"The Darkest Minds" by Alexandra Bracken, Chapters 1-6

April 23, 2018
When the children who survive a plague develop unusual powers, they are rounded up and imprisoned in rehabilitation camps. Sixteen-year-old Ruby escapes from confinement and joins up with a group of other children fighting back against the government.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-11, Chapters 12-15, Chapters 16-22, Chapters 23-31
My mom started me on a strict vitamin regimen and refused to let me be alone, even for a few minutes.
It had rained the night before, so my parents sent me to school wearing red galoshes.
Your child suddenly becomes sullen and withdrawn, and/or loses interest in activities they previously enjoyed.
“Damn, they’re getting lazy,” the white coat groused, more to himself than to me.
They capped the number at thirty a week later, and moved on to filling the next wooden structure along the camp’s perpetually soggy and trampled main trail.
A few beds over, one of the girls had finally dropped off into the oblivion of sleep, and her snores were helping to cover our conversation.
Five years feels like a lifetime when one day bleeds into the next, and your world doesn’t stretch any farther than the gray electric fence surrounding two miles of shoddy buildings and mud.
Dreaming led to disappointment, and disappointment to a kind of depressed funk that wasn’t easy to shake.
Even my hands seemed lethargic, my fingers stiff as pencils.
When I didn’t respond, he snuck an arm past my shoulder, on the pretense of sorting through my work, and pressed me into his chest.
She didn’t stop or deign to look at me until we were by our bunks, and she had one fist curled in her bedsheets, ready to pull herself up to the top bed.
I nodded, glancing at the gold swan insignia on her coat pocket.
Silence hung between us, punctuated by the pounding in my head.
That was an understatement.
The smile on her face stretched, and there was something... smug about it.
The clip of boots against the pristine tile forced my eyes up, away from the doctor’s face.
Stories were passed around camp with sick, almost holy reverence.
The building itself wasn’t that imposing; it was only called the Tower because it stuck up like a broken finger in a sea of one-story wooden shacks arranged in rings.
But after a Red had blown up his cabin, they moved the Reds farther away, using the Greens as a buffer in case any of the real threats tried to make a run for the fence.
She and a few other girls were honorary leaders of our sad, mismatched group, nominated mostly because they hit certain bodily milestones before the rest of us, and could explain what was happening to us without laughing in our faces.
How many days and nights had I spent perched up there with Sam, steadfastly ignoring Vanessa’s attempts to drag us into some stupid, pointless conversation?
She didn’t look haughty or hostile, the way she usually did.
I tried not to lean against him, to grit my teeth against the jarring motion, but I could barely keep my head from rolling back.
I didn’t recognize the song, but I recognized David Gilmour’s voice, and the ebb and flow of Pink Floyd’s synthesizers.
Mick Jagger crooned next to my ear, singing about war and peace and shelter—those kinds of lies.
Something warm bloomed in my chest, even as my breath hitched in my throat.
I felt something warm tickle at the back of my mind, and recognized its warning trill.
She told me things about the world that didn’t seem possible, not until we were able to pick up a radio station and a solemn voice bled through the speakers to confirm it all.
“The president has reportedly refused an invitation from Britain’s prime minister to discuss possible relief measures for the world economic crisis and how to pump life back into the sagging global stock markets. When asked to explain his decision, the president cited the United Kingdom’s role in the UN’s economic sanctions against the United States.”
And then, of course, the economy tanked and the country defaulted on its debt.

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