The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

Book - 2012
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Sixteen-year-old Ruby breaks out of a government-run 'rehabilitation camp' for teens who acquired dangerous powers after surviving a virus that wiped out most American children.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, [2012]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ℗♭2012
ISBN: 9781423157373
1423157370
Branch Call Number: YF BRACKEN
Characteristics: 488 pages ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Sixteen-year-old Ruby breaks out of a government-run "rehabilitation camp" for teens who acquired dangerous powers after surviving a virus that wiped out most American children.


From the critics


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r
red_dog_1711
Jun 29, 2020

In the pandemic and I watched the movie a year ago. Looks so cool. Now I am going to read it.

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IndigoDragon77
Jun 20, 2020

I really really enjoyed this book. I am a little obsessed with pandemics right now, and I love a bit of fantasy, so this was a perfect combination for me. I found it easy to relate to Ruby even though she makes several poor decisions. I did actually feel satisfied with the ending as it did tie up most of the threads in the story, but it felt a little rushed. Highly recommend!

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BookDragon07
May 14, 2020

so so so so so good. I highly recommend.

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Banna25
Nov 10, 2019

I started reading this book at friends house a few months ago. I had been thinking about this book, and decided to read the whole book this time. It was so good! I just had one small problem... there are two Liams, and a Ruby in my grade. Still an amazing book!

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Anna Beyer
Jun 25, 2019

so touching. sometimes I'm crying, others i feel like the book grabbed my insides and was shaking them up. Liam is my favorite character, by far. Clancy was a bully, he liked Ruby then he hurt her. what is up with that? My friend recommended it for me, it was amazing!!!!! I totally suggest any one to read this book. there are a few swears, but the book it's self was a great read. And it ends with a cliffhanger,( when do they not?!) so I'm soo exited to read Never Fade.

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pink_horse_867
May 19, 2019

it was an ok book, the movie was better though

k
Kaelynmcintyre
Apr 01, 2019

A friend of mine suggested this book to me and I read it in two days!! I love the plot and how Ruby stays somwhat strong in the worst of times. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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goddessbeth
Jan 20, 2019

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!

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WittySofa
Nov 13, 2018

THE DARKEST MINDS: ALEXANDRA BRACKEN
CHARACTERS: First off, the characters are all pretty shallow. There really wasn’t anything about them that came as a surprise to me. Clancy was extremely predictable, and within seconds of meeting Liam, I thought: here we go, the stereotypical romance. I really didn’t like how Ruby didn’t seem to … do anything. She didn’t feel like a strong female lead, just someone bumbling around. And was that a rape I read there? I mean, if Clancy knows how to erase memory, then she wouldn’t remember, but really? Oh, and Lady Jane? I felt as if she was just there because the author thought, “You know what’d be cool? A foreign Bounty Hunter Lady with a regal name.” No real purpose to her.
PLOT: Road trip. The first couple of chapters pulled me in, and the rest afterwards was predictable and kinda sad. I wasn’t entertained, and the whole book had a “this is an introduction to a bigger series” feel to it. It felt like a prologue that was long and pretty boring.
ACCURACY: Alright, I love me a good dystopia. I was interested into finding out more about this strange America, but the more I tried to figure it out the more confused I was. First off, why is this IAAN only in America? If it’s contagious, airports all over the world would be shut down because it would spread like wildfire. Also, what are the differences between Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red? All we know is they get progressively more dangerous, but do the powers change based on the person? Is it like Blues are telekinetic and Yellows have lightning fingers? The world building was extremely minimal, and while I understand holding back some info for the end, you gotta give me the basics straight out.
RECOMMENDATION: This book made me remember why I don’t follow the hype (Like with Divergent). It’s poorly written with a basic plot and a stereotypical dystopia that can’t explain itself to save its life. It doesn’t surprise me the hype followed to the movie, where the audience liked it but the critics realized this story can’t carry itself even in cinematic format.

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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 into a movie (speaking of the movie, it was WAAAAAYY better than the book—surprise!).

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.

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Quotes

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h
Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

"It feels like we should do something. Like, send her off on a barge out to sea and set her on fire. Let her go out in a blaze of glory."

"Its a minivan, not a Viking."

k
Kaelynmcintyre
Jun 02, 2019

“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"

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.”

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Age

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h
Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

Hannah Acabal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

o
olive_cat_258
Jun 03, 2020

olive_cat_258 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

c
Crowfeather77
Aug 16, 2019

Crowfeather77 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

a
Anna Beyer
Jun 25, 2019

Anna Beyer thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

k
Kaelynmcintyre
Jun 02, 2019

Kaelynmcintyre thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

t
TheRandomBoi
Apr 18, 2019

TheRandomBoi thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

r
Ravindersidhu
Apr 13, 2019

Ravindersidhu thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

g
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

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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.

a
AmaranthWolf
Oct 24, 2013

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

Summary

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a
AmaranthWolf
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

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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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