The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds Series #1)

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds Series #1)

by Alexandra Bracken

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Book one in the hit series that's soon to be a major motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg and Mandy Moore--now with a stunning new look and an exclusive bonus short story featuring Liam and his brother, Cole. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423179184
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 12/18/2012
Series: Darkest Minds Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 12,743
File size: 7 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

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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The Darkest Minds 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 174 reviews.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Disney Hyperion to read for an honest review. I want to thank them for sending it to me. Receiving this book for free in no way influenced my opinion or review. Blurb from Goodreads: 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 forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living. I'll start with the cover. Simple and to the point, I think. If you read the book, you'll completely understand the use of the Psi symbol on the cover. I like that the color scheme involves on two primary colors. And I really love how the symbol color makes it look like fire. The barbed wire around the bottom and top are perfect in conveying the message of the main characters really being trapped (which you'll understand more when you read the book as I don't want to spoil anything). I have a physical copy of this book and I love the feel of the cover. It's that soft paper. Job well done with the cover. I really wasn't sure what to expect as far as the storyline was concerned. I knew it was kind of a dystopian type read, but I wasn't expecting the supernatural Xmen feel that this book gave. Since I love Xmen type stuff, this one was right up my ally. I love how the characters all have some type of power. I also love how the author chose to use a color system for character classification according to "how dangerous" they were: red being the most dangerous of all. Any story that involves people who are oppressed in some way by the government and choose to fight back is always a good read for me. With all the dystopian reads out there now, it's hard to find one that is different, and this certainly did the job for me. And the fun thing was you went into the story completely blind, without knowing the United States was slowly breaking down and without knowing why it was. And the author's world building is fun and different, giving the reader the opportunity to put the pieces together, rather than bore you with tons of explanations and descriptions. Bracken's writing is crisp and clean. It flows and there are no awkward breaks or places to misunderstand what is going on. She unfolds details in subtle ways and allows the reader to work on building the puzzle within their own mind. She perfectly depicts the darkness and loneliness the characters are experiencing in a world that has pitted people against them for being different. The characters are well thought out in this book. I really love the main heroine, Ruby. I didn't find her to be too annoying with her teen angst and self-pitying as I do with other female main characters in YA books. No annoying whiny voice. She tells us her story and the stories of the other characters through her eyes. And she is as much a mystery to herself as she is to us. As she learns, we learn. As she grows, so do we. She is very relatable and certainly shows the innocence and naiveté of a character who has not been "out in the world" to learn. Liam, well, he's sweet and good looking. Totally patient and unconditionally loving. He's nice to a fault and protective to his own detriment. He's funny and also mysterious. You can't help but fall for him. And watching him slowly fall for Ruby is great. He has a huge heart and is what you would certainly call one of the good boys. Chubs and Zu are terrific supporting characters. Chubs is intelligent and a bit non-trusting. But he slowly grows to accept Ruby and it's great to watch their friendship blossom. And I love how Zu conveys all her thoughts through her actions, as she doesn't speak a word the entire book! Clancy, well, I won't say much about it because it will give away the story. But I knew from the start he just was not what he was cracked up to be. And I could not bring myself to trust him at all. One thing I loved about this book is that it did not revolve around the romance between the two characters. There is no insta-love, which is such a nice treat and far turn from so many other dystopians I have read recently. Sure, it was there, lingering until you are just about to explode if the characters don't give in to each other, but it's not the main theme. The main theme is focused on the character's experiences as they work their way through their powers and learn from each other along the way. And the pace is perfect, fast where it needs to be and slow where you would not expect it to be. And Bracken doesn't hold back on the heartbreak but does give you hope that at some point it will be mended. If you enjoy books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Delirium, you will love The Darkest Minds. AS a matter of fact, this book reminded me of one of my favorite reads of the year, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (although there is MUCH less romance in this book than Shatter Me). I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. Thank you again to Disney for providing me with this totally awesome book! 5 out of 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This will be the next Hunger Games or Divergent. Can't wait for the next book! I'm off to research the author now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got hooked on this book about 150 pages in and couldnt put it down! It was absolutely amazing! the ending frustrated me but it made me want to read the next one so much more! I am calling it now, THIS WILL BE THE NEXT BIG THING! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was abslutly amazing, it kept me interested and craveing more the entire story.but to me it had a TERRIBLE ending, i guess i was just expecting somthing diffrent but it just depends on the person i geuss, and useally i woyldnt read a book i fi hear that it has a bad ending but this book is completly defferent and you should take the chanc ebecause over all its the best book ive read in my entire live!!!!!!
