3.5 starsI'll first admit that I read this book during a weird reading time in my life. I barely had time to do any "for fun" reading and what would normally take a weekend took my about four months to accomplish. That's all just personal crap, I know, but I feel like it's fair to my review to put it in that perspective. ANYHOW, The Darkest Minds tells the story of a a dystopian future in which children either die or develop unexplained abilities that inspire fear amongst the adults. The surviving children are placed in internment camps, and there we find our protagonist Ruby. The first few chapters show us some of Ruby's life in the camp, as well as detail her escape from it and to me, it was the highlight of the book. The world Bracken built is far from perfect, and it takes a little work to fully buy what she's selling, but the writing was interesting enough that learning about all the different pieces of our MC and her life thus far was interesting, and often times heartbreaking. As we enter the road trip portion of the book, things slow down drastically. Just in and of itself, the plot is about ambling, about searching for something our rag-tag group of abilitied kids have no idea how to locate. Unfortunately, because of this, the telling of the story suffers and also seems to amble and search. I had to push myself through the middle chunk of this book, because as I much as I loved the characters, the plot lacked momentum. For a portion of the story, we don't know what Ruby's goal is, and that also adds to the feeling that things happen unconnected from any sort of end game. I mentioned the supporting characters and they were all wonderful. Well, namely, I liked Zu and Chubs. Liam was pretty solid as a leader and (shock!) love interest, though I'm assuming we'll see more of that in however the author decides to carry on the series. There was a lot of super evil in this book. The kids are in fact surrounded on all sides by pure evil. I guess cases could be made for some of the villains being complex, and acting in a way that they at least view as what's best, but that would mostly be conjecture, as the author doesn't make that apparent while reading. I mean, we're talking rounding up kids into harsh internment camps from the onset. It builds from there until the story is cocooned in a dense layer of almost-cartoonish villainy. Overall it was an entertaining premise which is what kept me going. The end was a nice set-up for follow-ups, though I wouldn't say that a single thing from this book was resolved. I would certainly read the next installment, however.