Return to Headlines

The Darkest Minds - Book Review


By Alexandrea Branken

Reviewed by THAYER TYMON

JHop Times Literary Critic

“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived.”

            One by one, kids drop dead. One by one, kids are scared. One by one, kids do scary things. One by one kids, get IAAN.

            IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration) is a disease that nearly all the children in the United States have been diagnosed with. IAAN has killed almost half of them. The rest, the ones who lived, aren’t as lucky as those who died.

            Every child that survived IAAN is sent to a rehabilitation camp. The camps are designed to cure the children that have IAAN and to protect their families from them.

            But that’s just a cover up.

            Ruby wakes up one day after her tenth birthday to her parents acting strange. Acting like they didn’t know her, then locking her in the garage and calling the police.

            Then she’s sent to Thurmold - the heart of the rehabilitation camps.

            Every child who survives IAAN is sent to a camp. Not because the disease is spreading. No, something much more is happening here.

Depending on their ability, the children are cauterized.

Greens and Blues are very good at remembering things. Blues can move objects with their minds. Both are at the bottom of the food chain.

Next are the Yellows, who can control electricity. In other words lights, TV’s and such.

Reds are dangerous. They can control fire, and usually come with bad tempers.

The most dangerous out of all them though are Oranges, who can control people’s minds. Make them forget things. Put new thoughts into their heads, and control them.

Everyone is afraid of Oranges, even some other Oranges.

Ruby stays at Thurmold for six years. For six years she has only interacted with female Greens. And of course, the guards.

They are not allowed to speak unless in their cabin.

After a dramatic event at Thurmold, Ruby doesn’t speak for year. Not to any of her cabin mates.

Especially Sam, the girl who doesn’t even remember her anymore.

After having an agonizing attack at the camp, Ruby finally escapes. She eventually meets up with three other IAAN kids: Liam and Chubs, both Blues, and Zu, a young Yellow.

They agree with taking Ruby down to East River, where there are rumors of other survivors of IAAN.

Ruby has a secret that has been hiding for the past six years that now finally comes to the surface. Now she is in the most danger, thanks to the deranged and crazed president and his IAAN surviving son.

The Darkest Minds is definitely not one to miss.