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad that I finally had a chance to read this book. And yes, it was freaking awesome! Waking up and finding out the life is not going to be the same is freaky. There is disease going around killing children and yet some children are not dying. Why??? Ruby has the answer to that question. And while I could spoil it for you, I rather have you, the reader, pick up this book and discover why.  And if you do pick up this book, hang on tight. It's going to be one helluva ride! The characters in the book make the story. Following along in Ruby shoes you feel her every emotion, fear, and plea. MY GOD, the plea's is what gets me. The "Please, I'm green." The lonely chant in her head that pleas for her to keep steady, to just hold on a little bit longer. Every time Ruby almost got caught, it had me on the edge of the seat! Every character, even minor ones, contribute to an awesome story that changes Ruby and the reader.  I have to admit that I had no idea what I was going to read when I picked up the book.  MIND BLOWN. I can't wait to read what happens in the sequel cause the ending left me heart-broken and stronger than ever to face what comes next. The Darkest Mind open your eyes to a world that is lead by fear and power.  It captivates the reader with amazing clarity and feel for a dark world. A story that can triumph any reader, The Darkest Mind is superb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apart from the fact of the weakness of the main character the story is very very slow. It almost feels as if i am trudging through knee deep mud with fog all around me wondering, "will this ever end?".the main character is another fact all together. She lacks depth and i wouldn't be surprised if she was scared of her own shadow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a bit too much of these teen end of the world books..but this was one of the better ones. You really feel the danger and just how screwed up the world is, and the people in it. And you really want things to get better...really root for these kids, but it's all a mess.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Minds series is one of the best I have read in a long time. If you liked the Hunger Games, or Divergent, then this is a good book for you. I love the romance, action, and everything about this book. I would recommended to anyone. Great book for any teenager, adult, and anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of my favorite books, no questions asked! I could tell that the author really put her heart into this book, and it was worth it! If you get the chance, READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, this book is one of those few reads that you will always remember and love. It was one of the best books I have ever read. The symbol on the cover is really clever because the psi symbol is a greek symbol with the color orange. I love how the author develops the characters very well. Although she focuses on Ruby and her struggles with her hidden power from the authorities, when she meets Zu, Chubs, and Liam she brings forth the contrasting personalities and how they interact with each other.  Throughout the book you get hints and backstories behind each character that makes you fall in love with them. The author really invests into these characters and the struggles they face in this dystopia society with a corrupt government. My heart experienced a lot of pain in this story, so be ready for mature content because the characters face abuse, violence, and heartbreak. Unlike most dystopia reads that are trending right now, you really understand the characters viewpoints and the plot is unique with concentration-like camps as well as a government trying to take advantage of these traumatized children. Overall, this read was exceptional and I look forward to the next book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dystopian societies, superhuman powers, and great characters. 
abbott123 More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken Age Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up Series: Darkest Minds (Book 1) Hardcover: 496 pages Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (December 18, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1423157370 ISBN-13: 978-1423157373 I received this book from the publisher Hyperion/Disney in exchange for an honest unbiased review. My Review~ After reading this book, I'm absolutely just speechless on how it ended. I keep going through it in my head again and again and can't hardly wait to delve into the next book in the series. The ending leaves you just breathless and on the edge of your seat. The book is very edgy which shows tremendously in the cover! I was wondering what the symbol meant in the book and it was amazingly all revealed. I can not believe all the twists in this book that left you with who is the actual good guy in all the bad guys. I'm still stunned. I just adore Ruby because through everything and even knowing what she is she still is protective of the ones she loves to the very end. This book is even better than the Hunger Games or so far it is the best! Very in-depth read full of action, friendship, sadness, guilt, hope, love, and adventure! This is a great read even for adults who love dystopian reads! All I want to do right now is seriously freak out with- OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG over and over again. I woke up thinking about it this morning and had to re-read the ending which is not normal for me unless it is an absolute page-turner. This book series need to be put into a movie pronto! This budding author sure knows how to deliver one bang up novel can't wait to see what she has in store for Ruby, Liam, Zu, Chubs, and Clancy! All I can keep saying is wow oh wow oh wow! Amazon Book Description~ 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 forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down, i cant wait for the second one. I really hope the following books are even better then this. Even though some parts were slow and confusing they were worth the adventure.
