Woman Crush Wednesday: Vida


Vida doesn’t show up in The Darkest Minds trilogy until book two, which is shame because she’s one of my favorite characters. When we first met Vida I wasn’t sure if she was going to be one of the good guys or not but she actually turns out to be a helpful ally to Ruby even when Ruby neglects to realize how much she needs a friend like Vida.

What I love most about Vida is she’s brutally honest and overprotective. She doesn’t sugar coat things for people’s benefit and let’s you know exactly what she thinks of you with no hesitation. Vida has a hard core but a soft center. When she does let people into her life she doesn’t let go. It’s hard for her to trust people but once she does she’s in it for the long haul.

Also, according to Ruby, Vida’s gorgeous and she has blue hair but I couldn’t find a picture that accurately represents the hair color and her beauty. And her relationship or friendship (it’s unclear really) with Chubs is so fantastic. Their quips with each other are so cute and funny. I just want them to love each other and be happy together always.

Honestly, I would love another Darkest Minds book just to see how she and the others are dealing with the world now. In the series the U.S. is hit be a disease called IAAN that kills kids or gives them abilities that they call Psi. Vida went through a lot when the disease hit and she also lost a lot. I’d love Vida to find happiness and although I think she’s already found a new family I’d love to see the affect that has on her.

You can learn more about Vida and all her friends in The Darkest Minds trilogy. Check it out!

Then he was stepping back, away, letting distance flood between us again. His voice was low, rough. “Give ’em hell, darlin’.”

“And for the love of God, bitch, don’t get stabbed this time!” Vida added.

Man Crush Monday: Charles Carrington “Chubs” Meriwether IV

Photo Courtesy Of imgbuddy.com
Photo Courtesy of imgbuddy.com

Oh Chubs. I feel for Chubs. He’s given so many nicknames in The Darkest Minds trilogy I won’t dare try to list them all.

There’s so many reasons to love Chubs. First of all, he’s a cute nerd with his glasses and random knowledge. He knows how to sew because his father, a doctor, taught him just in case Chubs or someone he knew got wounded on the road. Besides that, Chubs just knows a lot of medical stuff in general, which makes him a very useful friend to have when you’re on the run, which is almost all the time for kids in this dystopian trilogy.

Additionally, Chubs is sassy and overprotective. When newcomer, Ruby, joins his tight knit group, Chub’s is the opposite of welcoming. He doesn’t want anything to do with her and would prefer their group leader, Liam, toss her back on the road where she came from. Unfortunately, or luckily depending on how you look at it, Chubs is ignored and Ruby becomes part of the group.

Chubs sass is unparalleled, however. He let’s his opinions be known throughout the novels and rarely sugarcoats things. If Liam is an optimist, Chubs is a realist. He knows his dystopian world is jacked up and he fully acknowledges that. All the same, Chubs provides comic relief throughout the books dropping the best one liners I’ve ever read.

Lastly, Chubs is my MCM this week because not only can he make people laugh, he’s also the glue that holds his group together. Chubs doesn’t have time for the drama, all he cares about is the survival of his newly constructed family. Chubs is brave when he needs to be and speaks up when he knows one (or two) of his friends are in the wrong. Although he’s often not seen as the leader of the group, I don’t think their group would’ve survived if they didn’t have Chubs.

To see Chubs sass in all it’s glory read, The Darkest Minds trilogy ASAP.

‘That is physically impossible,’ Chubs groused. ‘He’d be–‘
‘Actually,’ Liam began, ‘Cole once did try to–What?’
‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ Chubs said, ‘apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.’ – Never Fade

Book Review: In The Afterlight


*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IAAN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

I can’t believe this trilogy is over. It’s so hard to leave these characters because it they were so good (or bad)! And the ending was perfect as well, which is a rarity for these dystopian trilogies.

In the Afterlight started very closely to where Never Fade ended, with Ruby and the crew trying to find a way out of the recently destroyed L.A. After finally securing a way out and making there way to the Children’s League old headquarters, the group stumbles across old friends and encounter multiple issues.

Once at the headquarters things go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds with high stakes, raised tensions, and various opinions trying to figure out the best way to free the camps and find the cure to IAAN, the disease that made these kids who they are.

Ruby struggles to keep all her secrets in check, especially Cole’s dark secret, and struggles to maintain a relationship with Liam. Liam’s not innocent either, keeping his own secrets. They both struggle to trust each other when they need each other the most, causing more harm than good.

Meanwhile there’s multiple plans in motion to save all the kids in the camp and change the scope of America for the better. Unfortunately things have to get much worse before they get any better and everyone’s lives are put at risk and many are lost.

This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I was stressed, happy, sad, upset, angry, and annoyed. I wanted Ruby to me honest about her feelings and secrets with Liam. I wanted to give all these kids a hug. I wanted to slap President Gray, his whole family, and all the PSFs. More than anything I just wanted everyone to have their happy ending.

I won’t spoil the ending by saying if I got the happy ending I was looking for. What I will say is I’ve ready a lot of dystopian trilogies (The Hunger Games, Matched,etc.) and this is quite possibly the only one that gave me a satisfying ending. It was realistic and of course the world wasn’t perfect by the time it ended but enough was resolved for me to believe it would be.

If you haven’t given The Darkest Minds trilogy a try yet you definitely need. It’s worth a read and you won’t regret it. Thanks to Kieran Scott for recommending the series to me and giving me the last book. One of the greatest books I’ve read in a while. Check it out.

*Side note: I really loved the fact that when you put all the titles together of the trilogy it says, “The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight.” Cool.

Favorite Line:

“What I’m trying to get at is, as bad as everything seems, I think, at its heart, life is good. It doesn’t throw anything at us that it knows we can’t handle—and, even if it takes its time, it turns everything right side up again.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. So good! I want to read this whole trilogy over again. Especially knowing how it all ends now, reading it again would be interesting.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!!! For explanation please see previous.

Other Reviews


Deadly Darlings

Icey Books

Book Review: Never Fade


Book synopsis from Goodreads:

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?

As far as sequels go, Never Fade was a wonderful success. With more twists and turns than The Darkest MindsI couldn’t put this book down. The novel starts a bit after Ruby has been with The Children’s League and then leaves us with a million questions after the first chapter, when Alexandra Bracken then takes us through flashbacks to when Ruby first arrived at the League’s headquarters.

Why, Bracken, why? Probably because I sped through the next few chapters wondering what had Ruby so freaked out and the reveal did not disappoint. In this novel readers meet so many new characters, giving answers into the good and bad sides of the League and Liam’s past. We also get to see some old faces and some faces we were hoping to never see again.

The level of danger in this novel is taken up a notch from the first book. Although Ruby went into the League not trusting anyone, she doesn’t realize just how unsafe she is inside the League’s walls until it’s too late. Plus once she’s out, she no longer has to deal with just running from the government and PSFs but also the League and their top hunter, Rob. Ruby also has decide who she can and can’t trust while also trying to deal with the aftermath of taking away Liam’s memory of her and the loss of her little family with Zu, Chubs, and Liam.

Overall, I really loved this book. There were sometimes I wanted to slap Ruby because she couldn’t see what was going on right in front of her face but for the most part she made a great Leader even though she never wanted the title. The return of Liam and some other characters from the first novel kept this book interesting and the interactions between the people from Ruby’s life before the League and after was hilarious. I can’t wait to see what happens next and how this will all end.

Favorite Line:

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Chubs said. “Apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. I’ve already reread some parts of this book. So great and so many good one liners. It was hard to just choose one.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Definitely one you’ll want on your book shelf.

Other Reviews

There were books involved

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

YA Midnight Reads