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Jan 26

Teens Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Posted on January 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM by Elizabeth Land

Book Reviews by YCPL teens and tweensTeens & Tweens Review is an opportunity for York County Public Library teens and tweens to write book reviews for their peers. Check out what our youth are reading below, and then see our list of read-alike titles suggested by YCPL staff.

Title: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Reviewed by: Jared K.
Rating: 4 Stars

The Darkest Minds CoverThe Darkest Minds is a science fiction book by Alexandra Bracken. Ruby finds herself to be in the middle of an American crisis. People are dying and nobody knows why. On what she hoped to be an exciting tenth birthday everything changed. Suddenly, she was the enemy, and she found herself in a barbarous rehabilitation camp. Now part of a group of kids that are considered to be a threat to society, Ruby must find a way to survive, and maybe even a way out of the camp.

I found this book to be thrilling and intriguing. The slight horror aspect added an extra facet of entertainment and made me not want to put this book down. There are different levels to the story which when they click can be very satisfying. The continuous introduction of new characters was a great way to keep it interesting, providing you can learn the characters names quickly. Although this book has great upsides, I found that there were stretches in the book that could be a little slow, especially if the setting had not changed in a while.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction books, specifically science fiction or thrillers. There is some romance involved but as Alexandra Bracken herself said, “It is not the driving force of the story.” Based on all the factors I have listed so far, I would rate this book four out of five stars, and if you like action-packed thrillers, this is definitely the book for you.

YCPL Read-alikes

  • Black Out book coverBlackout by Robison Wells
    Summary: Laura and Alec are highly trained teenage terrorists. Jack and Aubrey are small-town high school students. There was no reason for their paths ever to cross. But now a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible superpowers—and all teens are being rounded up, dragged to government testing facilities, and drafted into the army to fight terrorism. Suddenly, Jack, Laura, Aubrey, and Alec find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.
  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terril
    Summary: Em has tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present
    imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. Marina has loved her best friend James since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America's most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James's life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina's hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
    Summary: In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistakes. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

For more reviews from YCPL teens, check out our Teens Review series. Want to submit your own review? Email us at to learn more.