Author: Jasmes Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Hardcover: 374 pages
Summary (from goodreads):
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. 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 expanse enclosed 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, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl arrives in the lift—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.
I usually put a rating on my reviews, but I couldn’t do that for this book because the rating changes based on how I look at this book. Because of this, I am going to review it in two ways. As a book I read, and as a book for teenage boys.
I thought this was an okay book. The world that has been built is very interesting and different. The boys come into a Glade from a box and don’t remember anything about their lives other than their own name. They join the community, learn the rules, and find their place. Until Thomas that is. He goes and breaks the number 1 rule in his first week – he goes out into the maze at night to try to save two other boys.
Thomas survives and saves them. However, he isn’t your typical hero. In fact, at the beginning he is downright annoying and that made me almost put the book down at page 50. He is REALLY annoying. He keeps asking questions even though everyone keeps telling him to shut up. As a reader, I also wanted him to shut up. It goes along with another overall problem with the world-builder, it is told more than shown.
Luckily, both issues start to diminish fairly quickly and Thomas gets less irritating and the information dump ends and a compelling and exciting story begins. After the first 70 pages or so, I really started enjoying this book. I cared about the boys and hoped they could figure out the maze and get out. For such a large cast of characters, very few were really developed, which was disappointing because I wanted to connect with them and see how they dealt with the situation for the last two years. SEMI SPOILER: The end broke my heart. I almost started crying, so I guess a couple characters were developed pretty well!
I wish this wasn’t a series because I thought it was a decent book, but I need to know what happens next so I will have to get the next book from my library.
Book for teenage boys
I may have had some issues with the book that made me not like it much, but I am not the target audience for the book, 11-17 year old boys are. For that group, this book is fantastic. It is full of action and adventures. It doesn’t slow down very often, and if it does, it is to build suspense for the next piece of action.
It will also make them think about what they would do in the situation. Would they be willing to risk it all to escape, even though the outside world is unknown? Would they give up or keep going? It was hard for me to ask these questions because there was only one female in the book, but I think most boys will see themselves in the book.
If you are looking for a book that could get someone in that age range to read this series would be a great option!
You could win my gently read copy! Go to the giveaway post and enter!