The Darkest Minds: (Book 1)
Ruby is sixteen. She is dangerous. And she is alive. For now. A mysterious disease has killed most of America's children. Ruby might have survived, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse than a virus: frightening abilities they cannot control. Pressured by the government, Ruby's parents sent her to Thurmond, a brutal state 'rehabilitation camp', where she has learned to fear and suppress her new power.
Never Fade: (Book 2)
They call her the Leader. Their saviour and only hope. Only Ruby knows what she really is - a monster, capable of destroying them all.Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her life. Now she must call upon them to bring down a corrupt government in a world where children have been eliminated.
In the Afterlight: (Book 3)
The fate of a generation lies in Ruby's hands - and one wrong move could set the world on fire.One of the few survivors of a disease which killed most of America's children, Ruby has emerged as Leader of the rebel group determined to bring the government down. Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her.
Synopsis from Goodreads
The first thing I should mention is that I flew through this series; everything about these books just drew me in completely and I needed to know what happened next. I read this series for the first time about two years ago and have reread it countless times since. I hold it as one of the series that reignited my love of YA fiction and one of the reasons I first started thinking of starting a bookstagram/book review account.
So why do I love this series:
Strong Characters and Relationships:
While we are only given Ruby's POV and there's definitely an emphasis on the relationship between her and Liam, every character and relationship in this series develops beautifully and naturally. I honestly have a hard time deciding who my favourite character is because they all stand out so wonderfully and for different reasons: Ruby with her incredible strength (physically and emotionally) and persistance, Liam with his optimism and belief in humanity, Chubs with his pessimism and loyalty to his friends, Zu with her spunk, Jude with his enthusiasm, Vida with her bad-ass attitude and loyalty, Cole with his bad-ass attitude and loyalty, and Nico with his compassion.
And getting three books to watch these characters develop and how their relationships with each other change and evolve is amazing. The friendship between Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu starts off very tentative, but we get to see how they quickly become a family. The addition of other characters as the series continues only serves to give us more people to love and to really see how they come together to end this cruelty.
In terms of my favourite relationship in the book...sorry, I can't choose. The Black Betty family (Liam, Chubs, Zu, and Ruby) are amazing together, as is seeing how each of those characters interact with each other, but then there's also friendships like Ruby and Vida, or Jude and Nico, that are such so wondering to watch develop. I won't even get into the different romances that come up (can't give away all the details), but I love them all!
Great Dystopian World-building:
I loved how we are introduced to this dystopian future immediately, not stuck waiting to find out what happened and why all these kids are stuck in such a sadistic camp. My biggest frustration with many dystopian novels is that they don't bother giving us any background; we are dropped in and expected to accept this new reality. I don't usually accept it... I loved that this entire series moves quickly (honestly, there's never a dull moment) but we are aware of what brought the world to this point and have a goal for the future. It's not simply a "we need to escape and hope for the best" series, but a "we need to escape and figure out how to stop these atrocities" series. I'm clearly a fan.
Honestly, there was no chance I was giving this series less then 5 stars. Like Leigh Bardugo and Rainbow Rowell, Alexandra Bracken is one of my favourite YA authors currently writing and I will read anything she publishes. I adored this series and (as mentioned at the beginning) it's what brought me back into the current world of YA lit. So ya...I'm a fan of Bracken and this series. I'm terrified of what the movie is going to do to this book, but I'm equally thrilled to get my hands on The Darkest Legacy, Book 4 in this series that is coming out in a few months!! Too many emotions to handle at the moment...
FINAL RATING FOR THE WHOLE SERIES: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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