Book Review: The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

Geez I should have tried to write this earlier but hey procrastination got in the way


Name: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 18, 2012


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.

Book Cover Comments

The brass background is actually really cool. Especially when you hold the physical copy and it has a little bit of a reflective surface. I like the idea of that particular symbol carved into the brass like so a lot.

The Review

So I wouldn’t say The Darkest Minds is one of those hyper-active exciting reads, but there was something in the book that kept me going on and reading more and more, getting even more immersed in the book.

I actually didn’t even think or focus on the fact that this is a dystopian novel. Yes some of you know I’m not a dystopian enthusiast lmao

I really like the concept of how the special/dangerous kids were sorted. Slightly spoiling the system of the rehab camps, is that depending on how dangerous the kids’ ability, a.k.a. how strong they are, they are sorted into a color category: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. I’m still unclear about the line between blue and green, but we get to see a little bit of everything in this book. The powers displayed are also super super cool. At the same time, even though it is supernatural abilities, it’s not over the top fantasia crazy, and sticks to reality well. (what am I even saying haha)

I love the range of main characters we have, from Liam to his friends, Chubs and Zu, and their characters are so different from each other. (i mean duh what am i even saying) I love it especially when Liam becomes protective dad. The way the others depend on him and the way he lives on with his closest friends, and how he has a strong determination to go towards his goals and to protect those important to him.

Funny thing about Chubs is that he’s kind of a “i have my own world” boy. In a sense that he’s really really blunt and direct about whatever he wants to say. At first I didn’t really like chubs cus he seemed a bit too whiny, but when we get to East River, there’s this one part where Chubs totally rocked the entire scene so that I could insert:


Zu is a very special character, and why that is the case I won’t spoil you, but I like the fact that she’s so strong despite being (i think) ten year old, and having to face such a terrible reality. And this leads right on to our World Building.

The World that Alex Bracken weaved is indeed dark and deep. The corruption and how twisted and skewed everything behind the scenes were, especially with the complicated web of the president of Darkest-Minds-US-of-A. There were a few turn outs in the ending that was ultimately expected though never anticipated, and it indeed showed me a spectacular view of how Alex viewed the Darkest Minds. It also discusses the concept of people wearing masks and identities, the desire to be in power, the fear harbored inside of us, and many more concepts that I can revisit over and over again.

Now despite the slow and grey-ish colored plot (i couldn’t describe it any better. It wasn’t dull), as I said before, something just kept me going on and on. I think it’s definitely because of the story of Ruby, the decisions she makes to try to protect those she treasures, and oh when I think back to that ending? All dem’ feels. Getting myself into the book definitely took some time, but I think everything just got so much more interesting when Ruby finally escaped Rehab camp and went on a heck of a journey.

The one thing I especially love about Ruby is definitely that really significant i-won’t-spoil-you-event in her past. It is her past that builds up who she is now, the fears she face, the ability she must accept, that there are things that you can embrace instead of running away.

The shattering ending and the darkening dystopian world of The Darkest Minds, and how each character is a pillar of light that can shine brightly on their own makes me anticipate the sequel when I get to read it :)


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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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