Monday, 10 February 2014

Review || Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken ★★★★☆
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

I barely even know what to tell you about this book. I accidentally read it over the weekend without meaning to. In fact, once I got started on it, I'd actually planned to savour it a little bit more--read it in chunks. But when I hit 70% done with still Sunday evening left to go, I knew I just had to finish the darn thing.

I have not wanted to stay up past my bedtime for a book in a long time. And that might sounds fairly trivial, but listen, I need my sleep. I am not happy when I don't sleep well. And not only that, I need my winding down time. I usually take close to an hour or more to get my brain to shut down at night. And that's on a normal night.

Last night, after I finished this book, I did not sleep well. The world and story were still turning around in my mind. I was restless and awake. And I knew this would happen before I decided to stay up and finish the book--and I decided I didn't care.

That's the sign of a darned good book, in my opinion.

Now, you'll notice this is not a 5 star rating. I had a very hard time trying to make that decision. I feel like this is probably 4.5 stars... and I say that with my new "harsher" rating system in mind. I really enjoyed this book. The plot just kept rolling. The depth of the world made everything so much richer. I had strong and extreme emotions about characters. (I plotted at least two gruesome deaths in my head during the course of the book. And at one point actually propped the book open on my head like a hat and wailed, "I AM SO ATTACHED TO EVERYONE.")

This book was solid. It was so good. And I read it surprisingly quickly given its not inconsiderable size at 507 pages. Despite all the ups and downs, all the rooting for and mental murdering of characters, despite all of that... it never quite tipped over into the land of 5 star material.

I laughed, I cheered, but I didn't cry. It never made me want to throw the book across the room because I couldn't stand how good it was.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is a spectacular book. And I really thoroughly enjoyed it. I would absolutely recommend this series. I'm actually seriously considering buying physical copies of this and book 1 for my book shelf (which is only a thing I do for a book I've already read if I really loved it). But I guess that I'm trying to justify a not-5 star rating.

Which I suppose is silly. It's my opinion and my rating system. But there you have it.

So so good. Give this series a chance if you haven't started it already. And if you have read this book, come wail in a corner with me about waiting until September for book 3. I could barely stand waiting a month for this one!