Lady Lioness's Reviews > The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
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I feel vaguely unclean in a, 'Good God, please let that never happen' sort of way and 'How do I scrub that from my brain because I'm terrified?' The Darkest Minds is the story of what happens when the United States turns on its children, sending them to concentration camps if they survive a disease that will either kill them or give them psychic abilities. I don't normally go for dystopian books, but I'd read Bracken's first book and I liked it, so when I saw The Darkest Minds on NetGalley, I requested it. I kinda wish Disney had said no.

There were several points where I really wanted to stop reading, when I wanted to turn away and switch to lighter fare, but I wanted to know what was going to happen. I could see that there was no good ending for these kids, that the small kernels of hope they nurtured were doomed to failure. They wanted somehow to get back to normal, but the normal they knew, the normal we know, it had been shattered forever. It was heart-breaking and brutal.

I don't know if Bracken intends to write another book set in this world, if she has some kind of happy ending in mind after all, but, truth be told, I think the story works as it's already been told. The ending isn't a happy one, similar in tone to the end of Catching Fire, but it's a final one. Some will die, some will sell themselves for the safety of others, and some will escape to be hunted further.

Again, I'm not one for these types of books, so I'm not very well-versed in the subgenre, but I can't help feeling that this is a perfect read-alike to the Hunger Games trilogy. Both feature female heroines, both have two potential love interests, both are battling for their lives while at the mercy of the grown-ups. The Darkest Minds is more current than Hunger Games because it could just as easily happen tomorrow, which, for me, makes it all that much more horrible.

I'm going to go pet my dog and then finish beta-reading a manuscript where the hero's a were-leopard. Because camps where children are executed don't exist in worlds with were-leopards. It's, like, a rule.
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