Rating: 4 stars

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.

Really enjoyed The Darkest Minds for several reasons. It was a story that caught my attention from beginning to end. I don’t know if it’s because the plot paralleled what’s been going on in the world lately or because of how dark/dystopian the story could get. The world Ruby lives in isn’t a pleasant one, full of the government trying to keep children with unique powers locked away in camps after surviving when kids their own age died of a disease that was killing children in America.

I couldn’t put this book down but tried my best to read at a slower pace so I could absorb what I was getting into. Watching Ruby’s character develop throughout the story was captivating and loved seeing her abilities and how they impacted her life. I also loved the rest of the kids she ran into when she escaped from her camp and how they were able to help her learn to trust others and be allowed to form friendships.

What I also loved about this book was how dark it could get at times. Ruby’s powers are unique because there are few children in her world that have them. When she and her fellow travelers make it to East River, she meets their leader who’s one of the few people whose classified as an Orange like her. However, he isn’t all who he’s cracked up to be, making this story more intriguing as I read on. Because while he helped her with gaining control of her abilities, he also took advantage of her, which made me dislike him more as the story continued.  

I also felt immense empathy for these kids in The Darkest Minds because I couldn’t imagine what they were going through just because they had powers. Especially when some of the kids own parents turned them into the government because of their abilities. While the powers these kids have at times sounded cool, that they sometimes couldn’t control them made me understand why Ruby felt the way she did about her abilities.  

Despite how much I enjoyed reading this book, there are some things I also didn’t enjoy too.  My biggest criticism of this book for me is the choices Ruby sometimes makes. While I get her life is hard and that some of the decisions she made were for the best of others, she also made some tough but terrible decisions. Especially close to the end of the story when one of her friends is really hurting and she seeks help from someone she shouldn’t have. I also wasn’t too keen on what she did to Liam either because I feel like she really wasn’t helping him. Some of the choices Ruby made I wasn’t at all pleased with because they always ended up hurting others instead of helping them.

But despite those choices, I still loved Ruby’s character and enjoyed reading The Darkest Minds, the first book in a series I’m planning on continuing to read so I can see what happens next. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Never Fade, which I’m sure will be just as enjoyable for me as this book. Have any of you ever read a book like this one before? Leave a comment below if there are any books like this one that you’ve read that you’d highly recommend because you think I’d enjoy it just as much.