Reading Response to Dark Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken is the second in a series of dystopian novels. If you want my overview of the first book so that you may understand this blog post more easily, then please go to one of my most recent blogs and watch the book trailer I made of The Darkest Minds (the first novel of the series) by Alexandra Bracken. Never Fade continues to tell the tale of Ruby Daly, and her struggle to survive in a world where children are too powerful that they are often killed or captured and put in concentration camps. Ruby Daly has mind control. She struggles through identity issues resulting from this such as whether she is a good person or not and whether other people like her despite her being able to control/read their thoughts. In Never Fade, Ruby becomes friends with a group of young adults with their own powers. She feels especially attached to a boy named Jude who can harbor and control electricity. Jude is young, happy, and not yet tainted by the rough world they live in, and Ruby feels the need to protect Jude. Jude wears a compass around his neck that he believes can guide him through danger, and Ruby tends to associate Jude with the compass and any compass with Jude. Ruby believes that everything will be alright as long as her friends have survived. Whether it be a bombing or a raid on a factory for food, as long as her friends survive, it is okay.

It was really hard for me to decide the most significant scene from this novel. Every scene is either very action packed or full of emotion. However, I settled on the scene I drew because it seemed to have the biggest emotional impact on Ruby. Ruby and her friends narrowly escape the bombing of Los Angeles, California by the President, or tyrant. She believes that all her friends are safe until she cannot find Jude. Ruby believes he is still alive and sends several people down the tunnel they recently escaped the bombing through to look for Jude. She does not believe anything bad could happen to Jude because he is so innocent and happy. When the search team comes back without Jude, Ruby still believes he is alive and wants to go search for Jude herself. It is only when Liam hands Ruby Jude’s bloody compass that she understands that Jude has died in the bombing. This is a very significant scene in the story because it is the scene where Ruby realizes that she cannot keep even her closest friends safe in a world like this. In this moment, Ruby feels an utter hopelessness for the world and for herself. The compass symbolizes loss for Ruby, and it symbolizes that only she can decide the direction to go with her life.

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