Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Summer Challenge: The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Dystopia)

I listened to this book as an audiobook, which I feel gave it a lot of body and made the characters feel more realistic than their actual actions and what they said. Newt had a wonderful accent I loved hearing, and the narrator did a wonderful job overall. However, if I wasn’t listening to an audiobook, I probably would not have gotten very far with this book if it was not for the fact that I NEEDED to find out the answers as much as Thomas and the other Gladers did. Suspense is definitely what James Dashner does best, and luckily the ending and resolution did not disappoint! 

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Series: Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure, Mystery

Rating: 3.5 stars

Description:

“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.

Book Review:

I listened to this book as an audiobook, which I feel gave it a lot of body and made the characters feel more realistic than their actual actions and what they said. Newt had a wonderful accent I loved hearing, and the narrator did a wonderful job overall. However, if I wasn’t listening to an audiobook, I probably would not have gotten very far with this book if it was not for the fact that I NEEDED to find out the answers as much as Thomas and the other Gladers did. Suspense is definitely what James Dashner does best, and luckily the ending and resolution did not disappoint!

Many things felt strange about this book, mainly the fact that (spoilers) all the supposedly “genius” kids that were sent to the Glade didn’t act very smart, but as soon as brilliant prodigy Thomas shows up he figures it all out in two weeks, just by having these memories that give it all away. I suppose what I am trying to say is that although all the boys in the Glade are supposed to be geniuses, Thomas’s best qualities seem to be his bravery (more like sheer stupidity), magical ability for telepathy, and the total-giveaway memories he receives for his stupidity. Other things I did not like about this book included the monsters that seemed more weird than scary, many deaths (and there are many) were very predictable and I felt no emotion regarding them, and if the purpose of the Glade was to test genius children, why was there only one girl there and why did she act so pitiful and why does the only girl always need to be “very pretty”?

I admit that one of the reasons I read this book for my summer genre challenge was also so I could see the movie when it came out. Based off the trailer, it looks like a pretty good version of the book, if not made more violent and dramatic.

Genre Review: Dystopia

I cannot disagree with the many reviewers who recommend this book for fans of the Hunger Games series. Beyond the obvious, that they are both popular dystopian young adult books, they both take place in similar settings: enclosed, monitored arenas containing only teenagers with a need to survive. Despite the epilogue being very well-written and intriguing, at this point I still don’t know if I will continue with the series. I am worried that, as in the case of the Hunger Games series, following books that don’t take place in that setting that the reader has become so used to and connected the characters to will feel strange and less enjoyable.

Overall, The Maze Runner is a good dystopian young adult novel, with a very suspenseful mystery and intriguing futuristic world. Although I tend to dislike dystopian books on principle, because of their often dark themes and current popularity (I always dislike anything popular on principle — so it is especially amazing when I combat my prejudice to enjoy any popular novel), this book surprised me for its ability to keep my attention and curiosity the whole way through.

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One comment on “Gwen’s Summer Challenge: The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Dystopia)

  1. alwaysopinionatedgirl
    August 8, 2014

    How funny, I read and reviewed this recently too! Great minds think alike. :) I had some of the same issues as you, I didn’t like Teresa and wasn’t emotionally attached to the characters. X

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Gwen's Summer 2014 Genre Challenge, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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