- Publisher: Disney Hyperion
- Release date: December 18, 2012
- Series/stand-alone: The Darkest Minds, Book 1
- Number of pages: 488
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Bought
- Rating : 4 cookies
- Swoon spoon: Scoop of I-scream (50-75%)
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.
But now I believe that fate has brought us together. I've seen a lot of people give this book high ratings and so, I decided to give it a chance of course, because who wouldn't when it seems like your paths have been purposefully twined together by the stars, right? Thank goodness I did. It's true what they say: Never judge a book by it's cover. No matter how creepy it looks.
The story starts out with the lead, Ruby, imprisoned in a camp along with a chunk of America's surviving children to be "rehabilitated". A disease spread, killing most of the children and leaving those alive with certain abilities. Now, adults believe that they have the power to destroy everything. The story occurs in a time when the world is in chaos--everything's overpriced, schools are shut down, most people ransack stores and steal what they can to live. It's just pure survival. Like the apocalypse type but with children as zombies and instead of running from then, people try to catch them.
Soon, Ruby with the help of a certain League, breaks out of camp but then she runs of and meets a group of kids. Together they brave driving around in a beat-up black van and dodging a lot, and I mean a LOT of different groups who are after kids like them for their own purposes--either to exploit their abilities, turn them over for a few dollars, or just shoot them in the head.
Every bit of the story is action-packed and fast-paced. The characters were constantly on the run, giving it a survival-of-the-fittest kind of vibe. I couldn't even pinpoint one part where they were just at a stand-still, even when they were standing still. Something seemed to be happening every second and I commend Alexandra Bracken for writing such an addictive story which kept me on edge. I was sucked into the book, almost to the point of slamming it on my face just to get inside it.
What's interesting is that the most powerful ones in the book were the ladies (Girl Power!). Besides Ruby (who is a survivor to the core, if a little too naive), there's Zu. Zu is the most badass little girl I've encountered in any book. I loved the scenes where she was involved. She was descrived to look so small and frail and delicate, but when she lets loose of her ability, it's utterly electrifying. She's got me hooked!
Speaking of being hooked... Hook, line, and sinker, and Liam. He's so adorable and boyish and awkward in the right moments that I want to squeeze the life out of him because he's just too cute. I love that he's not the kind that's too cool for school because I just want to slap those kinds of characters, unless they are really too cool and it just comes off as really, really cool without even trying. The way Liam stutters and runs out of things to say makes me want to shake him so hard and scream, "Stop being so adorable!". Seriously, the boy's a valid excuse for anybody to go crazy.
The excitement in this book is palpable, you could almost taste it. You could smell the smoke drifting out of the book, you could hear cars turning over and screeching in between the pages, you could feel your mind being tampered and messed with, you could feel Alexandra compelling you to read on and on and on.
Now I just wonder if Alexandra Bracken is an Orange and has found a way to transcribe her abilities on paper to compel every reader. Because for sure, she's got me running to the closest bookstore for the next installment.
*COVER IMAGE AND SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS*