting read with well developed characters and enough twists to keep me reading through the entire series. Like many" young adult" fiction books, I sometimes enjoy them more than the adult versions.

c
courtws
Aug 06, 2018

Kind of late to the dystopian party, but I like reading trilogies that are already past their prime so that, if I really love the first one, I don't have to wait an agonizingly long time between books. With all the hype about this series I waited in line on the SPL reserves list until it landed on my shelf. After the first 80 pages I kind of wondered what all the hype was about and started to doubt whether I wanted to keep reading, especially after reading a few reviews on Goodreads about the monster-long road trip that never went anywhere, but the writing was good enough and I was intrigued by the kids' "powers" and the break-out by someone who couldn't possibly be a good person (Cate). By the time Ruby hooked up with Liam, Zu and Chubs, I was compelled to keep reading. I got confused by the stores that were abandoned but still had things like beautiful red and pink dresses for the taking, but whatever. Yes, the road trip was long (complained some reviewers who rated it one or two stars) but the kids were "on the run" not just driving along aimlessly. I liked the idea of getting inside someone's head to see their thoughts, and the triangle between Ruby, Clancy, and Liam was plausible and deepened the intrigue. In the end I was pulled forward by the narrative and had to find out what happened. Not in love with the book enough to go out and buy it or the sequels, but I am intrigued enough to wait my turn in the SPL request line. Apparently there are lots of others of the same mindset.

ArapahoeTiegan May 23, 2018

In one generation, as kids enter puberty ages they start to die or exhibit superhuman powers. The kids with powers are sent to camps and classified by the type of powers they have: Green - heightened intelligence, Blue - power to move objects with thoughts, Yellow - power to create and control electricity, Orange - power to control minds, memories, and emotions, and Red - power to create and control fire. Yellow, orange, and red are considered extremely dangerous and are eventually removed from the camps with blues and greens. On Ruby's 10th birthday she is sent to a camp. Through her powers she discovers she should be classified orange, but after a terrifying experience with another orange upon arrival, Ruby convinces the classifier that she is green. Six years on, she is discovered and smuggled out of the camp by the Children's League, but through her powers see some terrifying memories and escapes the people who saved her from the camp. She comes across three other kids with powers who escaped another camp on their own and had a completely different type of camp experience. They take her in and all go on a journey to find someone called the Slip Kid who can help them get in contact with their families and possibly go home. Ruby is most interested in the Slip Kid, because he is rumored to be an orange - as two of the last known oranges, Ruby hopes he might be able to help her control her powers, but finds way more than she expected.

MelifluousView May 08, 2018

I liked Ruby's growth; it came in fits and starts...a lot like real life. Her connection with Zu was especially sweet. The end made me sad, so I didn't continue with the series at this point, but I do want to see the movie.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 23, 2017

After watching the movie for The Darkest Minds, I didn’t expect how good the novel was compared to the movie. The plot was amazing, and full of action as the characters are on the run from soldiers who are trying to capture them. Speaking of the characters, Bracken did an amazing job of making the characters seem life like. The amount of character development that was included in the novel was outstanding. Also, Bracken didn’t focus on the romance as much as she could have between the main characters Ruby and Liam. This book left me wanting more and I can’t wait to read Never Fade. Rating – 5/5.
- @Average_Bookworm of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

I made the mistake of reading this after the second and third book, which I do not recommend. It was hard to focus on the plot when I did, but this book clarified a lot. For instance, I finally understood what happened between Ruby and her friends that caused the second book to create all the drama it did. The plot was actually pretty great in this book, and I would say it was more interesting than the second. This author has written other great works, all of which I enjoy to a great extent. Read on for a tale of dystopian adventure!
- @Siri of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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goddessbeth
May 02, 2017

This was one of those books I had a difficult time putting down. The concept is not entirely new (dystopian future as a result of biochemical sudden evolution and catastrophic decisions made by a panicked populace), and though it bothered me that no one questioned WHY or HOW the psi powers could have happened, it was entirely understandable that they didn't, given everything else going on. Except Chubs. Why didn't Chubs mull it over?

Ruby is the MC and narrator, but by the end of the novel it's an ensemble cast. She's the kind of heroine you like but not the kind who is universally liked- she's vulnerable and persistent and can think on her feet, but she's also spiky and naive. I had no problem coming along for the ride, with her perspective. Zu is the least-developed, primarily because her backstory is an intentional mystery. I'm really hoping that means we see more of her in later books, although the way this one ended....*ahem*
Liam is, as he's meant to be, amazing and swoonworthy. And Chubs goes from over-the-top snide to understandable and sweet throughout the course of the book. Everyone else serves as a plot point, but it works.

Although I was invested in the book, I wasn't emotionally torn open by it (as I am with Patrick Ness' books, and a few others). Which is fine- I don't have the energy for that kind of literary evisceration. But I have to say, the ending was surprisingly brutal. No spoilers, but don't think you'll be putting the book down with three chapters to go, I don't care how late it is.

Overall, I recommend it for fans of dystopian, especially if you like some science fiction in there (think X-Men), fast-paced YA, realistic romance (even though Liam was maybe *too* perfect, the pace of the romance was sweet, realistic, and well-balanced with the peril), and flawed heroines. Now to get my grubby paws on book 2!

m
mightyminnie
Apr 26, 2017

Enjoyed this book!! That ending though oh my goodness! On to the next I go.

l
lb9034367
Feb 26, 2017

Really enjoyed this book! I just hope there will be a sequel that brings more to the story. The ending kinda leaves us hanging'.

g
green_snake_744
May 20, 2016

i did not no this is series till now i'm very glad that this is a series

n
Nymeria23
Jan 17, 2016

Everything has changed. The children across the nation are dying left and right, but that is not the greatest threat facing the world. The true thing to fear, are the survivors.
Stuck in what are pretty much concentration camps, forced into complacency, silence, and hard labor with the daily threat of punishment, Ruby is not living. She is only wading through the days in constant fear, not of the PSFs, but of herself. She's not what she seems. She's an impostor. She's an Orange living as a Green. And she's dangerous. With the ability to mess with people's minds, she's seen the affects of what people like her can do. Before they were taken away and presumably killed, she would witness the cruel jokes and plans the Yellows, Reds and Oranges would play on the guards, some being fatal. But she's not like that. She isn't crazy and determined to hurt people for her own amusement. No, nothing like that. She can see people's memories, have them think what she wants them to think, and can erase herself completely from their minds. The problem is, she can't control it. When her life and identity in the camps is threatened, and the opportunity to escape arises, Ruby suddenly finds herself thrown into the outside world, unsure of who to trust and what to do. Until, that is, she finds her own tribe. This is the story of Ruby's heartbreaking, mind-blowing journey to find out more about herself and learn to grow closer to people. Or at least it was until everything went to hell in a hand basket.

hey123_0 Sep 21, 2015

disappointing ending otherwise a great book

maroon_panther_34 Aug 22, 2015

Awesome romance and action-packed novel. Truly Amazing

t
Tamiku
Jul 27, 2015

Amazing page turner, absolutely a must read!

g
green_dog_1937
Jun 22, 2015

Funny yet dark and intriguing.

blue_bird_1179 Jun 04, 2015

This was a great book! Absolutely loved it. I never got bored when reading it, and I absolutely had to have the sequels.


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