Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Info: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic YA, Paperback, 374 pages, 1 week.

Synopsis: 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.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

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.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Why I Chose This Book: I bought this book back in June to read before the movie came out. Unfortunately, it marked the end of my dystopian rampage, so I put it down. Then when the decision was made to go see the movie this last weekend, I knew I had to stop putting it off.

What I Liked: I love books with a puzzle that isn’t necessarily a whodunnit. While I’m really not much for conspiracy, this seemed like one I could sink my teeth into.

What I Didn’t Like: Pretty much everything else? I mean, I didn’t mind reading it, really. But…I don’t know. I had to read quite a few other reviews before I could word how I felt. There are so many plot holes. And I know that it’s part of a series, so I need to keep reading to see if they’re really plot holes or just loose ends that have yet to be tied off. Also, the characters/author withhold information to build up suspense, but it just made me angry. It was 200 pages of “Where am I?” “Not telling.” “Who are you?” “Not telling.” “What do ANY OF THESE WORDS MEAN?!” “Not telling.” For what? (Not telling.) I hate that!

Also, I can appreciate that we are meant to come into the book with no knowledge, as does Thomas. But by having Thomas and the audience kept in the dark on purpose, I just didn’t care about a single character. Any interest I actually held was either because I wanted the puzzle solved or because I didn’t want to see the actor portraying a character to get hurt. That’s all. So moments when I knew I was supposed to cry out in emotional agony, I just lifted my eyebrows a bit.

When I was talking about this book to my boyfriend, I told him you could tell it was a YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic because Random Words were Capitalized. This shows importance, like the Changing or the Maze or the Grievers or Runners or the Baggers or the Keepers or really, every other word in this book. It drove me crazy! Does maze need to be capitalized? No. Runners and Baggers are just occupations. We don’t say Teacher or Lawyer or Clerk. Augh. Pet Peeve.

Ratings and Recommendations: Might be good for someone just getting into YA, as I’ve seen a lot of reviewers saying they read it when they just started reading the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre or YA in general and loved it, but had different feelings after a reread.  I gave this book three stars on good reads.

6. Not Sure How To Feel

Final Thoughts: While I really didn’t enjoy this book, I hate leaving a puzzle unfinished. So I bought the rest of the series on a great sale and will probably not enjoy them as well. I’ll try to keep an open mind and I’ve heard they get better, I won’t be holding my breath.

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