sarah_says More than 1 year ago
I found a new book to add to my "favorite books EVER" category. The Darkest Minds is a spectacular book, and everyone should read it! It has all the right elements to an alluring and emotional story.  This novel is about children who are forced into these rehabilitation camps because they have special powers, and we follow the story of a girl name Ruby. Although they all have powers, some children are considered more dangerous than the rest because they have the ability to manipulate and control minds-Ruby is one of them. She has been taught all her life to fear her powers, but it was only a matter of time before she embraced them and that is where her story began. The concept of this story is so unsettling and frightening-these teenagers have to fend and protect themselves and one another because the government and their families have turned against them. They are never safe, and it seems like they only have three options: 1. death 2. "rehabilitation" camps 3. live their lives on the run. Life for them is never safe, and that really adds suspense and anxiety to the story. It's like every peaceful moment is nothing more than the calm before the storm because in this world, no place is safe for long. Ruby is always on the run, and I felt as if I was pulled in and running along side with her-that's how much I connected with her character. Liam, Chubs, and Zu were all fantastic and very well developed characters. I love Liam's enthusiasm and his ability to see the silver lining in any situation, despite the thick dark clouds that seem to always hover around him. He's strong and smart, but never arrogant or unkind. He was definitely a sweet character, and all the Ruby and Liam moments had me swooning like a little girl.  Chubs, is one of the my favorite characters, hands down. I love his sarcasm and sometimes upright hostility, but even in the beginning when he didn't like Ruby, there was something about him that I did like-his ability to rationalize even in the murkiest situations. The friendship that he and Ruby created was beautiful, and he is a lot stronger than he seems. The ending to the book had me in tears :( I was stuck between anger and sympathy for Ruby, and we all know that those two feeling are completely conflicting. I need Never Fade right now because all this wondering and speculating in my head cannot be healthy...
Disquietus More than 1 year ago
By the end of its prologue, The Darkest Minds reached a fist into my chest and gripped tight onto my heart, it then proceeded to crush it, and my soul, into tiny little microscopic pieces of dust until the last page. Bleak. Devastating. Brutal. Brilliant. This book will break you apart until you’re a quivering heap of tears and you will still want more. This is what dystopian fiction should be. Ruby’s world is a horrific one. Most of the United States child populations has been killed by a mysterious disease and those who did manage to survive it have developed paranormal psychic abilities. Once the government catches on to this they start rounding the kids up into what are effectively concentration camps, under the guise of “rehabilitation”, outright killing the ones they consider the most dangerous-those ranked as yellows, oranges and reds. It’s without a doubt the most disturbing dystopian world I’ve ever come across and Bracken throws the reader into it without mercy. The writing is brilliant, haunting and utterly draining. There were multiple times when I had to pause my reading to close my eyes and just breathe. Bracken’s world-building is rich in detail, the action is intense, heart-stopping and the story is perfectly paced. However the best and brightest part  is the characters. Ruby, Lee, Chubs, Zu. They were all fantastically built, complex, multidimensional, amazing, lovable. I cannot gush about them enough. Despite trying to keep myself emotionally distant from them because this is one of those worlds in which you just know that nobody is safe, they all wormed their way into my heart. Ruby is precious. I feel so immensely protective of her. She’s suffered through the worst that the human race has to offer, lives in terror and has moments where she feels weak and powerless and yet she is so incredibly brave and resilient. She could have easily let herself drown in self-pity and misery but she never lets it happen and that makes me love her all the more. And the moment when she finally embraces her power is some of the best writing and character development I have ever seen. I was drowning in tears and love and pride.  As for the rest of the group? Lee is just an utterly charming southern boy, brave, loyal and true. Chubs, while frustrating at times, with his tough as nails attitude won me over most in the moments when he was tender and vulnerable. And Zu is such a sweet, funny girl. I really appreciated how developed this whole group of character was, and the bond between them all was my absolute favorite part of the story. The sweet blush of romance that develops between Lee and Ruby was also a surprising highlight and felt completely organic, slowly developing over time as they learn to trust each other. This book also holds what might be the creepiest villain I have ever come across. There are actually multiple villains, all with their own secret agendas, another aspect that I really enjoy, but of the two we get to know up close through Ruby’s interactions with them, there was only one that I felt was truly evil. I hear a lot of talk about how Warner (of The Shatter Me series) and the Darkling (of the Grisha trilogy) are the creepiest YA villains but compared to the one in this book they are sweet little puppies. My