Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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

I have finished the second book of The Darkest Minds trilogy.  I'm still numb from the ending! 

Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Released October 15th, 2013
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Definitely Recommend If You Liked the First Book

Spoiler-Free Summary

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? (Summary from Goodreads)

Spoilers Ahead!

Never Fade starts off with a nice action packed scene where we meet some new characters, Vida and Jude.  In the beginning, I really disliked them because Vida was just plain mean, and Jude was like that annoying little brother that won't stop talking.  I thought these characters would be unimportant (plus, I was really missing Chubs' presence).  Boy, was I wrong.  By the end of this book, these two really grew on me just as they grew on Ruby.  In fact, one of my favorite things about this series is the unique personalities of the characters.  The more I learn about these characters and the little things they do, like the way Liam says "darlin" or Vida's f-bombs, the more I can imagine them as real people.  I could practically feel the characters growing this bond between each other.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the hilarious dialogue between the characters, especially Chubs and Vida.

I think it is also worth mentioning that Ruby is really going through a transformation in this book.  She's had to deal with a lot of crazy stuff, but she manages to become a strong leader in the face of everything going down.  We've seen her be fiercely protective in The Darkest Minds, and that trait is even more apparent in Never Fade.  She's definitely one of the most admirable characters I've read.  She and Liam really remind me of Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games.  We see Liam through a good portion of this book unable to even take care of himself, and Ruby doing anything she can to keep him safe.  It can be kind of annoying when Ruby blames herself for others getting hurt.  I just want to yell through the book "it isn't your fault!"  

Also, for some reason I liked Liam more in this book.  I mean, he's just so sweet to Ruby, even when he wants to be mad at her.  My heart did backflips all over the place when Liam told Ruby he loved her but didn't know why (since she took all his memories away).  It was just adorable and I could feel his frustration.  These painful ships are always the best.

Now, I don't know what this says about me, but I actually didn't feel anything when Jude was declared dead.  Apparently, I am a soulless person.  Part of me might have expected someone would get killed off, what with all the new characters introduced in this book.  I try not to get too emotionally attached when there's a lot of characters involved (maybe I should read Game of Thrones).

I rated this 4/5 because I did start to get antsy for the book to end in the second half, but I think that's just because it's over 500 pages long.  However, I do appreciate the time Bracken takes in her descriptions of the scenery and what Ruby is feeling.  It didn't feel rushed like it does in a lot of other YA books I read.  For me, this series was really good for taking an hour off to get lost in another world.

All in all, I enjoyed this sequel and all the funny dialogue from Chubs (my fave character) and Vida.  I wish Chubs was a real person, because I could totally imagine him and me doing "old lady" things together like knitting and watching Downton Abby.  So, now that we know Ruby has documents with the supposed cure for IAAN, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the final book.

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