The Darkest Minds (a Darkest Minds Novel, Book 1)

The Darkest Minds (a Darkest Minds Novel, Book 1)

4.16 (176,782 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.16 (176,782 ratings by Goodreads)
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Soon to be a major motion picture!

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 got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

But when the truth about Ruby's abilities--the truth she's hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities--comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who 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.

While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them--East River--they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they've dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 147 x 213 x 39mm | 671g
  • Hyperion Books For Children
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1423157370
  • 9781423157373
  • 10,013

Review quote

A mysterious disease has killed most of America's children, and those few who survived have developed stunning new powers, including telekinesis and mind control. Suddenly terrified of its own children, the government rounds up the young survivors, confining them in camps where they are strictly monitored and controlled. Sixteen-year-old Ruby, imprisoned since her tenth birthday, has been keeping secret the true extent of her mind-control powers. Rescued by the Children's League, she quickly realizes that the League has plans of its own for her future and escapes her rescuers, joining up instead with a ragtag group of fellow fugitives led by would-be hero Liam. On the run from government agents, bounty hunters, League members, and even other runaways, Ruby and her companions search for the Slip Kid, the leader of an underground safe house for kids. The Slip Kid turns out also to have an agenda, and Ruby is faced with deciding how much she will sacrifice for her future and her freedom. Heart-wrenching but completely riveting, the novel pulls no punches, creating a bleak world where the best that children can hope is to escape those who would imprison or manipulate them is the best that children can hope for. Resisting the urge to overexplain, Bracken carefully employs hints and flashbacks to reveal essential background information, and the gradual revelation of the story's many secrets ratchets up the anxiety. The resolute harshness, though, is tempered by genuine emotional connections between the survivors and playful banter between friends; a blossoming romance emerges between Ruby and Liam but never overshadows Ruby's personal emotional journey. Fans of the darker elements of Collins' The Hunger Games (BCCB 11/08) and Shusterman's Unwind (BCCB 2/08) will want to pick up this inventive new take on the science fiction survival story. AM BCCB"
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About Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds series and Passenger series. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in publishing for several years, Alex now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that's perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at and on Twitter @alexbracken.
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Rating details

176,782 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 45% (79,247)
4 34% (60,400)
3 15% (26,928)
2 4% (7,368)
1 2% (2,839)

