The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds Series, Book 1

eBook - 2012
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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.
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9781423179184
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Huh. Well, I don't exactly see what all the hype is about, and also I don't see why they made this a movie.

The Plot
The Darkest Minds was a bit cluttered. It starts really well and the plot climbs rapidly with plenty of fight scenes and plenty of thrills. But the moment Ruby and her friends step into East River, everything crashes into a train wreck. Ridiculous twists and turns make the plot completely unsatisfactory, even if it was fairly entertaining.

The Premise
From when I began reading this book I was skeptical. I just couldn't believe that there was a deadly disease that killed most of the world's kids, leaving the survivors with superpowers. I also couldn't believe that the government would actually lock them away in prisons. That just wouldn't happen.

The Writing
The writing was pretty solid, but the amount of times the characters swore just wore on my nerves and made me wince every time they said "oh my god" or "what an asshole". I don't mind a bit of swearing. I just don't like it when it's overused. And The Darkest Minds completely overused it. And those three f-bombs? Were they really necessary?

The Romance
Liam was perfect for Ruby. Ruby was perfect for Liam. But Clancy? Love triangle? Why? NOOOOOOOO! Love triangles are overused in YA literature (with exceptions). The Darkest Minds utilized every stereotypical expression or twist to "build" the love triangle. This just made me wince and cringe and scream.

The Characters
The characters were very good at the beginning, but as the book progressed they get worse and worse, doing things for ridiculous motives and getting more and more irritating. When Clancy steps into the picture Ruby gets irritating, mopey, and silly, which is so different from the Ruby I knew at the beginning of the book. She was so strong, so determined, so real. Liam was adorable and Chubs was funny and Suzume was sweet.

Conclusion
I liked The Darkest Minds well enough, but not enough to read it again or read the sequels.

t
trickbag22
Aug 12, 2018

I purchased this first book in the series after the movie was released. I hadn't seen it but had been intrigued. The book did not disappoint. An exciting read with well developed characters and enough twists to keep me reading through the entire series. Like many" young adult" fiction books, I sometimes enjoy them more than the adult versions.

c
courtws
Aug 06, 2018

Kind of late to the dystopian party, but I like reading trilogies that are already past their prime so that, if I really love the first one, I don't have to wait an agonizingly long time between books. With all the hype about this series I waited in line on the SPL reserves list until it landed on my shelf. After the first 80 pages I kind of wondered what all the hype was about and started to doubt whether I wanted to keep reading, especially after reading a few reviews on Goodreads about the monster-long road trip that never went anywhere, but the writing was good enough and I was intrigued by the kids' "powers" and the break-out by someone who couldn't possibly be a good person (Cate). By the time Ruby hooked up with Liam, Zu and Chubs, I was compelled to keep reading. I got confused by the stores that were abandoned but still had things like beautiful red and pink dresses for the taking, but whatever. Yes, the road trip was long (complained some reviewers who rated it one or two stars) but the kids were "on the run" not just driving along aimlessly. I liked the idea of getting inside someone's head to see their thoughts, and the triangle between Ruby, Clancy, and Liam was plausible and deepened the intrigue. In the end I was pulled forward by the narrative and had to find out what happened. Not in love with the book enough to go out and buy it or the sequels, but I am intrigued enough to wait my turn in the SPL request line. Apparently there are lots of others of the same mindset.

ArapahoeTiegan May 23, 2018

In one generation, as kids enter puberty ages they start to die or exhibit superhuman powers. The kids with powers are sent to camps and classified by the type of powers they have: Green - heightened intelligence, Blue - power to move objects with thoughts, Yellow - power to create and control electricity, Orange - power to control minds, memories, and emotions, and Red - power to create and control fire. Yellow, orange, and red are considered extremely dangerous and are eventually removed from the camps with blues and greens. On Ruby's 10th birthday she is sent to a camp. Through her powers she discovers she should be classified orange, but after a terrifying experience with another orange upon arrival, Ruby convinces the classifier that she is green. Six years on, she is discovered and smuggled out of the camp by the Children's League, but through her powers see some terrifying memories and escapes the people who saved her from the camp. She comes across three other kids with powers who escaped another camp on their own and had a completely different type of camp experience. They take her in and all go on a journey to find someone called the Slip Kid who can help them get in contact with their families and possibly go home. Ruby is most interested in the Slip Kid, because he is rumored to be an orange - as two of the last known oranges, Ruby hopes he might be able to help her control her powers, but finds way more than she expected.

MelifluousView May 08, 2018

I liked Ruby's growth; it came in fits and starts...a lot like real life. Her connection with Zu was especially sweet. The end made me sad, so I didn't continue with the series at this point, but I do want to see the movie.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 23, 2017

I made the mistake of reading this after the second and third book, which I do not recommend. It was hard to focus on the plot when I did, but this book clarified a lot. For instance, I finally understood what happened between Ruby and her friends that caused the second book to create all the drama it did. The plot was actually pretty great in this book, and I would say it was more interesting than the second. This author has written other great works, all of which I enjoy to a great extent. Read on for a tale of dystopian adventure!
- @Siri of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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goddessbeth
May 02, 2017

This was one of those books I had a difficult time putting down. The concept is not entirely new (dystopian future as a result of biochemical sudden evolution and catastrophic decisions made by a panicked populace), and though it bothered me that no one questioned WHY or HOW the psi powers could have happened, it was entirely understandable that they didn't, given everything else going on. Except Chubs. Why didn't Chubs mull it over?

