The Darkest Minds. It was one of my favorite books last year and the one that I recommend to my Pre-AP students who loved The Hunger Games and Divergent.
My thoughts on the second in the series, Never Fade? TL;DR.
For those who don't read the comments sections of websites, that stands for "Too Long; Didn't Read". It's not exactly true…I read the whole book, but I wish I hadn't. The last 40% (thanks, kindle) were a real struggle for me.
Was Alexandra Bracken rushed to get the sequel out within a year of the original? That's the only excuse I can think of for the lazy writing in this novel. At least five chapters end with Ruby getting knocked unconscious, as if Bracken couldn't think of another way to finish a scene or transition. It also drags and rehashes the same arguments over again: Vida fights with everyone, Ruby worries about what she did to Liam, the same characters continue to betray the others. I'm disappointed that this was my first book of 2014.
Will I recommend it to my students? Definitely not. I'll recommend that they read the first in the series, and then move on to something more worthwhile.