skin is still crawling and I actually had to force down vomit at two particular moments. TMI I KNOW, but necessary to emphasize my point. The Darkest Minds started with a bang and ended the same. I was left openly sobbing, feeling as if my heart had been wrenched out of my chest and desperate for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Minds was one of the best books i've read this summer. All of the pieces fit together, and the characters were all beautifully sculpted. Never has the ending of a book made me cry so hard! Alexandria Bracken could give Nicholas Sparks a run for his money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this and i absolutely love it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing amazing amazing. Such a great and wonderful adventure read. I definitly reccomend this book to you because you need to read it. The story is about a girl named ruby who is basically a mutant and she escapes her camp and goes on along adventure for the slip kid. Such a great read. At times it can make you laugh or cry. I read this book in two days. Check out this book right now a nd buy it and read the whole 488 page book :-) ; p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
TurningThePagesBlog More than 1 year ago
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 for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first saw the cover i thought it would be a good book. I finished the sample within a matter of minutes and could not put the book( or in this case nook) down! I loved the action and the romance( even though it was a little slow) . However, when the book ended i had a bunch of mixed feelings. I was angry at the fact that one of my favorite characters died and that you know who had to do you know what to free him( LEE) . Overall, my final opinion( even though i was a little upset at the end) is that this is an AWESOME book and i hope that there will be another.
Faith-P 11 months ago
I went into the Darkest Minds expecting the typical YA dystopia storyline that we’ve all heard a million times. Surprisingly, what I found was not the case. While not without shortcomings, this book was a relatively fast read with some really unexpected twists. The book starts out with a world that has been torn apart by a dangerous disease killing all of the children. Those that survive somehow have mysterious powers. The government takes theses Psi kids into camps in order to “rehabilitate them.” In reality, they are basically tortured physically. Ruby Daly is able to escape from one of these camps. She has one of the more dangerous abilities and she had to hide it in order to survive. On the run, she gets together with another band of escaped children as they search for the safe haven known as the East River. But powerful forces are about doing everything they can to take Ruby and harness her powers. My favorite part of the book was definitely its concept. It’s just too eery and frightening. I can’t imagine having to be on the constant run as these characters are. While some parts of the pacing were slow overall it had a nice pace. With something putting these characters in danger practically all the time. Some conflict was constantly happening keeping you engaged and involved. I wasn’t a really big fan of the characters, especially Ruby. My main issue with her is how cliche and 2D she was. I thought that having her not being able to control some parts of her powers a boring conflict. It makes the reader just wait around for long montages of her slowly progressing. I wish the author would have just cut to the chase. While I admire Ruby’s actions in the earlier stages of the novel it seemed that she got more and more reliant on the other characters in the group, especially Liam. This can really be seen when she doesn’t really try to defend herself as a boy in an opposing tribe touches her legs and makes her uncomfortable. I didn’t like the romance brewing between Liam and Ruby. It just seemed too obvious. It wasn’t anything different from all of the other YA romance sub-plots. As soon as they meet it’s practically already written in the stars that they’re going to end up together. This made it impossible for me to feel invested int eh relationship as I already knew what was going to happen. I thought that the ending of this book, while a cliff-hanger, was definitely the best ending I’ve seen in a while. It was such a plot twist that I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. The tough choice that Ruby has to make makes me feel more invested in her as a character and in Liam’s and her relationship. Overall, the Darkest Minds was a pretty good book. While it struggles with good characters and romance, the fast pace and plot twist ending keep you invested through the book and leave you wanting more. I recommend it for younger teens who are riding the YA Dystopian wave.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very dark and twisty. Wasn't expecting most of it. But the ties that bring these kids together is unimaginably strong. Very well written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent read the book yet. But the movie is so good!! I cant beileve what she did at the end!!!!! It seriously made me CRY! I really, really hope they make a part 2. If you like this you'll like the book (its a movie too!) BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. Its soo sad like this book basically the same ending. I just got done watching the movie (its 11:00pm) and i hate and kinda like how movies like this make you so sad after you watch them!!! Hope this was useful!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read it the audio book is good too.