Ruby is the MC and narrator, but by the end of the novel it's an ensemble cast. She's the kind of heroine you like but not the kind who is universally liked- she's vulnerable and persistent and can think on her feet, but she's also spiky and naive. I had no problem coming along for the ride, with her perspective. Zu is the least-developed, primarily because her backstory is an intentional mystery. I'm really hoping that means we see more of her in later books, although the way this one ended....*ahem*
Liam is, as he's meant to be, amazing and swoonworthy. And Chubs goes from over-the-top snide to understandable and sweet throughout the course of the book. Everyone else serves as a plot point, but it works.

Although I was invested in the book, I wasn't emotionally torn open by it (as I am with Patrick Ness' books, and a few others). Which is fine- I don't have the energy for that kind of literary evisceration. But I have to say, the ending was surprisingly brutal. No spoilers, but don't think you'll be putting the book down with three chapters to go, I don't care how late it is.

Overall, I recommend it for fans of dystopian, especially if you like some science fiction in there (think X-Men), fast-paced YA, realistic romance (even though Liam was maybe *too* perfect, the pace of the romance was sweet, realistic, and well-balanced with the peril), and flawed heroines. Now to get my grubby paws on book 2!

m
mightyminnie
Apr 26, 2017

Enjoyed this book!! That ending though oh my goodness! On to the next I go.

l
lb9034367
Feb 26, 2017

Really enjoyed this book! I just hope there will be a sequel that brings more to the story. The ending kinda leaves us hanging'.

r
Reyaah
Nov 28, 2016

Had a hard time finishing it but still enjoyed it.

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Quotes

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t
Tamiku
Jul 27, 2015

“Don’t be scared. Don’t let them see.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“Dreaming led to disappointment, and disappointment to a kind of depressed funk that wasn’t easy to shake. Better to stay in the gray than get eaten by the dark.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“But hey, what's life without a little adversity?"
That had to have been the fakest attempt at optimism since my fourth grade teacher tried reasoning that we were better off without the dead kids in our class because it'd mean more turns on the playground swings for the rest of us.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“Where did she come from, and where can I find one?"

"Picked this one up at a gas station in West Virginia, bargain price. Last one on the shelf, sorry.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“I pulled myself from his mind, day by day, piece by piece, memory by memory, until there was nothing of Ruby left to weigh him down or keep him bound to my side..”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“Maybe nothing will ever change for us,” he said. “But don’t you want to be around just in case it does?”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“...crackers..." a voice breathed out nehind us, "yesss..."
Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep.
I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling.
"He dreams about food," he said. "A lot.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“Ruby, give me one reason why we can’t be together, and I’ll give you a hundred why we can. We can go anywhere you want. I’m not your parents. I’m not going to abandon you or send you away, not ever.”

j
julietteferrars
Jul 07, 2014

“It feels like we should do something," he said. "Like, send her off on a barge out to sea and set her on fire. Let her go out in a blaze of glory."
Chubs raised an eyebrow. "It's a minivan, not a Viking.”

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Age

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Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Gwen904 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

a
amoussa
Mar 13, 2017

amoussa thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

t
TimeLordSTorm
Dec 15, 2015

TimeLordSTorm thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

b
BooksAreRoyal
Mar 18, 2015

BooksAreRoyal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

vv1 Feb 14, 2015

vv1 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

b
bgs2001
Feb 07, 2014

bgs2001 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

g
green_tiger_230
Jan 10, 2014

green_tiger_230 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

w
White_Cheetah_13
Jul 04, 2013

White_Cheetah_13 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

2
26angel
Jun 22, 2013

26angel thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

w
whdn
Apr 21, 2013

whdn thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Notices

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g
Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Sexual Content: Flirting, caressing, and kissing. It goes no farther than that, but it's described quite thoroughly.

g
Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Violence: Kids at brutal incarceration camps are beaten, killed, and tortured. Some chases by vehicle and on foot, with a couple of crashes and explosions. There is blood, injuries, fights, weapons, gunfire, death, and assault. There are plenty of descriptions (sometimes graphic).

g
Gwen904
Sep 15, 2018

Coarse Language: Frequent uses of sh** and variants, ass and variants, and OMG and variants. Three uses of f**king.

2
26angel
Oct 24, 2013

Violence: Mild fantasy violence, not too bad. Still a great book.

Summary

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2
26angel
Oct 24, 2013

In this bleak, action-packed book, 98 percent of the children in America have been killed by a virus - and the other two percent have developed frightening powers that they can't control, prompting the government to lock them up in "rehabilitation camps." Sixteen-year-old Ruby has escaped from one of these camps, along with a small group of others who, like her, are looking for the one secure haven they've heard about... but they'll have to make it there without being captured or killed first. This often violent novel's twists and turns will keep you guessing, and there's also plenty to pull fans of well-developed characters into its harsh, dark world

w
whdn
Apr 21, 2013

Sixteen-year-old Ruby wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday only to discover that her parents don't know who she is. She is brought to a camp for people like her and barely escapes with her life. On the run, she meets a group of kids from another camp, and soon she finds herself a part of their band as well. Now she is searching for the rumored East River,and at the same time Ruby is falling for Liam, her group's new leader. Knowing what a monster she is, she cannot afford to get close. But can she really learn to stay away? And will Ruby ever learn to control her power? The same power that made her parents forget her and send her to the place where it all started? Read "The Darkest Minds" to find out...

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