22 Aug 2018

Double #Review: THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken

Hello all! I have a special post for you today where I review

THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken!

I am reviewing both the book and the movie since I took myself on a date to the movies to see it. I am reviewing the book first, then the movie and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you! So, let's get to it!


Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Source: Purchased from Kobo
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Rating: 3/5 stars

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.
This wasn't a bad book per say. I didn't mind reading it, but I thought it was pretty predictable. I felt like I knew everything that was going to happen before it did. Maybe I just have some latent mind powers though. You never know.

I didn't really connect with the characters and I thought the relationships weren't as fleshed out as they could be. I didn't feel the love between Liam and Ruby as much as I wanted to and I felt it even less between Clancy and Ruby. I thought the best described relationship was between Ruby and Zu. So yay for female friendships! But I would have liked there to be more. It felt like there were missing scenes for me to believe that these characters were all friends and for Liam and Ruby to be so connected (because they weren't "in love" which was actually a nice touch), but the ending didn't make me sad, it just made me shrug and say well I'm sure they will be together eventually.

Clancy wasn't a surprise to me at all. You know why? Because there always has to be the token good guy and the token bad guy for the heroine to choose between. Why can't both guys be good and nice for once. Like I would like to surround myself with Peeta Mellarks and just live out that life. I am taking a stand against the "bad boy but not for me" trope and saying "NOPE I'M NOT HERE FOR THIS" because ugh. I'm sure we will see more of Clancy though so yay.

I thought there was some weird pacing and the beginning was really slow. I thought maybe there was going to be more about the powers and their development because isn't that what the book is about? But no, we got minimal exploration into the powers and really minimal "powers" in general. The most that we saw of the use of powers was at the end or in random bursts from Ruby. I would have liked the training sessions with Clancy to be more drawn out because I kind of didn't believe the ending. I thought Ruby had way too much control for what we had seen from her before to do what she did at the end.

But this is still a solid book. There is a pretty predictable and followed through plot happening from what I can tell. It's a trilogy but it feels like it probably could be a duology in my opinion. But I will be continuing and I will have more thoughts. And I am told I will probably like Vida. So here's to hoping!
The movie was pretty good - much better than the book. However, all the points that I got bored in the book, I also got bored in the movie. I even left to pee at one point because I knew I didn't care and would have the time to get to the bathroom and back before something exciting happened again.

I did think there was room to bring more nuance to the relationships and characters, but I thought they at least started to feel more realistic than what we got in the book. I also felt more for Ruby and Liam than I did when I was reading. It felt more and better in the movie - probably because I thought the actors had good chemistry and I could actually see them together.

I will say that the best part of this is that Ruby was played by Amandla Stenberg. She is such an amazing actor and I loved that Ruby, who could have just been played by your average white girl, was played by a black, gay, and nonbinary person! It was amazing! Give more roles to Amandla!

I probably will continue to see the movies if they make them. I have officially stopped reading the books, but the movies had good cinematography, teens playing teens, and much better visuals than what I was given in the books. If you have the opportunity to see this one, get to it!

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