Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living. (Summary from Goodreads)

I loved this book. I read the whole series in less than a week. It was an intriguing premise, one that though seems nearly impossible is probably one of the most realistic ways the the world could "end." All of the kids get sick and get stuck in rehab camps to make them better. It's like a mix between Outbreak, X-men, and Enemy of the State.

The main focus of the story revolves around Ruby, a girl who can take away your memories by touching your hand. She escapes camp with the help of the Children's League, but suspecting them of dastardly motivations, runs away from them too. She runs straight into a small group of other kids on the run and together they try to find a safe place somewhere, anywhere.

Part of what I loved about the story is that the main love interest isn't the bad guy. He isn't out to kill Ruby or putting her in danger. He does want to protect her, but he realizes that she's strong enough to protect herself. So we have a strong female protagonist who isn't looking for love in all the wrong places or being controlled by a male presence. Instead she makes friends who (eventually) respect her for who she is and love her for it.

I love how the characters change and evolve throughout the story, realistically learning from their mistakes but making more as teenagers do. Chubs, my favorite character, is adorable, funny, and super protective of his friends. I really enjoyed watching him slowly trust Ruby and seeing their friendship grow.

This is a must read!

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