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text 2018-05-02 21:04
The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken
Passenger - Alexandra Bracken

"The darkest minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces" (Bracken 456).

I have finished reading the incredible dystopian novel that is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken for my project. I was stunned by the events that lead to the end of the novel. I won't spoil it for you, but I guaranty that you'll want to read the next book with the cliff hanger it leaves you on. The quote above is clearly where the book title comes from. The passage it comes from is very interesting, and I invited you to guess who its directed toward. It's likely the intended target of the quote will surprise you. My partner has also finished her book, Passenger, by the same author. When comparing our novels, I found several similarities. The writing style was obviously very similar, with a lot of imagery and details. Both books also include lots of travel. In The Darkest Minds, Ruby and her friends travel around in Black Betty looking East River. In Passenger, the main characters Etta and Nicholas travel through time and place looking for an important artifact. To end this blog post, I would like to help you find some new books on this website. One way to do this is on your dashboard. Your dashboard is filled with your friend's review and your bookshelf updates. Make sure to check out these books, and not overlook them. And to get more books on your dash, simply make sure to follow more authors. I hope you liked my updates on The Darkest Minds and you find some great books.

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text 2018-04-24 04:41
Biographical Criticism
The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

I have continued to read the novel The Darkest Minds. Recently, we've been instructed to look at our books from the biographical criticism standpoint. After researching my author (Alexandra Bracken) I did find some similarities between the author's life and her writing. One parallel between Bracken's writing and her life is were she went to college. She went to The College of William and Mary, which is in Virginia. The majority of the book I have read thus far has also been in Virginia/West Virginia. Based on this information, we can assume that Virginia and Bracken's college years as a whole had a great impact on her. I also learned that the author has a dog she cares for through research. Similarly, a character in the book, Chubs, has a soft spot for animals. He accuses Liam of leaving a box of defenseless kittens alone (though the group had no way to care for them) and was described to have a goofy grin on his face while feeding ducks breadcrumbs. I can clearly see how much the author loves animals in general, as she pushes this love into one of her characters. After looking at Alexandra Brackens writing through the "lens" of biographical criticism, I have found that knowing more about her life has better helped me to understand her work.

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quote 2018-04-19 16:33
"Because every second I stayed with them was another chance for them to discover that skip tracers and PSFs weren't the real monsters of the world. No. One of the real ones was sitting in their backseat" (Bracken 150).
The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

As I read deeper into the book The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken for my project, the more I love it. She is such an amazing author and describes her characters so well. I feel as though I know each of them individually. The quote above is from Ruby, (one of her thoughts). She is convinced that she can't stay with the small group of kids she has found a home with, as she thinks they will hate her when they realize what she is. An Orange. She believes herself (and her power to see into peoples minds) to be a monster, worse then the people trying to put them into concentration camps or hunting them for a reward. With this quote, we can see how deeply these thoughts akin to self hatred really run. The way Bracken has Ruby call herself one of the "real monsters of the world" is such a great to show how camp Thurmond influenced her and her own thoughts about her powers. It is truly a magnificent quote by the author to show us what Ruby thinks of herself.

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text 2018-04-10 16:23
The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

Hello, my name is Julia Franciscus. I love a lot of genres: fantasy, dystopian, and mostly anything fiction. I have recently chosen the author Alexandra Bracken for a book project. I have read a lot of her books and loved them, so I figured she would be a good pick. The novel I am currently reading is Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds. I have read a decent amount so far, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The prediction I can make is that Ruby will likely stay with Liam, Chubs, and Zu for longer than she initially intends to. A particular passage that stood out to me in my reading so far was a quote from the beginning of the book. "The government was never afraid of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. The were afraid of us--the ones who lived" (Bracken 12). This is such and amazing and eerie quote, and I feel it really sets the tone for the book.


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review 2018-03-11 13:20
Not Interested in Continuing Series
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) - Alexandra Bracken

Good grief this book was long and tedious. It could have ended at least half a dozen times but it just kept going. I think it was about 500 pages and for most of it my eyes were just glazed over. Not all young adult dystopian novels are equal.


The main character Ruby was flat and I didn't care or feel connected to the secondary characters at all. This needed edited to make the story more coherent.


Ruby is 16 and is one of the children who has been shipped off and locked away. A mysterious disease has wiped out half the children in the United States and the rest that lived are develop special abilities. This first book seriously reads like the X-Men comics. 


Ruby lived in Thurmond, a rehabilitation camp where the kids are tested and forced to work. When a secret comes out concerning Ruby's real abilities she is broken out of Thurmond and eventually escapes again with a unlikely group of kids.


Ruby is not confident and flails around for most of this book. I honestly wish Bracken had taken time to develop Ruby more. But instead she jumps back and forth to see what happened to Ruby and her family (that took like almost 300 pages to get there) with more time spent on Ruby mooning over the character of Liam. 


The writing was purple prose at times, but mostly just needed streamlined. There was no flow. Each chapter felt like and "now this other thing is happening". 


I didn't think the world building worked at all. There were too many plot holes with the children developing IAAN. It also doesn't make sense with children dying off, the government would then round up children to test and then have them making shoes in a factory. The testing of some of the kids gets explained later, but it didn't work for me. I'm also confused if this has spread worldwide and what other countries are doing to deal with IAAN. It also sounds like in five years the US government has gone to crap with the President for life and I don't know if the country would really sit back and not allow elections or Congress to be shut down. 


I also rolled my eyes at the kids being sorted by colors (enjoy reading about blues, greens, yellows, reds, and oranges). At one point I had a terrible flashback to Divergent. 


The setting moves constantly though Ruby, Liam, Chubs, eventually make it to East River where they come across the leader, Clancy Gray.   


The ending was a meh moment to me. Bracken only did it to set up some angst in the series I am sure. 


I read this for Kill Your Darlings, but am now switching to read it for/claim Severus Snape. One of the characters, Clancy Gray is morally ambiguous and this was published after 1990 (published in 2012). 


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