Movie Mondays: The Darkest Minds

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:

Book Cover | Movie Poster
  Movie Mondays: The Darkest Minds

Book: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (2012) | Movie: The Darkest Minds (2018)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Series: The Darkest Minds Trilogy
Author: Alexandra Bracken
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order)

There are 3 novellas. See their reading order here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: December 2012 – July 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover


I was very excited to read The Darkest Minds because its one of those series that bloggers rave about and it seemed like my kind of story based on the synopsis. I love dystopian fiction and the premise for this story seemed like something I would no doubt enjoy.

However, it took me a very long time to get into this story. My attention would wane thanks to the somewhat overly descriptive writing and the extended exposition. The romance didn’t wow me but it didn’t annoy me either. And Ruby as a lead didn’t overly impress me though I appreciated her character evolution throughout the novel. I was drawn more to some of the side characters.

The last 100 pages or so is when things got exciting and I finished The Darkest Minds on a high note, eagerly anticipating the sequel.


While it wasn’t as exciting as other first novels in some other YA dystopian novels, it laid down an intriguing foundation that I hoped would be carried out throughout the rest of the series.

Rating: 3.5/5
Series Review: Full series review here!


Were My Expectations Met?

The Darkest Minds was one of those novels where I thought “this would be a great movie” as I read it. I found the novel to be a little dragged out and I figured the condensing that comes with a movie would create a more exciting plotline.

And that happens in a so-so kind of way. We moved from A to B quickly but along the way, I think we lost some of the charm the novel had. The romance felt rushed and superficial. And I think the side characters weren’t as strong as they were in the book.

How Close is it to the Book?

I had to look up a detailed synopsis to see if the events happened like they did since it has been so long since I read the novels. From what I can see, it’s pretty spot on…though feel free to correct me!

Did I Like the Cast?

I think Amandla Stenberg has been in every major YA adaption in the last few years…and that isn’t a bad thing. She’s a great actress! She didn’t wow me here though but I can’ tell if that is a result of a bad script or the fact that Ruby didn’t impress me in the novels either.

I think the rest of the cast looked like what I pictured. Nobody really impressed me though–perhaps that is the script’s fault?

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Given the box office numbers, I doubt we will get a sequel. That’s a little disappointing because I think there is more visually captivating stuff to come in the sequels. But given the fact that I was bored throughout most of the movie, it probably isn’t a bad thing.

thewinneris winbook

I really thought the movie would pull out the win before I watched it but here I am corrected! I think the movie suffered from a stiff, condensed script and that didn’t bring out the best in the characters.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Darkest Minds (from Goodreads):
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.


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