To Fill Up & Live | The Darkest Minds

I haven't blogged in week. Because I've been reading. I know, I know. Crappy excuse. But true, so I get points for that, yes? I got sucked into the world that is Sarah J. Maas' Crown of Midnight and then I had to bury myself in The Darkest Minds so I'd have a review for our bookclub book of the month. So in a way, I've been such a bad blogger last week so I can be a good blogger now :) So, about this book review...

Title: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publication: Hyperion 2012

Character(s): Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Zu

Main Plot: Ruby thought she was lucky to survive IAAN, the disease that killed most of America's children. Having spent 6 years in a treatment camp, she soon realizes that there are fates far worse than death. And Ruby's lethal, and she's looking for a safe haven. But what is "safe" anymore?

Favorite Quote:

"Well, we'll just have to try to make better mistakes tomorrow."

"Let's carpe the hell out of this diem."

"Try to imagine where we'd be without you, darlin', and then maybe you'll see just how lucky we got."

"Did you know... you make me so happy that sometimes I actually forget to breath?"

My Rating: 4.5

I need to note that I really dislike writing full reviews right after I've finished a novel. Sure, I'll jot down a thought or two, but I never feel like my thoughts are coherent enough for a review directly after. I'm left without a choice here as I just flipped the final page of The Darkest Minds less than an hour ago. So bare with me.

And trust me when I say, this needs to be read. By you. Was it perfect? Nope. But overall, it's a must read. Why? Well, because not only is it a fast, action packed novel akin to a car chase (pun intended), but something about it just feels important. After a disease wipes out a large portion of America's teenage population, surviving children are rounded up and placed in a treatment camp, where they are classified into colors based on mental abilities. Ruby, our protagonist, is masquerading as a harmless color for years, but really she's one of the dangerous ones. This novel sucks you in and swallows you up, in the best way possible. Bracken handled the complicated world-building in an expert way, keeping us on the edge of our seats but not in the dark. She utilizes flashback brilliantly to do this. She let me know just enough about what was going on without info-dumping everything on me, yet still maintaining suspense. There were quite a few WTF moments. Which reminds me, while Bracken doesn't use slang terms like "wtf" in her novel, I really love her use of a more casual tone in her writing. It made me smile and made me love certain characters even more.

The only downside? I love pretty much all the characters, even those that weren't around very long. But, Kari, that's not a bad thing. Well... except the protagonist. Ruby is, she's a bit of a mystery to me in so far as her character is concerned, which, believe me, is an improvement from how I felt about her in the very beginning. Up until about a third of the way through the novel, Ruby frustrated me. Although I understood her position (being locked up in a camp for most of your adolescence does little to make you a fierce, super hero), I found myself angry with her at times. I warmed up to her eventually, but, basically, the jury is out for the moment regarding the feels towards Ruby. Bracken did an excellent job with her character development throughout this first novel. But despite how far she's come and how strong she is (seriously at the end, homegirl is stronger than I could ever be), I still feel like I don't know her well enough, something I'm not use to feeling when a novel is written from the first person point of view aka Ruby's own head. (I mean, hello? If I still don't know you after swimming in your head for 500 some odd pages, will I ever?)

The Darkest Minds was a great story. It just seems like it wasn't organically her story. Ruby as a narrator feels lackadaisical for quite a bit of the story and I found myself wishing Liam or bloody mouth boy from the beginning were telling it instead. 

With that said, I know, why would you want to read it? Oh, but you do! This adventurous novel is a perfect fall read. It's dark and captivating and just the book to lead me into the season - and the series :)

Have you read The Darkest Minds? If so, link up with us down below!

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Our September book of the month is - TA DA! - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, a masterpiece about the all-consuming power of love, passion and revenge. It's a welcome reread for me, and I hope you'll join us to rediscover the magic of this one! This gothic-romance classic is the perfect read for October.

How fantastically creepy is this cover?! [ Source]

Speaking of October, tomorrow marks the start of my favorite time of year, and I can't wait! Tune it tomorrow to see what all the fuss is about!