The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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4stars

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Good things about this book: Superpowers!!
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary solutions to easy problems, in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It took me some time to get into the story and start really caring about the characters. It took me most than half of the book to see the light. But then I read the last chapters and was “wth did just happen?”. I also read the synopsis of the sequel and WHAAAT!! What is going on? I don’t understand. I feel that there is so much that was left untold but needed to be told. I expected more but I’m still giving it 4 stars instead of 3 because I admired the potential.

Ruby is a likeable character, not as clueless as I thought she would be about the outside life since she’s been living in a camp since she was 10. I remember being 10; I wouldn’t have recalled the name of songs, singers, movies, etc, 6 years since I last heard them. Surely not if I’ve been tortured at exploited in a camp. That left me puzzled, but my experiences aren’t universal so, what do I really know about what a 10-year-old might know and remember about the world? I’m giving Ruby the benefit of the doubt about that.

The details of this dystopian world (more like only the US, more likely) are enough to give us a panorama of what the hell went down when kids started dying and the ones not dying started developing superpowers. It was only too obvious that, instead of helping them understand and maybe use their powers for the better, the grownups were instantly drawn to the most violent solution: death or/and internment camps. I can’t say I was surprised. So obvious I just rolled my eyes and kept reading.

The other kids Ruby travels with have all deep history and detailed background. I loved how they weren’t just left there to assist the main character. They were part of the story as much as Ruby was. Liam, the heartthrob with a heart of gold, blue eyes and a smile that melts you. A rebel with a sense of guilt as big as a mansion. Chubs and his bad attitude and rudeness that were only the protective shield he “activated” because he cares about his friends. And little and sweet Zu; a tiny human being that has already being through things a kid should never endure in all their lives. Because nobody explained her about her powers and teach her how to control them. Things could’ve been so much easier, otherwise. I blame the adults, as usual.

As much as I read it almost without pausing because I was curious about how things were going to work out in the end, I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would have. But I definitely liked it and, after that hell of a rollercoaster of a last chapter, I need to know what it’s going to happen next. But the second book will have to wait. I have so many other books to read!

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Why you should read this book: superpowers!

Eli and Victor are roommates in college. They are both brilliant, ambitious and have a dark side, a crazy side. The world they live have EOs, extraordinary people, but nobody knows how they get their powers and who they are. There are only rumors all over the internet. Eli found out that, if the right conditions are presented, anyone can get superpowers and become EOs. At this point everything they were and had will cease to exist and problems will begin. Victor ends up in prison for 10 years and when he manages to escape, with his cellmate Mitch, he embarks on a mission to find his former friend and kill him. Little he knows that Eli is on a mission to kill every other EO on Earth, and he says his mission is from God himself.

“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”

Wow, just wow!! Everything about this story is captivating, you need more and more!! I love how the story was told, first through flashbacks like the ones of Victor and Eli in college, how they became who they are now. Then the countdown to midnight at the end. It was the perfect idea to keep the reader glued to the pages.

Victor and Eli are brilliant students, charismatic and they have a big problem: they are super ambitious. When you have a theory you want to test it, right? Play God never get you where you want. Eli thinks God has a plan for him, that he made him who he is and that he needs him to clean the world of what’s wrong. My problem with Eli is that he isn’t open to questions about his faith: his plan is the best even if there isn’t a person in the world to think that.

Victor is my favourite character, dark, vicious with a side of masterplotter (is that a word?). He is jealous of Eli: he thinks his friend has things that were supposed to belong to him. Events during college made this jealousy a lot worse. He sees in Eli someone similar to him, in ambition and in craziness and these similarities are the main reason for their rivalry.

Victor has two people helping him in his quest to kill Eli: Mitch, his cellmate, a big man covered in tattoos with a passion for chocolate drinks and hacking, and Sydney, a twelve year-old girl with a peculiar ability. Mitch and Sydney are side characters but that doesn’t mean they are not important: both their abilities, ordinary and not, are perfectly complementary to Victor’s so they are the perfect match. He could’ve not done anything without their help.

At first I thought, no, Victor is not a villain, Eli must be the villain. This doubt went for a few chapters but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are no heroes in this story, the world is not always made of opposites. You side with Victor, Sydney and Mitch not because they’re the good guys: they look good to you because you think like them but what if you thought that EOs were monsters? You’d think Eli was the one that was right, you’d start rooting for him and hating Victor.

You start having a certain opinion about the characters and, flashback after flashback, you learn more about them and you think: well, he did that and it was wrong but who I am to judge? You cheer for Victor not because he is the good guy but because he somehow gained your trust through the pages.

There is no going back now for me. I love you, Victor!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is dark, it has superpowers and amazing characters.
Rate: 5/5

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