As readers, we are often asked the seemingly impossible question; “What is your favourite book?”. It’s an easy question to ask, but as avid life-long readers will know, it’s incredibly difficult to answer. So many factors can influence us, and we usually answer with things like “Oh I don’t have one favourite, I have several.” or “I love too many to pick just one.” But I’ve decided that now is the time for me to set down and pick one favourite book. It might not be my favourite for ever and ever, but right now, in this moment, I know that it’s the book that I truly consider to be my favourite.
THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken
When I first read The Darkest Minds, I instantly connected with it. There is something about this book. I couldn’t help but be drawn into Ruby’s narrative, couldn’t help but feel like I was living the story with every passing page. And as soon as I finished the book, I knew that I’d read something special.
Without going too much into the plot, I’ll explain briefly that the book is about 16 year old Ruby Daly who has escaped from the prison camp she has been trapped in for six years after a deadly virus wiped out 98% of American kids; the remaining 2% developed unearthly powers. The story follows her as she is joined by our favourite gang—Liam, Chubs, and Zu, The Black Betty Gang—as they are chased across the country by the government. That, hopefully, should convince you to read it! (If that’s not enough, check out the Goodreads page here)
This book is important to me, and I’m not even sure why. JK Rowling explains that Harry Potter came fully formed to her, and in a similar sense, I feel like Ruby and the gang came fully formed in my head when I read the beginning of The Darkest Minds. I just got her. I understood the characters so well, and the fact that Alex has written her narrative so beautifully and so naturally, I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like that.
It’s difficult to really think about what makes a book our ‘favourite’? Is it the plot that we enjoy so much? Is it the lesson that we take away from the book? For me, it’s both of those things and more. The plot of The Darkest Minds is so exciting and intense, and the themes of friendship, and the acceptance of unchangeable situations are so encouraging to read. But alongside both of these factors, the book has become something that I’m so passionate about. I love everything about it, and it’s become my go-to book whenever I’m asked for a recommendation, or when I want to read something I know I’ll love. I read a lot of books I love and swiftly go on to forget about, but The Darkest Minds has stayed with me ever since I read page one.
I think that’s what marks it as my favourite. My most important.
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