BOOK REVIEW: Never Fade – by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Never Fade
(The Darkest Minds #2)
Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Paranormal
First published: October 15th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Finished reading: April 10th 2017
Pages: 507

“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.”

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After reading and enjoying the first book back in January, I made a promise to read both sequels as soon as possible. It took me a bit longer than expected, but I finally picked up book number two this month… And I have to say that unfortunately Never Fade doesn’t live up to the first book at all for me. While I enjoyed The Darkest Minds even though the plot isn’t all that original anymore, I found Never Fade to be overlong and at times even on the border of boring. The writing style was as good as ever, but it sure took me a lot longer than expected to finish this one… And that is probably due to the fact that both the plot felt a bit thin and some of the characters started to annoy me. Basically, the sequel is about Ruby trying to find someone and messing up along the way, with various people betraying her or not being what they seem to be. Which might still be interesting, but it mostly felt like a ‘copy-repeat’ plot to me instead. Warning: this feeling might also be caused by the fact that Ruby started to frustrate me with the whole ‘I’m dangerous/I can’t be around others/I need to be alone’ thing. It does have a pretty explosive ending though! All in all not what I was expecting at all and yet another series that suffers from the ‘weak-sequel-syndrome’… I will still be reading the final book some time soon though, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed In The Afterlight will make me enjoy this series again.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first  book yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Ruby never wanted her abilities in the first place and doesn’t like using them, but now she’s in the Children’s League she is forced to use them on a daily basis. She has to go on dangerous missions and get the truth out of their enemies, and she only agrees because it’s a way to keep the others safe. But then she finds out something that will change everything… And this new secret mission might just be the most dangerous one yet.

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I was really looking forward to this sequel, especially since I enjoyed The Darkest Minds that much. Unfortunately Never Fade turned out to be another case of ‘weak-sequel-syndrome’. I actually struggled to continue at points as the plot just felt too drawn out; I feel that a similar story could have been told with 150-200 pages less and would probably have been a lot more entertaining. This has nothing to do with the writing style itself though, because Never Fade is without doubt well written. It’s one of the reasons I’m still hopeful for the third book!


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WWW Wednesdays #132 – April 12th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading three books, although I’m going to finish the Netgalley ARC What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James first. It’s the third book in a detective series and so far without doubt fast-paced and entertaining, although I feel part of the ‘spark’ of the previous two books is missing. The other two titles are ARCs as well. The first Life Sentence by Lily Luchesi, the third book in a paranormal romance series. It’s also probably the last time that I’m reading a vampire story, because this series has yet again confirmed me I seem to be allergic to those fanged creatures. Luckily this series has other creatures as well, but that doesn’t take away my feeling that these kind of books just aren’t for me and to keep reading them wouldn’t be fair to the authors. The other title I’m about to start is Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw, another fantasy read and a Reading Alley ARC.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first title I finished since last week is The Color Purple by Alice Walker, a modern classic I decided to pick up for various challenges. I had high hopes for this one as I had heard a lot of things about it, but I guess this was another case of unpopular opinion for me. I struggled a lot with the writing style in the beginning; up to the point that I even considered DNFing it. The plot itself is without doubt both intriguing, shocking, in your face and full of raw emotions, but I had a hard time with Celie’s POV. Not because of the shocking/graphic elements, but because her dialogue was really hard to read with all those broken sentences, bad grammar etc. I know it’s because she is an uneducated child wife of the South and it does feel authentic, but it doesn’t take away I struggled a lot to keep reading.
* I then read Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell, the second book in the Detective Ruby Preston series. It took me some time to warm up to the main character in the first book, but I had no such problem in the sequel. I was hooked right from the start and it was one hell of a ride! Well written prose, interesting characters, twisted serial killer, possible Jack The Ripper reference, lots and lots of plot twists… What’s more to ask? I’ll definitely be waiting impatiently for the next Ruby Preston adventure.
* Afterwards I decided to pick up another pending ARC: Miranda’s Rights by Lily Luchesi. It’s also a sequel and a paranormal romance story with lots of supernatural creatures, although the main focus is on vampires. And those fanged creatures might be the main reason I liked this story less than most other readers… Although it does have a love triangle as well. It is a fast read though and fans of the genre will probably enjoy it a lot better than I did.
* The last book I finished is Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, another sequel and part of my Beat The Backlist challenge. To be honest, I enjoyed this sequel a lot less than I thought I would. I found it overlong, almost boring and the plot a bit thin. Basically it’s about Ruby trying to find someone and messing up a lot along the way, with various people betraying her or not being what they seem to be… Not at all as good as the first book (which I really enjoyed), and Ruby started to annoy me with the whole ‘I’m dangerous/I can’t be around others/I need to be alone’ thing. The writing style is as good as ever, but it sure took me a lot longer than expected to finish this one…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… All for the April ARC month. Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray was sent by the author and sounds like an intriguing travel read. Both Castle Of Water by Dane Huckelbridge and The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger are Netgalley ARCs and are a case of coverlove and intriguing blurb combined. I also still want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult; I’ve been mentioning this title for way too long now and I’m picking this up as soon as I finish this months Netgalley titles!


