Sep 3, 2013

{Review} The Maze Runner by James Dashner

James Dashner
Pages: 374
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: October 6, 2009

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t 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 they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the 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.

OMG This book was incredible!!! I mean, I should have been doing schoolwork instead of reading and I couldn't stop myself from picturing Dylan O'Brien as Thomas, but that never took away from the intensity and awesomeness of The Maze Runner. It reminded me a little of The Hunger Games, in the whole kids/survival thing (yeah I know this one came out first, I'm just sayin' if you liked Katniss you're gonna love Thomas). 

I loved the way I, as the reader, learned what was going on in the Glade along with Thomas. How Dashner slowly dripped the slang of the Gladers into Thomas's thought process, until he was using it fluently and I didn't know the difference. You can feel Thomas slowly acclimating into Glade life, until he's full in it, and he fully wants out of it. I loved how there wasn't any spontaneous romance between Thomas and the girl, like happens rather frequently in YA (mind you, I like spontaneous romance from time to time, not sayin' its a bad thing). So yeah, she seems familiar to him; it doesn't make him feel anything towards her immediately. They have to acknowledge they know each other somehow, and Dashner does a really great job on that front.

I also loved the differences in the Gladers. The way they change after being stung by a Griever. I loved how some of them were really tough, but freak out under fear and pressure, but are able to go back to being as tough as they were before. I loved their bravery, their hope. The way they all made fun of Frypan's cooking, but ate it anyways. The fact that they could have gone all Lord of the Flies, but established order instead. They have an incredible system of life that they created on their own. And they're just a bunch of teenage guys. They largely respect each other, so long as everyone follows the rules. And they have a system for when someone doesn't. 

It's been a while since I got so excited about a book I jumped right on here and wrote my review. (Honestly, reviewing just keeps seeming more and more like a chore. It's why I haven't been around much.) But, The Maze Runner was so brilliant that I couldn't not spread my thoughts. I can't wait for the movie. I know I haven't been waiting for it as long as the majority of the fans (and it's actually the reason I read the book in the first place), but I'm excited nonetheless. Not just because Dylan O'Brien is a cutie pie.

I didn't even like The Hunger Games this much. I feel like The Maze Runner has just as compelling a story, but is even better written (and I liked the way The Hunger Games was written). And I hate comparing the two, it's just that they fit the same genre in my mind. I can see critics being all "it's the new Hunger Games" when the movie comes out, which will annoy everybody. 

I just think this book is brilliant, and brilliantly written, and I highly recommend it (though I think the majority of people who've read it highly recommend it too). 

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  1. It's great that this book got you for a moment out of your review-slump. I know the feeling: sometimes you HAVE to share your thoughts right away. I love it when I come across such books :D I like the sound of this book and THG was good, so I'll like this one too! Great review.


  2. I have this book on my shelf but I haven't read it yet, even though it's a classic. Your review has just made me all the more excited about it. Great review :)

  3. When I read this book I said I liked it better than Hunger Games. But when I compare the entire series, I have to rate Hunger Games higher. But still, you should finish the series. They are all great books. Can't wait for his new series...


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