Book Review: Never Fade – Alexandra Bracken

So welcome to a book review in a month. I have been really busy during October, and therefore I have only read…

Two light reads of New Adult Romance novels…
One play for the 20 page directors’ notebook assessment for school…
Two YA novels…
And 8 mangas.


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Name: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 15, 2013

Synopsis

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?


Book Cover Comments

Once again with the metallic cover, I think its super cool. I wonder why the choice for an ice blue cover was made, but I do love the touch of the compass on there. Tbh I never realised that it was a compass lmao. I thought it was just an eight-pointed star. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know the secret behind the compass and what its referencing ;)


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.

Once again, Never Fade and every other Alex Bracken book is extremely slow. I burned every drop of brain oil in stock everyday in order to finish Never Fade and every other Alex book, and I die for it. But as I hold on to perseverance despite the boring beginning and the annoying middle section, I did find the ending very exciting.

Unfortunately I have to say, the beginning of the book was extremely confusing and slightly way too slow. Ruby starts off with showing us readers her new life in the Children’s League, and tbh I had no idea what was going on with their latest mission. But I did pick up one or two things along the way.

One of their missions was to retrieve a mysterious person, and when I thought it meant Ruby reunites with Liam, instead we are given with someone who looks like Liam. I actually forgot his name so let’s call him Bob. Ok I’m totally ruining this for you with the name “Li”.

Li seeks help from Ruby to retrieve the flash drive mentioned in the synopsis above, lost through some unforeseen circumstances in which you can find out yourself by reading the book. But just know that it ended up being with Liam. Li is actually such a cool character, not only because of his smart brains and strategic planning, but also because Li will be revealing some cool abilities later on in the book.

When we got to the middle chunk where Ruby begins her hunt for Liam in order to retrieve the flash drive, thank God we have the reuniting scenes. Ruby runs into Chubs at one of the locations that she has arrived in, and I can’t help but laugh at the interaction between Chubs and one of Ruby’s partner-in-crimes, I-also-forgot-her-name-so-let’s-call-her Liv. Liv, I have to say, is a very arrogant character with a very rude mouth, but I must say I connect with her deeply on this aspect. Lmao

And as the three of them, along with Ruby’s other partner, a little boy in which we shall call him Yellow because he has the power of the Yellows (Liv is a Blue, btw) visit the next location, meet someone that Ruby does not want to see again at all (hint hint wink wink book 1 wink wink) he gladly gives out a few hints in order to send Ruby along their way, then we get to the good part.

BECAUSE WE FINALLY REUNITE WITH LIAMM

It didn’t start off in a good way, though. Liam and a whole bunch of other kids were in a not so good condition considering the fact that the weather was cold and Liam and the other kids were mistreated. My memory of what happened here started to get blurry, but some sad events happen here.

When Liam’s body memory doesn’t match with what he remembers because of what Ruby did to him at the end of Book 1 (light spoilers!), Liam begins to struggle between the differences that he is feeling. He knows that he wants to throw himself at Ruby, but he doesn’t understand why. AND THE FEELING THAT SCARES HIM IS GIVING ME THE ABSOLUTE HEART FLUTTERS. LIKE SEEING LIAM AND RUBY REUNITE IS THE NUMBER ONE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK.

But Alex Bracken continues to surprise us, because she won’t just let a happy ending land without having some more tough times. Ruby needs to face the circumstances of leaving Liam behind, as well as what she did to protect them in her way possible. The tension between Ruby and Liam was high till the very end, and I just can’t help but swoon over this bittersweet relationship.

OK at this moment I’m looking at my Darkest Minds review, and wondering how did I come up with so much shit to write about.

And at the ending, a very tragic event happens, but no spoilers everyone. The last part of the book got so exciting, it made me want to read more and more instead of the reluctant pace to continue reading during the beginning of the book. Somewhere around what happened near the ending, there was this really memorable quote but I don’t remember what it is. Also I’m typing this up at school and I don’t have my book, so I can’t check it. I’ll edit it in when I get back home from school and tutor. All I can tell you is

“ROLL CREDITS!”

The revelations that kicked off at the end was one of the best parts of the book as well. I mean, who doesn’t love revelations? And to expand on that a little bit more, we get to know the secrets that some people are trying to hide, possibly why, and what lurks behind those secrets. This also highly ties back in to the character we do not want to see again from book 1. The lock that secures the secret to why and how the children have the disease, and if there is a possible cure to it, is currently being picked open. With that much base information given in Never Fade, I’m sure In The Afterlight will be an exciting ride. But it’ll start off slow.

COME TO THINK OF IT I HAVE THE PERFECT ROLLERCOASTER METAPHOR FOR ALEX BRACKEN’S BOOKS.

Imagine riding an extreme rollercoaster. Going uphill and just going on flat tracks and finding yourself going uphill again is basically the book’s pace, and that is the longest span of the ride. Then when you reach the peak, you suddenly drop, go through some loops and boomerangs, and within seconds the ride is over. And that describes the exciting part of Alex’s books, how you just can’t get enough of it, but it all slips away too soon.

I wrote this in my previous review: 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.

I think I actually predicted things quite well. And the literal meaning of that matches the general concept of what this series is looking for. I’m saying this because while attempting to look for that quote I mentioned above, I stumbled across something even more amazing. I’ll keep my mouth shut until the last book’s book review, but all I will say is: THE BOOK TITLES.


As the journey of The Darkest Minds continue in order to find their oasis, and to reveal the secrets behind everything to save themselves, they can only move forward, stay together, and Never Fade.

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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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