Oh my God. I don’t know if my mind can ever fully process this book and it’s complexity and beauty.
Alexandra Bracken has really gone above and beyond with this book. I can see why the internet and bookshops exploded with the release of this novel.
In this world, children are affected by a disease specifically targeting them before puberty. Many children develop talents, powers, and aren’t even aware of what they’re doing till later on. Blamed by adults and government officials, they are corralled and taken away to the equivalent of concentration camps, where they are classified into levels by color–red, orange, yellow, blue. Many are killed, but some live and are studied in these camps, suppressed and kept from their families. It isn’t until a rebel cause helps Ruby escape that the action begins, but the outside world with all her freedom is just as suffocating and gilded as those camps were and everywhere she turns someone wants to use Ruby for her powers or kill her because of them.
As one of the last surviving orange-level minds out there, Ruby is dangerous because of what she knows and what she can do. Reaching into others’ minds, she not only sees their memories but knows their darkest secrets, the blackness of their hatred, and evil can come in ordinary and extraordinary. But being told you’re evil for most of your life and refusing yourself human touch can leave its mark. In her quest to save the world, including her love, Ruby gives him and her freedom up.
My emotions were all over the place. This story is one of those that can be for young adults or full grown men. Yes, there is a love-factor as almost all stories nowadays do, but the overall storyline and takeaway message is so much bigger than a teenager romance or heartbreak, and I think everyone could benefit from reading this at some point in their lives.
This book touches on human ignorance, fear, power, how we treat one another, and of course is on-par with the dystopian societies. As I write this review I can think back on parts of the story that touched me, areas where I had to actually stop reading to take some time to think about what was being said or to pull myself together and others where I was so engrossed that the world fell away.