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WWW Wednesdays #131 – April 5th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading three books; the first two being for the Beat The Backlist challenge because I have been neglecting this challenge terribly in March. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a (modern) classic I somehow never picked up before and I’m still deciding what to think of it. And I’ve been wanting to read the sequel ever since I finished the first book, so I’m hoping to continue Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken as soon as I finish  the first. Although I might read the ARC sequel Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell first, because I’m in the mood for another thriller.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I first finished The Yellow Envelope by  Kim Dinan, which didn’t turn out to be as good as I was hoping for. Instead of a travel memoir, it was more of a self-discovery journey and I had a lot of problems with the tone, focus of the story and (negative) cliches. More details in my review
* I then read the collection of short horror stories Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson, and it sure turned out to be a proper horror read. There are four stories in total and each is unique in its own way and represents a different subgenre. Warning: some of them have very graphic descriptions!
* The last book I was able to finish in March was History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and I can definitely understand why so many people seem to love this book. I enjoyed reading this book, although it kind of feels bad to say that since part of it is really sad. Excellent character development and loved the prose! Not a 5 star read as expected (it felt a bit messy), but definitely more than recommended for fans of the genre.
* My first April read was an ARC: Blood Moon by John David Bethel. The fact that this story is somewhat based on a true event is without doubt shocking, because the main character sure has to go through a lot. Interesting read with a lot of action and graphic scenes (warning if you don’t like those!), and I liked the use of Spanish even though there were quite a lot of mistakes.
* My last read was actually a reread: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. Back in January I couldn’t help myself and had to read this ARC as soon as I got a copy, and I decided to reread it before writing my review, since it’s going to be published soon. I enjoyed this thriller just as much the second time around. She is definitely one of my new favorite authors of the genre. I love LOVE her writing style.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… All for the April ARC month. What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James is a Netgalley ARC and part of a detective series I’ve been enjoying so far. Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray was sent by the author and sounds like an intriguing travel read. Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw is a Reading Alley ARC and will give me just the dose of fantasy I need (hopefully). I also still want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult , probably after I finish these three ARCs though.


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WWW Wednesdays #130 – March 29th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently about to finish one of my pending Netgalley ARCs: The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. I was really looking forward to this travel memoir, but it sort of fell flat for me. Rather than a true travel memoir, this story has mostly been a (rather self-centered) description of the author’s failing relationship with her husband and feelings; definitely not what I expected at all and not as enjoyable to read… I’ve also started History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, which I will continue as soon as I finish the memoir. I’m so excited to be finally reading it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* YESSSS!!! I’ve finally been able to read A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab, the final book in one of my all time favorite fantasy series. And it sure didn’t disappoint; I loved every single minute of this third book and I still sort of have a book hangover (the fact that I didn’t really like the next three books I picked up didn’t help either). I’m going to miss this fictional world and its characters; luckily I have my own little Delilah Bard to keep me company now. 😉

Little Delilah Bard, Lila for short.

* I also read The First City by Joe Hart, another final book in a trilogy… And I had a really hard time finishing this one. I’ve never liked the main character Zoey, but in this third book she is becoming almost impossible to tolerate. I’ve seriously considered DNFing it at various points… Her self-centered, annoying and whiney dialogues and actions made this read into a true struggle. The other POVs were slightly better, although I’m not too sure about the plot either. The ending is ok enough I guess.
* The last read I finished is Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein, which started out interesting enough and I liked the general idea behind this story (faes and fae hunters). That said, this turned out to be yet another YA fantasy series destroyed by a… yes, you can already guess… a freaking LOVE TRIANGLEEE!!! I’ve become seriously allergic to them, and all these forbidden love interests and love triangles just made me enjoy the story a lot less. Also, the main character changes ‘teams’ constantly and it’s not really realistic.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are two more ARCs… The horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson has been on my list for way too long already, so I’m hoping to finally read it this week. I also need to read Blood Moon by John David Bethel. After so many ARCs, I’m hoping to finally read more of my own books as well, and both Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult are high on my list.


