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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Reviewed by Adrienne

 the darkest minds

            The Darkest Minds is a novel highlighting a unique dystopian world. The Darkest Minds stands out from other books in its genre because its premise is different and compelling. The book is about a world where a disease has ripped through America, killing the majority of its children and leaving the remaining with unexplainable powers. These powers are classified into five colors: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. The Reds, Oranges, and Yellows are thought to have the most dangerous powers controlling fire, minds, and electricity, respectively. Children classified as Greens have heightened intelligence and kids classified as Blues have powers of telekinesis. The book starts off introducing the main protagonist, Ruby, an Orange, at ten years old. The introduction shows her being transported to a camp, much like the concentration camps of World War II, where the gifted children are to be kept until a “cure” is found. The officers at the camp classify the kids into their different colors in separate rooms with MRI machines. Ruby instinctually convinces the doctor examining her that she is a Green, not an Orange. This ends up saving her life, as later the Reds, Oranges, and Yellows are deemed too dangerous to keep in the camp and are killed off. Ruby spends six years trapped in this camp, living in fear of the officers controlling it and her own powers. After six years of torture, a rebel organization infiltrates the camp, fleshing out the remaining Oranges, Ruby and another boy. They save them from the confines of the camp and claim that their purpose is to rescue the children that are imprisoned in these camps. Ruby cannot find it in herself to trust these strangers and when she catches snippets of one of their memories of executing children recently saved from the camps, she quickly runs away. In the chase, Ruby encounters a young girl, Suzume, who is mute and is a Yellow. Ruby tries to gain Suzume’s trust as her captors are closing in. Suzume eventually lets her into an old van where two boys join them and drive away from the people chasing Ruby, thinking they are after them. These boys are Liam and Chubs, both Blue. After escaping they band together and bond in their mission to find a safe haven for kids like them. This safe haven is run by someone known as the “slip kid” who has allegedly escaped from multiple camps, an impossible feat. The “slip kid” is also rumored to be one of the only other Oranges still alive, valuable information for Ruby to have any hope of controlling her terrifying power.

            The Darkest Minds was an intriguing and emotional read. It was very hard to put this book down as soon as I started to read it. It is one of those books that makes you fall in love with the main characters so much that you wish for everything to go right for them. The book was suspenseful and heart-wrenching at times, and the ending was so emotional and infuriating to read because I was so invested. I highly recommend this book, and series, to anyone who likes dystopian novels or stories that get you emotionally invested.

Check out The Darkest Minds at the Newport Beach Public Library.

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