Happy Monday, Bookworms!
How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was busy and I got to spend it in Chicago with an array of my FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER! So. I am exhausted, but so happy. However. You are not here to listen me brag about a fun weekend with people I love. No, no. I shall simply keep the epic-ness of it all to myself for the time being. You are here for the books, and a book you shall have!
I recently finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I had several of you awesome readers recommend it to me, so I decided to listen to the voice of the people. The Maze Runner is a young adult dystopian novel, a genre with which I have a love-hate relationship. So. Love? Or Hate?
Well, this novel begins with our protagonist Thomas waking up in a dark box. As he comes to, he’s surrounded by a bunch of boys heckling him. Thomas is a new arrival to a bizarre community of adolescent boys. The boys have created a little agrarian society in the middle of an enormous maze. (Imagine, if you will, a corn maze on steroids where the corn is replaced with enormous super tall ivy covered walls.) Thomas has no recollection of who he is or how he came to be in this place, but all new arrivals go through that. NONE of the boys are entirely sure how they ended up in the Glade or what the freaking deal is with the maze. All they know is that the maze is extremely dangerous (thanks to cyborg-slug-stabby monsters known as Grievers.) The boys aren’t too keen on being marooned there. The guys in the Glade treat information on a strictly “need to know” basis, which annoys the crap out of poor confused Thomas (and, frankly, the reader as well.) While its annoying, all the scintillating little details and the secrecy kept me reading… And annoying a co-worker who’d already read this with questions immediately followed by “No, don’t tell me!!!” (Sorry June, but you brought this on yourself!)
The maze itself smacks of government conspiracy, and the fact that the Glade has an impressive graveyard full of maze casualties reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games, what with the murdered children and all. Fortunately, I shan’t be shouting, “Simpsons did it!” at this novel (unlike, say, Ally Condie’s Matched series.) This book also called to mind Lord of the Flies, but it was amazing how the boys were able to keep order, unlike the English schoolboys of Golding’s imagination. The Glade boys were smart enough to understand that if they didn’t maintain structure, their already confused lives would descend into complete chaos and none of them would survive. If they held it together, they at least had HOPE of solving the maze and getting back to their lives… Not that any of them remember their lives, really, but they figure it’s got to be better than being murdered by a weird cyborg slug monster (can’t argue with that logic.) Basically? I’m hooked on the maze and you bet your shank-klunk-shuck-bloody-weird-Glade slang I’ll be continuing this series.
So, Bookworms. The Grievers in this book are really the stuff that kids’ nightmares are made of. What did your childhood monsters resemble? Cyborg slugs? Big blue monsters with a heart of gold? Villains from Super Mario Brothers come to life? Inquiring minds want to know. (Mostly I want to know that I’m not the only one who was afraid of those ball and chain things with teeth from Mario 3…)