Our customer reviews

The darkest minds tells the tragic story of a virus that's killing children and destroying families. The children that are not killed by the virus are still ruined by it. The virus gives the surviving children disastrous powers which can be fatal in the wrong hands. The main character Ruby's life is turned upside down by one simple loving action that changes everything and leaves her with nothing. The story follows Ruby as she is sent to a 'rehabilitation camp', well this is what it is advertised as, little does Ruby know life just got even worse the moment she steps onto the camp grounds. From the first day at camp Ruby has a secret and the only way Ruby can survive is by keeping it hidden, but when her secret is suspected she must escape and once she's out of camp she must be cautious with who she trusts. The story grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go. I thoroughly enjoyed the immense amount of action that kept me wanting more, there's twists throughout the story that keep you on your toes in suspense. The character development was amazing in both Ruby and the side characters, we see romance blossom and friendships made, we see goodies turn baddies and much more, so much so that every chapter you will have a new question that will keep you reading to get the answers. I lost so much sleep reading this book but it was worth every minute. I would recommend this to everyone as there is something for all book lovers to enjoy throughout the story. I loved this book so much I had to restrain myself from diving head first into the second book, but trust me I will be reading it soon:) I hope this review has helped you, can you please rate it positively if you liked it as it really means a lot to me, Many Thanks for reading:)show more
by Sarah Martin
Februrary turned out to be a really good reading month for me when it came to reading. I read quite a few amazing books last month and The Darkest Minds was on of them. In fact out of the whole month this was my absolute favourite read. I had had this one on my TBR list since March of 2012 so it was great to finally get my hands on a copy and start reading. I thought that Alexandra Bracken's sophomore young adult novel was an awesome showcase of her talent. I expected this to be the usual dystopian read where the girl has strange powers blah, blah, blah. But I was completely taken by surprise. Instead of the whiney, angsty novel I was expecting I was taken on a fast paced adventure ride. I absolutely loved the story of Ruby. As a character she is near the top of my favourite young adult heroines. She's smart, funny, awkward, and willing to do anything she can to keep her new friends including her love interest Liam safe even if it means making the reader (me) scream at her in frustration at the end of the book. If you've read the book you'll know what I'm referring to. Anyways, back to Ruby. I loved the fact that she struggled with her ability throughout the entirety of the novel. She didn't go from being awkward to a super confident stuck up girl like many characters do after they experience life changing moments which I really appreciated because no one likes a perfect character. The other characters were great too. Even the bad guys. I really liked getting to know Zu, and Chubs. They were both interesting characters though Chubs always seemed to make me laugh at his snarky remarks. Liam though takes the cake when it comes to side characters and love interests though. He's the good guy which I love seeing in young adult noels because I find that the "bad boy" love interest thing is way too over done. I loved how protective he was of Ruby and anyone else who needed his help. The story line was interesting. I liked that it centered around a disease that killed off the majority of Children but left those that remained with certain abilities. Plus the whole segregation of the kids with these abilities from the general public was interesting. The writing of The Darkest Minds was quite spectacular. It was fast paced and had many plot twists that I loved. The fact that it wasn't a straight forward love story but more of a thriller was great. I loved how the author was able to create such real characters that were perfect in the fact that they were flawed like everyone else. I also liked that this was a bit of a darker, more grown up YA novel because the author wasn't afraid of dropping the F-bomb and other expletives every once in a while. The dialogue between her characters was very well done as well it flowed easily and wasn't robotic or forced. What I loved the most was that the story of The Darkest Minds was able to draw me in for hours at a time and left me saddened at the end of the first book wishing there was a sequel readily available for me to read immediately. I'm completely and utterly enthralled with Ruby's story and I really can't wait to see what happens in the sequel when it's released. For me this is probably one of the best YA books I've ever read and I'm so glad I read it when I did. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves YA novels. There's a bit of romance, a lot of betrayal, violence and will keep you wanting to read into the wee hours of the night. Alexandra Bracken gives a likable female heroine that readers can invest in and one who they'll cheer more
by Kimberly Roy
Let the fangirling commence. Oh my goodness, what a story. I loved it from the first word to the last emotional scene. Alexandra has created a story with a unique plot, amazing characters, and she is one heck of a writer. I couldn't believe the emotional roller coaster that she took me on and this masterpiece that she wrote with the OMG moments, did she seriously just do that to this character that I love, she made me laugh, want to cry, want to rip people's hair out, and mostly just sit in awe of how beautifully she crafted The Darkest Minds. I loved the premise from the moment that I read it, and Alexandra really pulls it off well. She breathed her own breath of fresh air into the genre and wrote some awesome ideas and scary elements to the chilling world she has created in The Darkest Minds. The plot was woven together wonderfully. Alexandra told us what we needed to know at the moment and then filled in the details later by showing them and acting them out. While I admit I was a bit confused with some of the lingo and exactly what happened (I thought I missed something), I later saw how she put it all together. Ruby is an amazing main character. I loved how much she grew and changed in this story, and I really admire the person she turned into at the end even more so than the one that I connected with at the beginning. I love her fighter spirit and how much she cares for and would do anything for the people that she loves. There is also a great cast of secondary characters. Liam, so crushworthy and such a born leader. Speaking of, I admired how the romance in here was subtle, ie no insta love. I appreciated how they got to know each other, and even though there was physical attraction, there was also an emotional connection. On to the others though. Chubs, ever loyal to those he cares about, and full of surprises. Zu, the precious and strong younger character that you want to shield and hope the best for. And then there were the characters like Clancy that I never knew what exactly to make of. There are also some awesomely written antagonists, that make me want to scream at them and wonder at their methods and how they sleep at night. All that said, I must warn that this is a dark book for mature teens. There's some (not on every page or anything though) cursing that I found slightly offensive, but given what was going on, I could overlook. There is also some fairly descriptive talk about injuries/blood. (All of this is in arc the advanced reader copy) Back to what I loved-- I so can't wait to get the next book in this series, and find out more about what happens to Ruby and what comes of the incredibly brave but heart wrenching choices that she made. Bottom line: Absolutely loved and recommend. Wonderful start to a new trilogy. Awesome quote: She didn't know there were two of me now; split between everything I had wanted and everything I would now have to be. One of me... would stay... (The other) thin as a wisp of air and had struggled so long just to more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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