The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Goodreads Synopsis: 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…

I cut off part of the synopsis because it summarized the entire book.

I was looking forward to reading The Darkest Minds but I kept putting it off and read other books until my friend begged me and said it was the best book they’ve ever read. It just so happened to be that it was free on Amazon at the time.

A disease called Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN) has killed off children, those who survived developed powers. The government’s solution was to put all the children into “rehabilitation” camps, which are in fact concentration camps where the kids get abused and killed. The children are sorted into colors: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Red and orange are “dangerous” powers, and yellow, green, and blue are “safe” powers.

Ruby has been locked up in Thurmond since she was ten-years old, six years later an organization wanting to use her powers helps her escape. Ruby breaks away from her rescuers and runs into three escapees- Liam, Chubs and Zu- from another camp, the four of them seek out East River thinking it’s a safe haven.

This book started out great! At the beginning everything was so frightening and unique, it held a lot of potential… Then after Ruby escaped it turned into a cliché, predictable, and incredibly boring genetic dystopia until the last 2/3rds when they finally got to East River…

The world and powers weren’t explained very well, and it was frustrating. Ruby is very foolish and gets herself into some pretty avoidable situations, but she does become confident and less annoying towards the end. The romance with Liam felt unrealistic and forced. Chubs had his moments and started to grow on me towards the end. Zu was precious and hands down my favorite character.

The ending caught me so off guard and made my heart hurt… but since I didn’t like a majority of the book I won’t be continuing.