Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade Alexandra Bracken The Darkest Minds
Never Fade Alexandra Bracken cover The Darkest Minds

Title: Never Fade 
Author: Alexandra Bracken 
Series: The Darkest Minds #2 
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, YA 
Publication date: October 15, 2013 
Rating: ★★★★★ 

Synopsis: 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?

I feel like I'm losing my damn mind, like your face has been carved into my heart, and I don't remember when, and I don't understand why, but the scar is there, and I can't get it to heal. It won't go. I can't make it fade. And you won't even look at me.

I’m in too deep. Seriously. I started this book when my friends from Spain were over and since I didn’t have a single spare minute during the day, I read it at night. Good thing I don’t need too much sleep, because once I got going… I’ve read the third book as well. I just couldn’t make myself stop. This book was as good as the first.

The story was obviously really great, but it’s the characters I originally fell for and that still made my heart melt. I should mention that Zu doesn’t make an appearance in this book. After In Time we know that’s she’s a long way from home and I missed her terribly. So you should prepare for that. But the others were all there, though not as united as I would have liked.

Ghosts don't haunt people - their memories do.

Ruby is still really great. I felt such a strong connection to her. Her bravery, determination and courage are truly inspiring. She’s no longer the frail broken child she was at the beginning of The Darkest Minds. She’s part of the Children’s League now and forced to do things that are sketchy at least, but she handles everything with impossible calm and dignity. She knows she made this choice. There is no one else to blame for her actions and although she misses her friends like crazy, she realizes the only way to help them is to stay where she is. Make them trust her, make them believe in her and then one day… crush them.

Sometimes you're the one speeding along in a panic, doing too much, not paying attention, wrecking things you don't mean to. And sometimes life just happens to you, and you can't dodge it. It crashes into you because it wants to see what you're made of.

Ruby tries really hard not to get attached to other members within the league. Not hard when it comes to Cate, who she already distrust with all that she is. But there are others trying to find their way through her defense walls. She’s the leader of a little team. I didn’t really care about them in the beginning – which was probably the point – but by the end I really did. Perhaps not as much as I cared for Shubs or Liam or Zu (yet), but I’d be lying if I said I was still indifferent towards them. Jude was kind of cute and Vida was really badass. She insulted everyone she came across, but she was probably the most loyal of them all. I sort of got where she was coming from and she really grew on me. They made quite the team.

And people like you are the reason we have middle fingers.

Another member of the league is Cole. Cole Stewart, Liam’s older brother. He’s some sort of prodigy within the Children’s League. Despite his youth he’s a member to be reckoned with, someone with a lot of influence over the leaders. Probably someone to be very wary of, but he’s as charming as his little brother. Ruby helps him out and he returns the favor, which connects them somehow. And when Cole finds out she knows his brother… It’s striking how much Liam and Cole are alike, despite their obvious differences. And… it feels like a huge mistake on my side, but I’m totally in love with him. Even more than I am with Liam. There are tons of things that should trigger an alarm in my head, but I just can’t resist him. His vulnerability, his brokenness, his charm, his humor… Sigh. This is going to get real messy real fast.

Don’t worry though. A lot of the book takes place within the league, but there’s still a huge part of the book that focuses on our favorites from the first book. They are not forgotten, I wouldn’t have liked this book one bit if that had been the case.

Everyone knew the truth, but the truth didn’t live inside them the same way it did for us.

At some point everything comes together – those are always the best parts – but due to excessive spoilerness I won’t be able to tell you more. Read this book. You won’t regret it! Okay - maybe you will. There were a lot of feels near the end, to be honest. I have hereby verified that it is impossible for Alexandra Bracken to write happy endings and so I’m terrified of what the future will bring. Crazy thing is - the more feels, the more I get attached to a book. What’s wrong with me?

You can push someone’s button over and over again to get what you want, but there comes a point when your finger slips and you finally hit the whrong one.

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