The Darkest Minds, Alexandra Bracken: Book Review

Bracken's dystopian about kids being on the run for their special abilities makes for an addicting read.

darkest minds alexandra bracken book reviewDisney Hyperion / John Geyster
The Darkest Minds Book Cover The Darkest Minds
The Darkest Minds Series
Alexandra Bracken
Young Adult

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 brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others 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. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living.

This review contains quotes from the novel.

*Special thanks to Hyperion for allowing us to read Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds.

With The Darkest Minds, Alexandra Bracken creates an addicting dystopian novel that I wish I would have read earlier.

When Ruby turned ten-years-old her world was turned upside down. She woke up that day and realized that something happened to her. When her parents saw this, they locked her in a garage and called the police. The police ended up taking her to a rehabilitation camp called Thurmond. She saw that she was not alone and that others kids had similar abilities. She and the others survived what was killing American children, but now they are considered to be high threats. The kids that have special abilities realized that the reason they are high threats is due to the fact that they cannot control these abilities.

“My body shook in time with the bursts of static, curling in on itself like an old, yellowing piece of paper. Someone’s hands were shaking my shoulders; I heard someone say my name–Ruby–but I was too far gone to respond. Gone, gone, gone, sinking until there was nothing, like the earth had swallowed me up in a single, deep breath. Then darkness.

And silence.”

-excerpt from Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds

The readers start off when Ruby is sixteen years old still at Thurmond. The truth comes out eventually about her and the others, and now they have to run for their lives. Now all she wants to do is find a place where she can be with other kids like her, and be safe from the government. She eventually finds this place, and it’s called East River. The kids that are already there had escaped from different camps. The leader of the group is a kid named Liam, and you see him fall in love with Ruby. And Ruby feels the same way but knows that she cannot get close because she hasn’t been close to anyone in a while. Her parents turned her away immediately after they saw what she could do. This leads her to not want to get close to anyone. Also, she doesn’t know what will happen to them in the future because they are being hunted. The future is uncertain for Ruby, but the people of East River want her to fight against the government. So Ruby has a choice to make.

I recommend this to anyone who likes dystopian novels, especially the Divergent series. I truly loved this book, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. After this novel ended, all I wanted to do was run to the bookstore and buy the rest. It was that good.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.