Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken || Maybe I can’t be bothered?

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds #1

Alexandra Bracken

the darkest minds alexandra bracken

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.

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Published: December 18th 2012



Trigger Warning



Big Spoiler, So Read Here.

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.” 

When I first read this book, I won’t lie and say I wasn’t confused. I actually found this one on Booktube when it was so very hyped up… and I’m a little underwhelmed. I was debating between a 3 and 2 star rating, because while I don’t hate this book, there are a quite a few issues that I had with it.

When a deadly virus kills a majority of children in the United States, children demonstrating unnatural abilities is also shipped to concentration camps. Ruby manages to escape and meets other people with abilities and together they search out a safe haven.

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“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived.” 

A lot of things just didn’t add up for me. We have these kids locked up… which wouldn’t happen if all of them had superpowers. We saw one kid make a security guard shoot herself in the mouthI don’t get why it’s trying to be sold to me that escape would be impossible.

The pacing is also really slow. For the majority of the book, we’re in this car, in the woods… basically on the run. And when I’m stuck with characters I don’t care about, it makes me feel like I’m trudging the mud.

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“I’m a monster, you know. I’m one of the dangerous ones.

I can’t say I disliked Ruby… because I didn’t. She was fine…. nothing special… I guess there’s the fact that there was so much complaining and self loathing that made me kind of side eye her? I will never understand why someone with powers would want to be normal. Like, Ruby, you have mind powers… ISN’T THAT COOL? She constantly complained about using her powers, even when the situation needed it. I mean… I get it with the events that took place before the book starts… I’m not that callous.

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But even the other characters had no substance. Chubs was the closest thing to a favorite only because of his jaded outlook and snark. Zu, didn’t speak, so we couldn’t really get to know her and Liam… was a stereotypical sweet love interest. Again, no depth to his and Ruby’s relationship and it was attempted to make it angsty with Ruby constantly pushing him away, but I didn’t care enough about them to be invested or irritated.

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“I think maybe the most frustrating feeling in the world is to have something to say but not know how to put it into words. To have lived through something but not be able to get it out of you before it festers.” 

Even the villain was just… I didn’t care, okay? There was a scene that happened towards the end with Ruby and the villain that I didn’t know what was happening until a while later when it hit me, That happened?! Which put a different perspective on him and even Ruby so I’m hoping that’s expanded on in the next book.

The only thing I can really, truly applaud is the diversity. But despite my griping, I will read the next book. The ending did snag my interest at the last minute. The movie is also coming out and Zu’s story is being published as well, so while I don’t have the highest expectations, I’m here.

14 thoughts on “Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken || Maybe I can’t be bothered?”

  1. Lovely review! I read this one a while ago when I was first getting into YA, and loved it at the time. Now, I can definitely see how stereotypical Ruby and Liam were, but at the time it went right over my head. Haha. I’ll need to reread this trilogy at some point!

    Liked by 1 person

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