I used to wonder — at night when it was quiet enough in the cabin to think, when I let myself get to the point of wishing for home — if the home in my heart was supposed to be the place where I’d been born, or if it was the place that was raising me. If I got to choose it, or if it had somehow already claimed me. Ruby ~Darkest Minds
Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy Page Count: 488
Author: Alexandra Bracken
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. 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 leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close.
The Darkest Minds movie has been in theaters since the beginning of August. I planned to read it a few months ago before the movie came out but time caught up with me. He, he. Regardless, I finished the book and thought I’d review it while it’s still in theaters! 😀
Honestly, I started this book three months ago, but ended up taking a break from it and starting a book my sister wanted me to read called Angelfall. It was hard to get past the start of The Darkest Minds. It was a little too dramatic for me to take seriously and although the book was in first person, it was hard to understand what was going on in the dystopian world. The writer wanted to keep a lot secret from the start, but this made it difficult to read. Things would happen like someone’s memory getting erased and I had no idea until later because it was subtle. The descriptions could be very discreet. I’m not used to that in first person. Things are usually clearer.
But as the book progressed and things were explained more — like the children’s different abilities — I found it to be a very easy read, like the typical YA. The book got a lot better at being descriptive and explaining things. The first person connection grew deeper too as I read on and I eventually found the protagonist very relatable, especially for teens. The dialogue was very good too and so was the world building and action — three other things I discovered as I read further.
This book was a lot of classic cliches: classic story of society and adults against teens and classic road trip book. The majority of it was focused on a group of kids trying to get to a specific destination and adults abusing children for fear of them. My main problem with the plot? I found it hard to believe that so many parents and people would be okay with their children being mistreated and taken from them without fighting back. There were some instances where parents were enraged, but seriously, shouldn’t America have a civil war on it’s hands over this? There was also this part I found really silly where one of the characters said that Mexico and Canada built a wall over America because it was in shambles. Pfft! I don’t know, maybe it’s because of the recent wall debates on T.V., but I found that hilarious and a little ridiculous.
I actually really enjoyed the characters in this book! They had a lot of depth and my favorite, Chubs, had me laughing out loud several times. The relationships built between the characters and the time they spent with one another was very real and touching. The love interest was so unbelievably obvious, though. As soon as the dude (I’m not going to say who :P) showed up, I knew he and the main character were going to be a thing. I didn’t like the main character because she was weak, gullible and worried constantly that she’s a burden and that people won’t like her. (in a fussing sort of way) But towards the end of the book, when she ran into a trap because she thought someone was hurt, I realized I would’ve been just as gullible and that she probably annoyed me because she reminded me a little of myself so maybe that complaint isn’t legitimate.
There were many times I easily predicted the plot, and many times I was surprised — especially toward the end. I thought there was going to be a ‘love triangle’ and was pleasantly shown I was wrong. I was suggested this book because I read Shatter Me, and let me tell you, they’re very similar and the suggestion was spot on. If you enjoyed Shatter Me, you’ll probably love this book. All-in-all, it took me a long time to read this book. It could be frustrating but I probably will read the second book because this one left me on a huge cliff hangar, and honestly, I’m excited for the movie.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘seriously?’)
Most of the book, there’s just about no kissing and hardly any touching except for the unwanted kind once in awhile. The main protagonist is gorgeous, so she gets a lot of people touching her without her consent. (men pushing their bodies against hers and rubbing their hands up her legs and body) When there was touching and romance, it was mostly fleeting on the waist, arms, and cheeks. Most of it was just two people that obviously liked each other, but didn’t show it till the end of the book when things get pretty passionate in two scenes; running hands over each other’s bodies and tugging at clothing.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant cussing’.)
Takes God’s name in vain a lot in many different ways like: ___damned, oh my ___, oh ___, I swear to ___, Christ as a cuss word and Jesus Christ as a cuss word. Then there’s the typical hell, damn, ass, sh*t, assh*le, screw yourself and even the f word 3 times and the middle finger.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘graphic violence’.)
Children are killed, abused and confined for what they are and the writer was not afraid to show this. Although the violent scenes were not too graphic, there were scenes where teens were beaten to a pulp, a scene where a body was mutilated and blood was described in areas often. Sometimes there were even brutal fistfights between other kids that ended in someone being badly injured.
Drinking, drugs or smoking: 0-10
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 ‘for seriously’
There was none.
No Homosexuals or Mention