Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Dark, Twisted & A Little Bit Pyscho: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Published December 18, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Hardcover and Ebook

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.


One of the major issues I have with this book is how she wrote all the parents allowing their kids to be shipped off, not fighting with their lives to keep them and even shoving them away. I am sure there are a few out there like that but as a parent of three myself, I can say there would NEVER come a day I would not give my life in defense of my children and I would NEVER let someone take them away if they were ill. And they have been ill and I sat by their beds, went to their therapies and mopped up their messes and asked questions. The idea that the major of American parents would allow that to happen is absolutely the stupidest idea I have ever heard. 

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Next was the treatment of the kids at camp and on the road. How could every adult hold such hatred and complete lack of empathy for every kid out there? Again, the stupidest thing I've read in a LONG time. 

Another issue I was completely irritated with was how she wrote the President giving himself indefinite powers based on "war time command". BULL. The Constitution does NOT allow that even during the case of war. It is FIRM and ABSOLUTE: Two terms MAX! I just think the whole dystopian mythology for this book needed be refined and better thought out in general. 

The final bone to pick was with the lack of direction with the book. It seemed as though she was trying hold all her cards to the last two chapters and that caused the majority of the book to be unfocused and superfluous. 

All that being said, I found Ruby to be a complex character and Liam was a fantastic counterpart. Chubs and Zu were fantastic and had me in stitches. The ending was so heartbreaking for Ruby and I wonder if the author isn't some kind of masochist for all the torture she puts the characters through.

This novel was incredibly dark, horribly graphic, heartbreakingly sad, teetering between hope and despair. You aren't sure what the real goals are, but honestly, I don't think the characters do either and I find that it's ok. 

I would NOT recommend this to anyone under 17 for its graphic and disturbing treatment of kids.

With how the book ended, I am interested to see what happens in book two and what characters are brought back.