The Maze Runner by James Dashner

DBRLTeen will be highlighting a title from the list of 2011-2012 Truman Award finalists every Tuesday and Thursday throughout November. Click here to learn more about this prestigious award which is voted on by Missouri junior high students. Today’s featured book is The Maze Runner and our guest reviewer is library associate Dana Bocke.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Reviewed by Library Associate Dana Bocke

I loves me some dystopian teen fiction. Society has fallen apart? The planet is a wreck? People are placed in horrible, no-win situations that can only end in tragedy? Sign me up! So, it should not come as a surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed “The Maze Runner.”

A lot of people make comparisons between “The Maze Runner” and “The Hunger Games“, and how they are similar in their themes of teens fighting for survival in an orchestrated situation that takes place in a dark, repressive future. However, I think that is where the similarities end. In “The Hunger Games,” the players knew the set-up and knew the stakes. Thomas and the other teens in “The Maze Runner” don’t know where they are, why they ended up in the Maze, or what they need to do to get out. And because the characters don’t know, the reader is in the uncomfortable position of being almost as lost as Thomas.

It is not until the end of the book that the reader gets a bit more information than Thomas and his friends, and it isn’t good for our characters. But, it is great for readers like me who love a little dread as they dive into the other titles in this trilogy: “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure.”

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