One thing is clear from the beginning: Alexandra Bracken can't write action scenes. She tries, several times actually, but the result is always the same: huge confusion which leaves the reader completely at loss of what has happened, and not in a good way. However inevitable some chaos may be in hectic scenes, when there is no way to understand who's doing what and only at the end of a car chase you realize that there were actually two distinct groups of bad guys it is obvious that the author has lost some big chunks of the story along the way (or that what's happening is not clear to her either).
The second issue I have with this book is the total lack of plausibility of the background. As in all these dystopian trilogies I take into account that further details will probably be given in the next two books, but still. The 80% of American teens die of a sudden illness and the few remaining develop new powers, some pretty innocuous other more disturbing. The immediate reaction of the government is to close them in concentration camps where they should be "reformed" but where they are only tortured, with the tacit approval of the majority of the parents. Just like this, without any logical explanation of why these kids should be reformed or why the guards of the camps show this deep and violent hatred toward them. I don't know if this is a far-fetched metaphor for homophobia but it still doesn't make much sense (but it is true that also homophobia doesn't make much sense to me so...). Whatever the author's intentions were they really don't work plot-wise, just like the assumption that what happened to the kids could have send the country to bankruptcy in a couple of years doesn't work at all.
I had also troubles understanding the deep self-contempt shown by the protagonist who relentlessly describes herself as a monster. Ok, she can enter people minds, I understand that this can be unsettling but monstrous seems a too harsh way to describe it. Even after what happened between her and her parents is revealed, I could definitely relate to a feeling of shock, fear and heartbreak but all this hatred seems a bit exaggerated.
Moreover, regarding these abilities Bracken never really explains how Ruby's powers work and why she can touch people all the time but only sometimes she violate other people minds and this could be generally said about all the new abilities which are never fully described or explained.
On the other hand and unlike other readers I found the road trip theme sufficiently interesting and original even if it is true that the protagonist indulges a bit too much in repetitive pondering which could have definitely been skipped in favor of a greater attention to the many holes in the plot (the part about the Silp Kid and his twisted manipulations still seems totally aimless).
In the end I think I'll read also the following chapters, if for no other reason than Bracken still owes me several explanations and I hope to find them in the next books.