Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Audiobook review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Book Summary
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.

Flo's Review
I wanted to love this. I'm late to the party, I have a signed & personalized copy, and I love dystopian YA. So when I heard that the movie release date got bumped up to August, I made it a goal to get this read before then. I found the audiobook version and it accompanied me along on my work commute for a few weeks.

I didn't love it. I mean, I didn't dislike it. I liked it okay. 

Here were my stumbling blocks:

1. I didn't connect with Ruby: I don't know why. I never felt sorry for her, I never felt like, 'Wow, this girl is a badass,' I don't know...I was kind of indifferent toward her. 
2. I didn't connect with the romance: Liam was adorable. I loved his fun disposition, his positivity, and his dedication. I was definitely into Liam. Liam and Ruby, though...I guess they had some moments, but they didn't feel charged enough for me. 
3. The running:  They were always running from someone. They didn't have a chance to catch their breath ever. It felt a little...unrealistic? For awhile it just read like, "There's after us! They're here! Oh good we got away!" And repeat.
4. Extended flashback: This is minor, but there was one really long flashback scene that happened right at a pivotal point in the present day action. I was listening to it, which made it worse, because in that moment I didn't care about what happened in the flashback. And it was an important one. But I just wanted to get back and know what happened in the present-day action.

Okay, let's talk about what I liked now:

1. The action will translate very well to the big screen: From the preview, it looks like not a lot of the book is changed -- there is enough that is visually interesting in the text as is that doesn't need additions or modifications:

2. Zu: She's the best! If I do read on in the series, it will largely be to see what happens with her.
3. Liam: He's worth mentioning again. #hottie #bookboyfriend
4. The Slip Kid: There were a few twists about him, and true to Flo form, I didn't see either one coming. He's an interesting character to read.

So it looks like I liked the characters most of all then. Hmm. Interesting.

Have you read this book? What'd you think? What do you think about the upcoming movie?

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