Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Published by Disney Hyperion (10.15.2013)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Source: I own it
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
Caution: Possible spoilers for The Darkest Minds
Wow, you guys, just wow! Sometimes middle books have this thing called Second Book Syndrome – yeah, you know what I’m talking about – and you end up being totally disappointed. Such was NOT the case with this one! It was just as good as the first book. It blew me away!
As I mentioned in my review of the In Time novella, Alexandra’s prose is very engaging. She has a way with words! She’s also a pro at characterization. All of the characters felt so real. Actually, I kinda wish they were, so we could be friends in real life. I loved the characters just as much as I did in The Darkest Minds! Ruby! Liam! CHUBS! I love Chubs. I love him so much. He’s definitely my favorite character of this series!
“I’m not the same person. I’m not, and I know that. I’m not okay with who I am or what I had to do, but I’m also not okay with us separating again! Don’t do that! Don’t just disappear! If you’re mad at me, then hit me or something – just don’t think that I don’t want to stay with you. I’ll always want to stay with you!”
I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I CAN’T TAKE IT. Even when he was being an asshat, it was because he cared too much. He covers up fear and pain with anger, and sometimes takes things out on the wrong people. But underneath it all, it’s because he cares about them. He just wanted to protect them. And the best thing? There is no romance between Chubs and Ruby. It’s strictly platonic. I LOVE THIS. It’s so, SO rare to see relationships like that anymore! It was the perfect platonic best friend relationship. *hugs book to chest* (Also, I miss Zu!!)
Ruby is probably one of my favorite heroines I’ve ever read. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and would do anything to protect them, even if it meant making the hard decision. Sacrificing something for them. It’s funny, because she didn’t view herself in a very positive light – actually, in this book she struggles a bit with the darkness inside of her. She thinks she’s a monster, and jokes about her “winning personality” – even her peers see her as a bit of an ice queen. But, I think she’s brave and selfless. She puts others above herself constantly, and deep down the most important thing to her is keeping her loved ones safe.
I had something to accomplish and people to protect, and no one – especially not Rob Meadows – was going to keep me from it so long as there was breath in my body.
I also enjoyed meeting the new characters! I really liked Jude. He was simple, and a bit clingy and okay, kind of annoying sometimes; but he had an innocence to him, and he was like a ball of sunshine. I swear, nothing got that kid down. It was endearing, though…I wanted to hug him! View Spoiler »I refuse to believe he is dead. I REFUSE. « Hide Spoiler
And then there’s Vida. Oh, Vida…how do I feel about you? I still don’t really know. I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to knock her teeth out in the beginning. She was just so…insufferable. Good lord, she was awful. Like Chubs said, she’d drive a saint to murder. But then, suddenly, she wasn’t so bad anymore. She started looking out for Ruby and the gang, protecting them. It was clear that she started caring about them. And she started growing on me. (Like a fungus.) I started laughing at her horrible comments instead of being annoyed. She has a terrible sense of humor, I’ll say that, but the back and forth banter between her and the others was actually pretty amusing.
“You – you – I can’t -” Chubs sputtered, too furious to form an actual sentence. “Come out here. Right now!”
“Come and get me, big boy,” she sang back. “I know I don’t have the parts you like, but we can always make it work.”
“Oh, like a functioning brain?” he shouted.
“I’m trying to make up for the sleep I lost when you started screeching at each other like cats in heat.”
“Miss Vida,” Liam said, “has anyone ever told you that you are positively the whipped cream on the sundae of life?”
She glared at him. “Anyone ever told you your head is shaped like a pencil?”
Another thing I loved about this book: I was 100% emotionally invested. I got a little misty sometimes at the stupidest things! (It’s kind of embarrassing, really.) View Spoiler »I was very surprised by how emotional I got when Ruby found Chubs! I didn’t realize how freaking much I’d missed him!! « Hide Spoiler ALL THE FEELS, GUYS. Lots of warm fuzzies, lots of shocks, but also sorrow, I’m afraid. Ruby and Liam’s interactions were so heartbreaking. I hated the distance between them! View Spoiler »But I was SO glad that he got his memories back!! A little piece of my soul died when she wiped his memories in the first book. I was seriously hoping it was reversible, so yay! « Hide Spoiler
There were so many times where I was holding my breath, frantically flipping the pages to find out what happened next. So much action – this book was explosive! There was never a dull moment. Even when there wasn’t anything happening (which was rare anyway), it was interesting.
Boy, does Alexandra Bracken know how to write an ending. I should have known, though, with the way both Darkest Minds and In Time ended. View Spoiler »I still want to know what the hell happened to Gabe!!! « Hide Spoiler I’m almost afraid to read the last book!
“Sometimes you’re the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don’t mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can’t dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you’re made of.”
“Life isn’t fair,” I said. “It’s taken me a while to get that. It’s always going to disappoint you in some way or another. You’ll make plans, and it’ll push you in another direction. You will love people, and they’ll be taken away no matter how hard you fight to keep them. You’ll try for something and won’t get it. You don’t have to find meaning in it; you don’t have to try to change things. You just have to accept the things that are out of your hands and try to take care of yourself.”
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 5/5
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