Thursday, December 12, 2013

YA Book of the Week... The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner / James Dashner

Finally—a male protagonist! Sometimes while reading YA fiction I forget that male characters are something other than foils for the female protagonists to discover themselves through—sad, but true in quite a few YA novels these days. But, here it is—a male protagonist! Reason enough to read this awesome series. But alas, some of you may need more convincing…
Thomas wakes up in an elevator shaft with no memory as to how he arrived there. As he looks upward a group of teenage boys look back at him—he has arrived in a sort of farming commune called the Glade that is situated next to a huge maze. Every morning the doors to the maze open and every evening the doors to the maze close. Of course, if you are a teenage boy living next to a gigantic maze you become curious of its purpose, why you are there, why there are scary monsters inside of the maze at night, etc. Only more questions arise the day after Thomas arrives when a girl pops up in the lift—a GIRL. FYI: This is surprising because she is the one and only girl to have ever entered the Glade.

Of course, Thomas and the others want to know why they are in the Glade, how they ended up there, why they can’t remember anything about their lives before the moment they wound up there. They also want to know what the giant maze all about. My 8th grade physics class went on a field trip to a corn maze once.  The objective: find the most efficient way out. My teacher told us later that if you hold your right hand to the wall and don’t let go you’ll exit the maze in good time. I would have loved to give Thomas and the Gladers this advice, however, every evening the walls of the maze shift. Of course things can’t be too easy.

This book is filled with great characters (I especially love Newt and Minho) who, like in many other YA novels, search for meaning in their dire situations. The Gladers seek an answer to the maze day in and day out—sending “maze runners” into the fray to assemble maps of the landscape in hopes of finding answers. Overall it’s a great book with a great range of characters and storyline.
Did you like The Hunger Games? The Maze Runner is set at a slightly different pace, but HG fans will love it too.

BONUS: The MAZE RUNNER MOVIE comes out 9.14.2014… By the looks of the recently posted photos it’s going to be an awesome adventure—read the books (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, & The Kill Order (prequel to the series)) before the movie comes out!!

Overall: 9/10
Come by Pesky to check out the series-- we have all three books on our new book shelf!
See you next week! Ms. Zephir:)


1 comment:

EJensen said...

There is a two-part post by Stacked ( and that looks at how many male vs. female authors there were in the New York Times young adult bestseller lists during a better part of 2013. It has made me wonder whether the dearth of male protags in YA is real or perceived. Have you seen any writing on it? The Stacked analysis only deals with the authors' genders, not the protagonists'.