Thursday, January 10, 2013
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
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.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
In this one, we piece Ruby together but only when she wants us to; made slightly more difficult because this girl really doesn’t want anyone to know anything about her. So, for a good long while there, she’s a mystery to us and the world she's living in is with only slightly more clear with some details. There’s enough detail to snag you and wonder about how that could be, but not enough as it seems I was perpetually unsure if what I was picturing was accurate, wondering for instance why a teacher would go on about having more swings for the rest of them.
They’ve lost their kids with those left labeled and separated or worse. In this, Ruby’s world is small because what she doesn’t know is things are just as bad (worse?) else where. The iffy bit for me is rather than go with the way things were going, in this aspect of the story we’re told (or at least she is) of an outside world that’s destroyed. And it started off so well, too! Save this bit, I was sucked into her world. The smaller one at least, of her and those like her (the rest of the world, it all just felt vague and too “what now” at times. Think of it this way, anything bad that’s to happen at the end of the world… I think it all might have happened here.)
So on the one had we’re told the world’s gone to shit, then on the other Ruby is proof positive of one aspect of that…except that there’s too few details regarding that (initially.) So, here I am sorting through my feelings of “I like this but I don’t like that… but I sort of like that bit.” Consequence: I’m just not sure. Because while I disliked the lack of detail and the telling about the overall condition of the world, I also enjoyed the lack of detail for her and the necessity that made to piece things together myself! Yes, I am a contrary person. Perhaps, that there’s little to go on that I ended up imagining scarier and scarier things for them to suffer? But it’s not all in my imagination as this one’s filled with scary things of the personal then the real sort. Personal, with her secrets and her memories and sharing then being vulnerable; but the scary, too with the mind control and picking sides and maybe being wrong about that.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. I mean sure there’s a romance, but it’s one that doesn’t drown out everything else. You’ve got to love how the two aren’t each others’ everything; they don’t live in each others pocket and are each concerned about something outside the other given all other around them: Chubs and Zu specifically who both added a dash of real then sweet respectively. The two tempered the too scary moments, Chubs with his real but solid friend vibe, and then Zu with a presence that allowed for the sweet in all of them to shine through.
That said, it’s this that I felt the weakest in the story. Were I to compare the growing bond between the Lee and Ruby versus those connections between Lee and Chubs or even Lee and Zu or even Chubs and Zu, I’d say the romance was ‘meh’ compared to the stronger, more real connections of the three. At least there, there’s a history. The romance was simply… well… I’ve been there and back again so many times before. Not to mention the odd sudden slips of his darlin’s every now and then. I mean, really?
Those are minor though as I was heartbroken over the outcome. It is in fact what’s got me more excited for what’s coming.
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