Saturday, January 12, 2013
Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken♥
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Format: ARC, 498 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Source: Gifted from Anna!!
Description from Goodreads:
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.
Congratulations to The Darkest Minds for being the first book of 2013 to make me cry.
Even bigger congratulations for being my new favorite non-JLA book.
Yeah. I loved it that much. This book...this book was amazing. It's hard for me to even explain, but I'm going to try, and I'm not going to use a bunch of gifs to do it because this book...there is no easy way out in this book.
Let's think for a second. Let's go back to the crying thing. Now, I'm a big baby. A huge baby. When a book is sad, I tear up. Sometimes, if it's sad enough, I cry. But even though I am a big baby, I don't CRY LIKE A BABY all that much while reading books. That's just not how it usually goes. Sure, a tear or two here and there, but SOBBING? Not often.
I sobbed for this book.
As I said, doesn't happen often. From what I can remember, I've only cried a bunch for:
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Flawed by Kate Avelynn
And that's IT. Anything else I've cried for, was not that big of a deal, not really. I mean, I probably did hyperventilate like I said or something for those ones, but actually holy-crap-I-can't-stop-crying? Did not happen.
And, if we're being honest, The Darkest Minds caused me to cry like I have never cried for a book before. Just...wow.
Now, if it made me cry so much WHY is it my favorite? Why?
Well, first of all, Alexandra Bracken is a kickass writer. She can WRITE. I mean, obviously, if she can make me cry like that, but she made me laugh, too. And she made my jaw-drop, and she kept me reading when I might have given up on the book otherwise. The author did an AMAZING job with this book. The premise was magnificent and execution flawless. I admit, if this story had been told in any other way, I probably would have put it down. I normally don't go for this kind of thing. I mean, we don't even meet the other big main characters until 100 pages in. But Alexandra Bracken..well, she did her job so freaking well.
And then the characters...OH MY GOODNESS, the characters.
Ruby: For all intents and purposes, I should have hated Ruby. She lied, she did things I wanted to slap her for, and she wasn't open enough. But I love this chick. Why? Because she's logical. Stick a 10 year old girl in a camp like THAT for 6 years while she hides the secret of WHO SHE IS and then pull her out, and I have no doubt Ruby is what should come out. And goodness gracious, I understand her. I get the way she thinks, even though I wish she could be different sometimes. I get it and I know and I just...Ruby's a great character.
Liam: Awww, my little southern boy. I never failed to smile when he used the word "darlin'." Even at the end. He's such a purely GREAT person. Confident and sure of himself, but not in an arrogant way. More in a helpful, kind way. I love this boy. He's exacly what Ruby needs. Ohmyflippinggoodess, he is EXACTLY what she needs.
Chubs: Charles. Oh, man, Chubs was my favorite character in this book. He's so loyal and caring and determined. He knows what he wants and goes for it. He knows who he likes and takes care of them. And he...he knows what to do...and does it. He's smart. He's funny. He dreams about food a lot. Goodness, I can't even say much more. "My favorite character" should tell you how amazing he is.
Bad guy: So, yeah, there's a bad guy. I'm not going to tell you his name because that's part of the mystery! He could be anybody. ANYBODY. You might guess him, you might not. Personally, I DID guess him, but then changed my mind farther into the book. It just didn't add up at that point. Anyway, this bad guy. He toyed with my emotions a bit. I mean, not once did he really fool me--I was very suspicious around him--but I'm also one to care for characters I shouldn't. This guy was no exception. Now, I want to beat the crap out of this guy just like anyone else does. But he was a great villain. That's all I'm going to say. I'm trying SO HARD not to spoil for you guys.
Plot. A big chunk of the beginning was world building. As I said, we don't meet our awesome companions until about 100 pages in. That does not mean those first 100 pages were horrid, though. Those first 100 pages are the ones that would usually bore me to the point of giving up.
I didn't give up.
Which means they held my attention. I didn't even get bored. Again, as I already said: Alexandra Braken can WRITE. Very, very well. And then after we met Liam and Zu and Chubs...well, I loathed to put the book down. It was interesting and kept me on my toes and made me happy and sad and it was just a whirlwind of TERRIFIC.
Sweet things. There is romance. In that aspect, Liam's our boy. Sweet, and--as I said, because I just can't stop repeating myself--exactly what Ruby needs. And then there's Zu, the sweet little girl. And there is Chubs. Who did not like Ruby AT ALL at first, but grew to love her just as he did with Zu and Liam. That was my favorite growth in this book--how the four of them grew together. They're just super great friends and I loved it. So loyal to each other and willing to do anything...ANYTHING...for one another. I had fun with the Liam and Ruby relationship, too. Which I've already explained.
The ending. This is where I have no clue what to say. It was a GREAT ending. I want the next book now. Right this second. This is probably going to be one of my favorite trilogies ever, if not #1. But then again...it was so heartbreaking. It took me so long to read the last 20ish pages or so because I was just CRYING. Everything...it was just...it all falls apart. And then Ruby, she takes care of it! I swear, I can't imagine a different way for her to deal with that situation. But that doesn't make it any less sad.
Overall, one of my favorites EVER. Wonderful writing, badass characters, and so much emotion. I lovelovelove this book so much. If you ask me, YOU should definitely read it. I can't imagine NOT reading it. It's not very lighthearted, but it is definitely a magnificent story that will stick with you. I know it's sticking with me.
Thanks a million to Anna for giving me this book. There aren't enough words in the world to explain how grateful I am.