The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

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Synopsis – 

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.

Goodreads Rating – 4.27/5 Stars 

My Review – 

I have been meaning to read this for a very long time. With all the hype surrounding Alexandra Bracken’s books, I had high expectations, but I’m glad to say that the book was even better than expected. The first half of the book did remind me a little bit of ‘The 5th Wave’, however, it was still an incredibly unique and well-written book. 

This book is well paced and highly addictive.  The stellar character development really helped, as we were introduced to a variety of characters with different backgrounds and personalities. I’ve read way too many books where the characters all seem so similar that they just begin to bore me. Bracken created two similar characters, Ruby and Chubs, and took her time building up their friendship. 

Ruby starts off as a scared and weak child who throughout the book grows into someone who is emotionally strong. Rather than relying on others, people start to rely on her to protect them. This is a little bit cliche but it worked well with the plot, so I don’t really have any complaints. Compared to some other female protagonists (America Singer), she didn’t annoy me that much with her fear and ‘self-hate’. 

Liam, Chubs, and Zu were great. They are all so different yet they work well together. We are presented with 3 characters of different ages, abilities, and backgrounds who are working together to stay alive. Liam is incredibly protective and has a heart of gold, which sometimes puts him in harms way. Chubs is smart and strategic but also loyal to the bone. Zu was a refreshing addition to the novel and she reminds us that they really are kids who have been through hell and back. 

There was so much action throughout the book that I just couldn’t put it down. The romance was cute and the ending broke my heart to the point where I’m conflicted about whether or not I want to read the next book ( but I will). My last point would be that Bracken is incredible at writing antagonist in stories. The dark-minded Oranges of the book are portrayed really well ( new American Horror Story season?). 

I would recommend this to everyone! 

My Rating – 4.5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

Kiatana’s Journey – Natalie Erin

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Synopsis – 

Dragons fly, animals can speak and fairies rule over all in the realm they call the Lands, a place that is both beautiful and dangerous. Only one myth remains…Changers, beasts who can morph into any creature at will, and their Accompanies, the mysterious riders who command them. Chaos begins when a Changer called Ionan and his Accompany Keota crash down from the sky. They are found by two orphan wolf pups searching for their mother, and the fairy Kiatana, owner of the Verinian Forest. Kiatana refuses to trust the handsome stranger, or believe the story about his troubled past, but she soon finds she has bigger problems as a plague begins to spread throughout her land, killing all in sight. With no option Kiatana heads out on a quest with Keota, Ionan, the two wolves and her trusty Pegasus to find a cure before the forest is destroyed forever. But danger has a way of finding her, and Kiatana isn’t sure if she’ll survive the road ahead… 

Goodreads Rating – 4.11/5 Stars 

My Review – 

**Disclaimer: I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Upon reading the blurb of this book I was very interested in the plot. Unfortunately, the first half of the book simply confused and bored me. The main protagonist, Kiatana,didn’t seem to have a personality because her character had so little development from the start of the book. She is supposed to take care of the animals and be a ‘Snow White persona’, however her compassion towards animals seems to be patchy. She acts like a typical teen girl, which is why some of the events that occur throughout the book surprised me a little, but more on that later. 

The Changer/Acompany relationship reminded me of ‘The Golden Compass’.  A human and an animal counterpart are bound to each other from birth. It’s actually an interesting relationship and could have been expanded and explained in more detail, which is was… but only in the last 100 pages of the book.

The plot is actually really interesting. I enjoyed the characters fighting battles, meeting new characters and saving ‘the world’. My main issue with this book… and I will admit that I am incredibly picky in this regard, but the romance drove me mad. It came out of nowhere and everything happened so fast. It was very cliché… girl finds boy annoying and then by the end of the book they are together. However the execution of this was awkward and choppy. 

The second half of the book was really good though, so it raised my overall rating of this book. The characters finally became individuals with their own personalities, emotions and thoughts. I would recommend this book to younger readers. There are underlying themes of this book such as friendship, loyalty and forgiveness that are prominent and are always refreshing to see as they send a good message to the readers. 

Overall, It’s a decent quick read book. 

My rating – 3/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Synopsis – 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Goodreads Rating – 4.16/5 stars 

My Review – 

This was a great book! Personally,  I haven’t read many books concerning alien-invasion, so I didn’t really have expectations in terms of how the aliens would be portrayed. The concept of the aliens having human bodies was interesting ( yes, I know that Stephanie Meyer’s book – The Host has a similar plot). Overall, the book was action packed and entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised by the great character development and the excellent world building, which made the plot seem so realistic, thus making it a fairly popular novel. 


In terms of the romance… It was rushed and felt awkward. I’m incredibly critical of relationships in YA novels so my opinion may oppose  others. 


As mentioned before, the characters are quite realistic both in their emotions and their actions. They act the way I would If I were confronted with tragic events. Of course, there is a hint of hyperbolism throughout the novel but that is too be expected. It is impressive that Yancey was abe to maintain a sense of humanity whilst creating extraterrestrial characters.

In conclusion, this book may seem quite large but I read it within the span of two days and enjoyed every minute of it. Remember that once you have read it there are another two books in the series and a movie to watch. Happy Reading! 

Be sure to let me know what your opinions are about this book in the comments below!

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania