Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Braken

Series: The Darkest Minds (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Paranormal

Subjects: psychic ability, supernatural, telepathy

Setting: West Virginia and Virginia

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Ruby Daly

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 488 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover & Paperback

List Price: $17.99/$9.99

Publisher: Hyperion

Summary/ product description: “When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who 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 a life worth living.”

My Review:  I've had this book sitting on my shelf since it came out in 2012. Now I have the whole series and I finally read the first book. The Darkest Minds was a good book. I took it on my camping trip but only got to page 50. I should have known that I never get any reading done when I’m camping. It took me a while to finish this book because I was so busy, but I shouldn’t judge this book for that reason. Yes it’s very long, but the story was interesting. It had some great characters. I just wish I read it sooner.

Ruby was a good narrator. She reminded me a lot of Juliette from Shatter Me. She had an issue with touching people too. Ruby is and Orange, which means she’s telepathic and can control people too. She doesn’t know how to control her power. She’s accidently erased people’s memories before, and this scares her. At her camp she is thought to be a Green with photographic memory abilities. She fooled the people that sorted her. A woman named Cate helps her escape, but then she also escapes Kate and meets Liam, Zu and Chubs.

The most interesting character was Chubs. He was (maybe African-American? Maybe Indian?) a bit of a nerd. Supposedly he used to be fat before going into the camp. He was serious in demeanor but also said some of the most hilarious things. He’s that lovable best friend character. He because friends with Liam in camp. They both are Blues, which means they have telekinesis. Chubs didn’t use his power really.

Liam is a southern gentle man. He makes me think of Tucker from Unearthly, who was a cowboy kind off. Maybe I feel like I love Liam because I just watch the Longest Ride movie (with a hot bull Rider named Luke) and I watch Nashville on ABC. I just love country boys. Liam was also a very good person and sees the best in people. He also drove a van he called Black Betty in the book.

Zu or Suzume is a Yellow. She can control electricity, but hasn’t got a grip on her power. She doesn’t talk, just writes what she wants to say. She also like clothes and the color pink and tries to dress Ruby up in the book. She was such a sweet character. She reminded me of Baby from In The After by Demetria Lunetta.

The world building is pretty interesting. It’s set in the near future, maybe 7 years after a virus called IAAN kill most kids in America and leave the survivors with abilities. The survivors are sent to camps and given a color based on their ability. Pretty soon only the Blues and Greens are left in Ruby’s camp. The camps reminded me of Reboot by Amy Tintera, with was about a virus that made teens come back to life stronger. So if you liked Reboot or Shatter Me, then you may enjoy this book too.

Cover Art Review: Gorgeous use of texture and the Psi symbol.

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