Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Second books in trilogies are often my favorites. For me, this was definitely true of The Hunger Games and Legend. I think the same holds true for this second entry in the Darkest Minds trilogy.

In this continuing saga of Ruby and her friends as they battle to find each other after separation in battle, President Clancy's son and his personal agenda become evident. Ruby must face her decision regarding her sacrifice for Liam as well as analyze every part of her humanity and conscience. There are some wonderful chances for readers of all ages to ask themselves the questions Ruby faces: Does love really mean letting go sometimes? Does an end justify the means? How far would we go to help others?

The twisty plot and thrilling action once again drew me in and amazed me as an adult reader reading this YA novel. If kids can follow all the espionage and mind games going on here, they are very smart readers, indeed. There is also just enough "superpower" sci fi going on to keep those readers going, but like other well-done dystopian books, there is enough "reality" or real-world drama to keep those who really don't get into fantasy plots reading well into the night.

The next book is called After Light. I might have to take a break to read some great new adult novels coming out this summer, but I'm eager to know if the last book ties up all of the exciting loose ends in this wonderful series.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I took this book to our middle school for kids to check out, and the school librarian said they immediately started passing it around because after one person read it, another wanted it. So, I'm finally giving this trilogy a shot.

The premise is that the children in the United States suddenly become vulnerable to a virus at the age of 10 which ultimately either kills them or changes their brain chemistry so that they have new and powerful abilities. The government and all the adults don't really know what to do with the kids who survive because some the "powers" the kids now possess seem dangerous. So, the really great system the government comes up with is to label the kids by ability, giving it a color name, and putting them in separate camps away from their parents and the rest of humanity. Ruby is one such girl, labeled "orange" because of her ability to read people's thoughts and memories. Orange kids are extremely rare by the time Ruby is 16, and so various organizations are looking for her to be their secret weapon. What could a girl who could read people's thoughts and erase their memories do for a government? An army? Yeah. A lot.

There is a little bit of something for every reader in this series, I believe. There is thrilling action, good dialog, a smart heroine, a couple of handsome love interests, friends with loyalty, war, and any number of other social issues. Pick it up and give it a try. I'm going to read the second book, Never Fade. I'll let you know if it's as good as the first.