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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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. 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 forc…

The Darkest Minds

by Alexandra Bracken

Overall Book Review:

The Darkest Minds was a surprisingly deep novel, for a post-apocalyptic novel.  It set itself apart from the rest of its genre with deeper themes beyond survival and teenage relationships and managed to dabble a bit in the category of tragedy.  In addition to this, The Darkest Minds introduced a fairly fresh spin on your average apocalypse and produced a tight-knit group of friends for the reader to connect with.  Admittedly, The Darkest Minds teeters on the edge of love triangle (going over most likely would have resulted in the book’s fiery demise–the teen fiction genre already has a surplus of love triangle tales), but Bracken had the wisdom to not venture into that territory.  What also made the novel enjoyable was some of its allusions to classic works of literature, which gave the novel a more educated and important feel rather than the roughness that can accompany post-apocalypse novels.  An excellent read!

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 60 religious exclamations, 44 minor obscenities, 8 religious profanities, 1 derogatory name, 11 scatalogical words, 15 anatomical terms, and 3 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore: Several characters are threatened; there are multiple reports of violence and death; several non-life threatening injuries of varying degree, some accompanied with graphic descriptions and blood.  Several battles occur involving psychic powers, guns, knives, fists, electricity, and explosions that result in death, gore and injury.  There is one non-detailed scene of violent death; several instances of blood and gore and one extended instance of blood and gore-a character shoots herself in the head with a pistol; there are several intense battle scenes–a massacre, a large battle, etc.

Sex/Nudity: Characters kiss, cuddle, hold hands, and caress each other.  There is one scene where it is implied that a character may have attempted to rape another character, but is very vague and unclear about what is happening and whether or not it actually happened.

Mature Subject Matter:

Violence, internment camps, orphans, parents rejecting children, death of children, corrupt government, love.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Some teenage characters drink alcohol.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I enjoy reading adventure books like Gary Paulsen’s The Hatchet, probably because I like to lead an active life. Outside of reading, I camp, hike, run cross country and work on a farm, and a lot of these experiences let me appreciate the content of a good book, as well as the unlimited possibilities that can happen between its covers.