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
As this is out of my own pocket, you must be following me by Bloglovin’ or email to win. Open internationally wherever the Book Depository ships for free.
YES!!! So glad you liked this book. Chubs and Ruby have an awesome relationship, especially because they’re friends who rely on each other and he’s not just in the story for an added layer of “drama” (aka love triangle). The relationship between all of the characters is great, and I especially love Ruby. I hope you like IN THE AFTERLIGHT just as much!!
:) Great review!
Yay! Super happy that you loved this one. This series is really good and I just finished it a few months ago. Can’t wait to see what you think of In the Afterlight!
I read Never Fade last year and it just ripped me apart!! Now, I’m DYING to get my hands on In The AfterLight and judging by the reviews, it looks like more heart break. For me, this series is one of the best when it comes to plot and word building. Absolutly fantastic!!! So glad you loved it too.
I’ve been wanting to read The Darkest Minds for a long time now but never had the chance to actually buy one for myself. Great review, btw. Will put this now on my to-buy list ASAP.
Thanks for the giveaway! I followed you on instagram but i think i misspelled my username and i don’t know how to edit, it should be “slipintobooks”.
Thanks for the giveaway and I’m currently reading The Darkest Minds! ;) I’m really liking it!
Quite happy you enjoyed Never Fade. It keeps one glued to it and one can’t literally put it down. What devastated me most was the thing with Jude though. (Don’t want to spoil it for anyone.) I was beyond my mind afterwards. And Cole is my spirit animal. His hate/low relationship with Liam is interesting.
I love Ruby so much though. Like, I wish I had her strength and braveness. This series is one of my all-time-favorite ones. Wow
I really loved Neverfade,honestly I wasn’t that impressed with the first book in the trilogy.I mean,I liked it but I didnt LOVE it .I reeally liked Neverfade because of the character development.
I am new to your blog, I like how you break everything down in your overall assessment of the book. I’m sure I will be a regular reader now. Thank you for such a generous giveaway! :)
The Darkest Minds has been on my to-read list in like, maybe forever? XD I’m glad you enjoyed the sequel; this series sounds promising! And thanks for the giveaway (:
I’ve been waiting for this book since forever. Thank you for the giveaway ;)
I didn’t read the review all the way, since The Darkest Minds is on my Kindle waiting to be devoured. The fact that you love this series so much makes me want to read it all the sooner :) And thanks for the giveaway chance, sweets <333
I was having second thoughts about reading The Darkest Minds but then I read your review and decided what the heck, why don’t I give it a try! :)) By the way, thank you for this chance! *Keeping my fingers crossed*
I’ve been wanting to read Darkest Minds for a decade now. But I haven’t bought the book yet. Now, given the chance to win. Then I may get to read it asap. :)
Thank you for the amazing giveaway! I loved The Darkest Minds and Never Fade, and I would love to see what happens next :)