Audio Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Posted April 8, 2019 by Lillian in Reviews / 2 Comments

Audio Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2012-12-18
Length: 13hr and 56min
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening 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 had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have 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 having a life worth living.

So I am super late in getting to this book but y’all it is SO good!!! The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is one of the darkest books I’ve read in a long time. I mean it’s like The Hunger Games and X-men had a baby this would be it. I listened to this book over a two day time period and really didn’t want to take breaks, but alas I didn’t think my 7 year old should hear some of it. Why did I not know about this book sooner y’all?!

The story centers around Ruby, a young girl who at the age of ten survived whatever plague is killing America’s children. At ten Ruby survived only to become something that scared her parents. Six years later Ruby is still in the “rehabilitation camp” (y’all if this is what they call rehabilitation they need their heads examined) they sent her too. At 16 Ruby hides her true abilities which frighten even her. Then she escapes and joins another group of kids like her who are looking for one of the only safe havens left: East Lake.

Ruby is an amazing character. She is just a teenage girl who is scared and confused. She doesn’t understand her abilities and that frightens her. She hurt her parents and that terrifies her. She’s grown up in what is basically a concentration camp/prison for kids like her. And why? Because she survived when she should have died. Ruby is naive as she should be since she’s been in a camp for six years with no education or guidance. But despite the naviety she is distrustful and cautious, great traits for someone on the run.

Liam is the leader of the group she joins on the run. Like her he has abilities, but unlike her he was taught how to harness and use them properly. Basically it sounds like they were training him to be a soldier one day….at least that’s my assumption. I love Liam. He’s kind, dealing with his own baggage, and falling for Ruby despite how hard she pushes him away. I love the banter between the two of them. It’s what you’d expect from two teens falling in love.

Then they arrive at East Lake. Y’all this place reminded me of a cult. It was creepy from the start and I couldn’t fathom why they’d stay. But then I remembered they only knew the inside of a “rehabilitation camp.” Suddenly East Lake didn’t look so bad. It was full of kids like Ruby and Liam who had abilities and were learning to use them. They farmed and hunted for food, did border patrols, and took in more kids on the run. On the surface it seemed safe, but something about the leader I didn’t trust and I was right not too.

Overall I loved The Darkest Minds. It’s a dark, dystopian read….my favorite kind. But what really made the story was Ruby and Liam’s relationship. And that ending?!?! Y’all I’m dying over here. I need to read the next one ASAP. If you enjoy dystopian and you’re like me and have been living under a rock, grab a copy and read it asap. It won’t disappoint.

About Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Darkest Minds series and Passenger. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study English and History at The College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in the publishing industry, she now writes full time. You can visit her online at or on Twitter (@alexbracken).

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