The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has 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.
Publishes in US: Dec 18th 2012
Series? yes, first in trilogy. I couldn't find any information about next
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I loved the premise from the moment that I read it, and Alexandra really pulls it off well. She breathed her own breath of fresh air into the genre and wrote some awesome ideas and scary elements to the chilling world she has created in The Darkest Minds. The plot was woven together wonderfully. Alexandra told us what we needed to know at the moment and then filled in the details later by showing them and acting them out. While I admit I was a bit confused with some of the lingo and exactly what happened (I thought I missed something), I later saw how she put it all together.
Ruby is an amazing main character. I loved how much she grew and changed in this story, and I really admire the person she turned into at the end even more so than the one that I connected with at the beginning. I love her fighter spirit and how much she cares for and would do anything for the people that she loves.
There is also a great cast of secondary characters. Liam, so crushworthy and such a born leader. Speaking of, I admired how the romance in here was subtle, ie no insta love. I appreciated how they got to know each other, and even though there was physical attraction, there was also an emotional connection. On to the others though. Chubs, ever loyal to those he cares about, and full of surprises. Zu, the precious and strong younger character that you want to shield and hope the best for. And then there were the characters like Clancy that I never knew what exactly to make of. There are also some awesomely written antagonists, that make me want to scream at them and wonder at their methods and how they sleep at night.
All that said, I must warn that this is a dark book for mature teens. There's some (not on every page or anything though) cursing that I found slightly offensive, but given what was going on, I could overlook. There is also some fairly descriptive talk about injuries/blood. (All of this is in arc the advanced reader copy)
Back to what I loved-- I so can't wait to get the next book in this series, and find out more about what happens to Ruby and what comes of the incredibly brave but heart wrenching choices that she made.
Bottom line: Absolutely loved and recommend. Wonderful start to a new trilogy.
She didn't know there were two of me now; split between everything I had wanted and everything I would now have to be. One of me... would stay... (The other) thin as a wisp of air and had struggled so long just to be.
Would you try to escape if you thought it would hurt others?