Today, I'm happy to have author Alexandra Bracken here to talk about how songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doors and The Allman Brothers played a huge part in her newest book The Darkest Minds. So without a further ado...
Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Well of course this Southern rock anthem had to make an appearance sooner or later. JRuby hears this one just before they’re launched into a terrifying situation. But for those first few seconds, she’s almost lulled into a sense of calm because she has so many comforting memories about listening to it with her dad. The song itself is basically about a guy explaining to his girl why he can’t settle down, and was inspired by a fight Allen Collins (one of the band’s founding members and guitarists) had with his girlfriend. The question she asked him during it became the opening verse, “If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?” That line, and the song, take on a new meaning at the bend of the book—though that’s not something I realized until much later!
Light My Fire by The Doors
This is a song that was actually added in a later revision, after a number of others were snipped out—and it has the distinction of being the one song with actual lyrics quoted. Liam actually sings part of it to Ruby in a silly attempt to get her to laugh. One of the main reasons I picked it (aside from the fact I love it) was Jim Morrison’s distinct voice. Liam does a bad imitation in an attempt to get Ruby to laugh after a particularly bad, nightmare-fueled night. This is actually one of my favorite scenes in the book, because it exemplifies both Liam’s character, and the reason Ruby—who is initially very timid and nervous around them—is able to eventually warm up to the group: Liam works very hard to make her feel that way.
Ramblin’ Man by The Allman Brothers
Liam jokingly calls this “the music of [his] soul,” and I honestly do think this is the song that blazes through his head every time he buckles his seatbelt and settles in for a long drive. I love how warm and southern it is—it’s the kind of song you want to sing aloud to at the top of your lungs. While there are some lyrics that reflect his actual life (yes, he really was born in the backseat of a bus!), there’s a bit of irony in that the song describes a traveler—a man that can’t be tied to any one person or place. Liam is someone who builds bonds and friendships easily, likely because he’s so sensitive to the needs of others. He’s someone who stays.
About The Darkest Minds:
When Ruby awakened on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." Because Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.About the author:
Now sixteen, Ruby knows that she is one of the dangerous ones and, when the truth comes out, she barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run and desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her, Ruby joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what she did to her parents.
When they arrive at the safe haven, East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work too, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. And soon Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
The heart-pounding first book a near-future dystopian series, Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds will leave you begging for the next installment.
Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She recently relocated to New York City, where she works in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books. You can visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com or on Twitter (@alexbracken).
I have one copy of The Darkest Minds to giveaway.
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Official Giveaway Rules:
~ Must be 13 years older
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The Darkest Minds Blog Tour Schedule
January 6th: TheSkipKids.com
January 7th: Mundie Moms
January 8th: Laura’s Review Bookshelf
January 9th: The Book Smugglers
January 10th: Here
January 11th: The Book Muncher
January 14th: The Compulsive Reader
January 15th: Anna Reads
January 16th: Emily's Reading Room
January 17th: *Headdesk*
January 18th: BlookGirl
January 21st: Once Upon a Twilight
January 22nd: Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog
January 23rd: Good Choice Reading
January 24th: Novel Novice
January 25: Tynga's Reviews