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.
In order to celebrate this book(series) becoming a movie (franchise) I decided it was time for a reread, and considering it has been over two years since I last read it… it was about time I refreshed my mind and relearned why Chubs was -and still is- one of my fave bookboys.
The Darkest Minds, is the first book in a trilogy dystopian that tells the story of how the world falls apart after being struck by a strange disease that only seems to infest children. The disease, called IAAN, infects children and causes them to die without a notice.
But the disease is not the true danger here. It’s the survivors who are at risk.
Ruby is almost ten when IAAN hits America. Her class full of people becomes a small group of children, waiting to die. Adults around her are becoming more and more secretive but, by accident, Ruby find out the truth behind the disease and the risks she stands as a child.
But instead of becoming sick, Ruby discovers she’s one of the survivors. One of the kids whom are different. Cursed or blessed with abilities that puts her in a camp under the surveillance of the PSI force.
Before the children enter the camps they have to be divided according to ability. And the more dangerous you are (bending fire, controlling minds…), the less change of survival you have.
And Ruby… Ruby is as dangerous as it gets.
This book was a quick favorite to me because of it’s easy writing and the likeable characters. It takes some time to get used to Ruby because she’s a scared mouse when trapped inside that camp. She doesn’t stand up for herself but rather hides away, and to me it was difficult to get into her mindset but she grew on me. I understood her reasoning behind the scared mask.
I didn’t have any trouble getting to like Liam or Zu, and I loved Chubs right off the bat.
The setting also drew me in. It’s about these escapees that drive around in a stolen black mini van all across America while on the run from bountry hunters. It includes witty writing, chase-and-run scenes, badassery on Ruby’s part and some epic ability usage. And the grim background (the camps that resemble the work camps from earlier wars in our history but also the abandoned and broken homes of America’s greatest cities) make sure the story has an extra edge.
It’s so well done!
The easy writing comes in handy when there’s all this stuff to learn about IAAN, about the seperate kinds of abilities and the variety of camps throughout the country. There’s a lot of world-building that Alexandra has to go through but it never slows the story down. The pace keeps up, and I love that about this book.
The ending of this book could have been a little better since Ruby makes a 180 change in her persona (she goes from zero to hero within 0.5 seconds) but even that didn’t bother me much when I read it. It’s that good!
I rated this book 5 stars out of 5 (obviously). I recommend it to anyone who loves reading dystopians that include badass mind-control, telekinesis and roadtrips. It also has a lot of funny and witty humor and easy-to-like characters that will stay with you forever.
*I have a Chubs obsession*