Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review: The Maze Runner

With the success of Young Adult book-turned-to-movie franchises such as The Hunger Games and Twilight, it's does not come as a surprise that publishers and directors alike are searching for "the next big thing." Enter James Dashner's The Maze Runner

I first noticed this book on a list printed by my local public library. The list suggested books you would enjoy based on books you had enjoyed in the past. The first book under The Hunger Games was The Maze Runner. While I always knew I would read the Maze Runner, I continued to put it off, until recently of course. With the movie adaptation being released in September, I thought I had put it off long enough and so I finally got my hands on a copy. Here's the summary posted on Goodreads:

"If you ain't scared, you ain't human." 
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Now, the first about seventeen chapters were a bit of a struggle for me. Granted, the chapters are not long, but I was 1. very confused and 2. annoyed with the writing style. Looking back now that I have finished the book, being confused for a good chunk of the novel was not so bad. As a reader, I came to enjoy just being thrown into the story, without any previous knowledge. Unlike other books, where the reader knows more than the characters do and often becomes frustrated that the characters are not "figuring it out", this story has you thinking along with Thomas. Whenever Thomas comes upon a new obstacle or a new twist shows up in the plot, I scratched my head along with him, attempting to figure out what everything meant.

Nevertheless, the writing style still irked me. Many details were repeated over and over again. At various points, I was just like, "Ok Thomas, I get it, this is important." While other details that were actually much more important were mentioned once or twice. That really bothered me. However, after those initial fifteen or so chapters, the plot starts developing quickly and it really sucked me in. I couldn't stop reading! This was literally me at 3 AM: 

Overall, The Maze Runner was an great book. The mystery behind the sudden arrival of a girl to the Glade (the name of the compound where all the boys live) and the puzzle of solving the Maze is very intriguing. I would have loved for this book to be a standalone book, just because I'm growing tired of reading trilogies and the like, however, I am also glad to know I can dive back into Thomas's world when I read The Scorch Trails. This book was a breath of fresh air for me, since I have been reading quite a few YA books in which romance has overwhelmed the plot. This book has virtually none of that and focuses on the main point behind this book: Why the heck are these kids in this Maze?!

Rating:  (actually 4.5/5 stars, lost a 0.5 due to the writing style. It irked me, but it wasn't that bad :) )

p.s. The fact that all of the boys are named after famous scientists is awesome. Thomas - Thomas Edison and Newt - Issac Newton xD It was very creative, I quite liked it. Although Minho leaves me stumped xD Also...Frypan - I have no idea where his name came from, haha

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