The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

While I was on vacation, The Darkest Minds was one of the many books I read. This one is definitely one of my favorites. Basically, when the protagonist, Ruby, wakes up on her tenth birthday, she is quite alarmed when her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. After years of adults acting strangely around children and years of her friends dying for no particular reason, other than what adults refer to as Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration, or IAAN, Ruby is ripped from everything she knows and is transported to Thurmond, which most adults believe is a rehabilitation camp. Six years later, Ruby has experienced many traumatizing events and still does not understand why some things have happened to her. After meeting a strangely friendly nurse twice, Ruby manages to escape Thurmond. Out in the real world, Ruby meets up with Zu, Liam, and Chubs, who change her life.

This book was AMAZING. After each chapter I would tell myself to go do something else, but somehow my hands just kept turning the pages. This novel was not only a great story, but also made me think a lot. One of my favorite quotes from this book was:

It doesn’t make you a bad person, you know-to want to live your own life.

Being a typical teenager who has no clue what she wants to do with her life, hearing little quotes like this gives me hope for the future. This novel also addresses trusting others and needing friends to survive in the world. Bracken shows that it may be frightening to trust others with your deepest, darkest secrets, but you need friends to help you through your tough days. Another theme of this novel was the idea of any society controlling you no matter how “free” they claim to be. When children were in camp, they had to wear certain clothes, eat when they were told, and go to bed when they were told. In East River, they had uniforms they wore, they all ate together, and everybody went to bed at the same time. Additionally, the Children’s League had strict rules for their members. Another one of my favorite quotes was:

God help me, that only made me cry harder. When a girl cries, few things are more worthless than a boy. Having two of them just meant that they stared at each other helplessly instead of at me.

Just because it is so true.

***WARNING MAY BE SPOILERS BELOW***

One of my favorite things about Bracken’s writing style was how should would totally make something seem true for half of a page and my heart would start to hurt and then PLOT TWIST something different was happening. For example, Liam and Chubs were discussing getting rid of Black Betty after they got caught in her. All the reader knew was Ruby was hearing a conversation about Chubs and Liam about getting rid of “her,” conveniently after Ruby had caused some trouble. Another one of my favorites was when Liam saw Ruby for the first time in a while and he was like “who are you?” and Ruby totally thought she had accidentally removed herself from his memory.

***SPOILERS ARE OVER***

Overall, I enjoyed this book a ton and will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

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