Friday, November 24, 2017

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds is the first book in a YA dystopian trilogy that was recommended to me by a friend. In a future United States when children hit puberty, they get a strange illness called Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN). The kid either dies or gets superpowers. Getting superpowers sounds cool, right? Not when the corrupted government hunts them all down and shoves them in color-coded concentration camps. (Red is most powerful, Blue is least powerful.)

On Ruby's tenth birthday, she awakes with mind control powers (Orange) and accidentally makes her parents forget who she is. She is then shipped off to Camp Thurmond. Terrified, Ruby takes on a disguise of a Green (intelligence) because they are one of the least dangerous. Six years later, she barely escapes after her cover is revealed. She is on the run for East River, the only place relatively safe for kids like her.

Ruby is rebellious and difficult to get a hand on. She is highly protective of her friends and is constantly questioning what is right. At times her choices can be hard to understand, but readers will be hooked on her journey through a twisted world. I liked the premise of different colors for abilities, and shows how prejudiced can be expressed in different ways. Something highly repeated was that because she is an Orange, she will always be alone. A huge part of Ruby's internal struggle was coming to terms with how society views her as a monster, even those with powers of their own.

I really liked how it wasn't Good vs. Evil. There was no good side at all, just the best of the worst. This made every obstacle and decision 10x more thought-provoking and complicated. I can't imagine how confusing and aggravating it would be to be in Ruby's shoes, jumping out of one loophole and into another. The plot can be confusing and contrasting at times and leaves lots of facts up to the reader's inferences. However, I have no doubt that much more will be explained in the second book, Never Fade!

I recommend that you read this book! I cannot wait to read the second book in this trilogy, Never Fade!

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Braken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 488 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 3
Rating: 4 Stars

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