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WWW Wednesdays #126 – March 1st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have only one current read right now, which is basically a miracle haha. I’m trying to get rid of the backlog of reviews before I start a new story, so that might explain why though. I’ve only just started my ARC copy of I Found You by Lisa Jewell, but it’s without doubt a story I’ve been looking forward to.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is The Killing Game by J.S. Carol, an ARC I wasn’t able to read before the publish date and I feel kind of bad now I’ve waited this long to finally pick it up. I ended up really enjoying this disturbing and plot twist-packed thriller! The plot was quite refreshing as well; a hostage situation where you learn more about the POV of both the bad guy, the victims and the press. Fast-paced, well written and REALLY hard to put down before the story was finished!
* I then read A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles, a historical fiction story I have been looking forward to ever since I first heard about it and I was delighted to receive an ARC copy of. I LOVED the setting and the prose! This is without doubt a beautifully written novel and even though the pace isn’t fast, the character development and many many descriptions made up for it. Fans of the genre will more than appreciate this story.
* The last book I read was The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller; just in time to count as one last book for February. I’ve been wanting to read this one for ages now… And not just because so many fellow booklovers seemed to enjoy it; I’ve read/translated part of the ‘original’ story during my high school Latin/Ancient Greek classes and I really wanted to revisit the story. I definitely understand the love for this book now! Not only is the story well written, but the character development is very well done and I loved Patroclus’ character. The pace is quite slow at points, but I personally didn’t mind. This mythology adaptation of the Achilles & Troy story is without doubt excellent!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’ve decided to use March to try and get rid of the backlog of pending ARCs, so I have the following three lined up to read next: Bull by David Elliott, Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson and The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer.  I also want to read Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken as part of my promise to start finishing more pending series.


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WWW Wednesdays #125 – February 22nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading two Netgalley ARCs, depending on the genre I’m in the mood for. The first is the thriller The Killing Game by J.S. Carol, which I actually should have read two months ago and it’s about time I finally picked it up… And the other title is A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles, a historical fiction story set in the Russia of the 1920s and a very enjoyable read so far. I’ve also read the first few pages of The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and I’m definitely looking forward to continue it as soon as I finish my current ARCs. And I’ve decided not to mention my current audiobook (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison) anymore until I actually make progress again. 😉

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is The Truth Will Out by Brian Cleary, an ARC that has been on my TBR for way too long. And wow, what a disturbing and messed up story! This crime thriller is set in Ireland and the plot is without doubt intriguing. On top of that it’s well written, full of twists and without doubt a gripping story in general.
* I then read The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew, which I had picked up on a whim after browsing my kindle. I should have checked goodreads first instead, because I can definitely understand the very low rating now… I had a REALLY hard time reading this story and was close to DNFing it more than once. I had a strong dislike for the prose and the story simply didn’t make sense at all. I guess I was as lost as the light in the title…
* To make up for the previous read (and also because I finally finished the Rebel Of The Sands review) I continued with Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. And this series is definitely one of my new favorite fantasy series! I enjoyed this sequel just as much or even better than the first book, and it will be a long long wait for the last book. The writing, the plot, the characters, the magic… Everything just works.
* The last book I finished is The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro as part of my promise to start finishing more series. I enjoyed the first book of this series last year, but the books are steadily declining in quality. This third book was actually quite a struggle. I don’t think I would have finished it if it wouldn’t have been for the superfast pace… Because between the extremely annoying main character, sappy romance scenes and general blah I had a hard time finishing this story. It makes me really worried about the final book…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m trying to tackle the mountain of pending ARCs that are waiting for me, so I have the following three lined up: I Found You by Lisa Jewell, Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson and The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer.  I also want to read both Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken as part of my promise to start finishing more pending series.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #124 – February 15th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently still reading the Rebel Of The Sands sequel, and I can’t wait to properly dive into the story later today. It took me a little longer to finish my review than I thought, but no more excuses now. Traitor To The Throne it is! I haven’t made any progress with my newest audiobook (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison) this week though…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer, a new detective series I requested after hearing a lot of great things about it. It’s definitely a worthy psychological thriller! Lots and lots of plot twists and the writing style is really enjoyable… I wasn’t a fan of all the characters and there were a couple of cliches, but the rest of this messed up story makes up for it.  And even though I saw part of the ending already coming, a couple of facts/twists will definitely surprise you!
* I then read Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, a book I’ve been posponing for way too long if you ask me. I finally picked it up after receiving an ARC of the sequel, and I’m glad I finally gave this story a chance. I loved it even better than expected! I’ve fallen in love with the worldbuilding, characters and writing style and I’m already reading the sequel right now.
* The last book I finished was The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson. I’ve been posponing this TBR jar pick for way too long and I’m glad I finally gave it a go. I still have to read the previous TBR jar pick as well (Little Women), so I won’t be picking a new one until I do. This one was better than expected even though some of the story was a bit weird (especially the whole Death thing and Andrew himself). The story is without doubt original and I liked the graphic novel bits with patient F.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have two pending ARCs next: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles and The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer. (Ok, actually I have a whole mountain of pending ARCs, but I’m going to try and read these two first…) I also want to read both The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken VERY soon. So many books and so little time!


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