Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

Synopsis: (From Powells)

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But hes not alone. When the lifts doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Gladea large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers dont know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night theyve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent upthe first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Why I Picked this Book:  One night I was in a mad "must find more dystopians and other awesomeness" fix, and came across this one.  The plot really stuck in my mind.  I didn't buy it right away, but kept thinking about it.  Then Kimmel got it for me as a "thank you for watching my kids" present, and I gobbled it up!  And by the way:  The cover = Gorgeous

My Thoughts:
The Maze Runner finally set my thirst for a dystopian, set in crazy times with awesome back stories and great characters, to rest.  I couldn't stop reading it.  I wanted more.  I was mad at the last page, for it being the last page.  Then discovered that there are two more books and some of my anger left.  But only some.  Because I didn't want it to end.

I loved this story.  Though at times Dashner does seem to like to describe things more than just let the story flow, I felt it worked well with this storyline.  I can only imagine what it would be like to wake up, only able to remember your first name, and trapped in a crazy glade full of other teenage boys.  I would be taking in my surroundings as well.

I was part of this story.  While there was made-up lingo and phrases, Dashner did a great job of having you discovering them as the main character Thomas discovered them.  When you are confused, he is too.  Then gradually we all get it together and life is good.  Or as good as it can be.  Trapped in an seemingly impossible to solve Maze.

There was a hint of a love story, but it really never focused on it.  The plot wasn't driven by gooey eyes and love triangles.  It was driven by one thing: Survival.  I loved having the MC be male.  That seems to never exist anymore.  It was so refreshing.  The relationship between Thomas and Teresa is very lightly touched on, enough that you know there is something there, but don't gag with cupid arrows either.  I am figuring there will be more on it in the future books.  For this one though, I got just the right dose.

It felt... real.
I even got choked up at one point... I hope the characters felt me cheering for them.

The Maze Runner is a crazy, intense, different look on society and teenage boys.  Think Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale (Hunger Games) with lots of Big Brother. 

Ok, I really dont know what else to say.  I could keep gushing, but that would make for a long review where all I want to say is: READ THIS.  I don't want to reveal too much, because I honestly want you to discover this book for yourself.  I was thoroughly pulled into this story and loved every second of it.  I am itching for more, and know I will reread this book many times in the future.  The Maze Runner is my first official five-star review on this blog, and it deserves it.

My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

6 comments:

Elizabeth Schubert said...

Sounds good, but I'm curious to know why all the books you read are all female MCs, lol. Almost all of the ones I read are male XD Heck, I've even read a couple chick-lit dime novels that had male MCs, and lemme tell ya, that is weird! Oh and btw, I started reading XVI yesterday and am 79% through it (Kindle!) and hooked! :D

Noelli Spanelli said...

I read this book. I thought it was pretty good too. Did you hear that Catherine Hardwicke might direct The Maze Runner movie??

Rebecca Dupree said...

I found your blog and I think we have a lot in common! great job!

Jenni Merritt said...

Elizabeth - Lately it seems more YA novels tend to be female MC dominated. And since I have been reading that genre to know it better, that's what I have been getting. Its not bad, at all. But a change every so often is nice :)

Noelli - I did hear that. I am really not sure how I feel about it. I think they could find a wayy better director for the movie (I didn't fully like what she did with Twilight) but hey, she may always surprise us!

Rebecca - Hello! And welcome!!

Kimmel Tippets said...

Can I just say, I love that you put why you picked the book and not just what you thought of it. Love that.

Cait Emma said...

Thank you so so much for this review - I've been debating about reading it and i think you just persuaded me haha

love your blog xo

C

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