Third time’s the charm. I can’t believe it was only at my third attempt that I managed to read this book. Not that I had to re-start these many times because of the book itself; it was because every time I would start reading this book, the following day I would start working on university stuff and automatically all my free time for reading vanished. Obviously, I could have read a few chapters per night but honestly, after all that I had to read for my Masters in each day, I couldn’t really be bothered by reading more, even if only for fun. So thank god for the two weeks of holidays I had between the end of my course and the start of my internship, because finally I managed to read a bit. And I couldn’t have loved more this book.
I’m gonna try to be as spoiler-free as possible for those of you who haven’t read the book – or seen the film, even though I must say it really doesn’t matter for this case, but I’ll leave this tiny detail for one final short paragraph at the end of this review.
There are plenty of dystopian young adult novels around but they are all unique in their own ways. If there is something I don’t understand is the comparison of all of them to “The Hunger Games”. I do understand it was the first book of such genre to reach worldwide fame, especially after it was adapted to the big screen, but the genre is actually the only thing these books have in common. I believe that these comparisons are absolutely unjustifiable.
“The Maze Runner” tells the story of Thomas, a boy who “wakes up in a lift [and] the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. 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, open expanse surrounded 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 the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.” (x)
Because I started reading this book in three different occasions, it allowed me to imagine how the plot would develop, and I must say I was really surprise with he way it happened. But don’t get me wrong. I say surprise in a really good way because I honestly loved this plot. I wasn’t expecting it to happen the way it did so this was definitely a plus, and besides I think it was well-developed throughout the whole book.
One of the things I most liked about this book was its characters, more precisely the way they interacted with each from the very beginning and the way their relationships evolved, for the better or worse. And I must say, I loved the relationship between Thomas and Teresa, but not in a romantic kind of way, but definitely in the way they communicated and understood/supported each other. Definitely something I really liked in this book.
Apart from this, this is a very easy-to-read book. It’s divided in several (really several) chapters which I thought was a bit weird at the beginning, but when you finish the book you do understand why there are so many of them. It actually helps the plot develop smoothly. It clearly separates each scenes. It was a well thought detail. I read this book in English, and even though it is not my native language, it was really easy to do so. It has a simple English, perfectly understandable even for those who aren’t native English speakers.
Finally, just a few brief thoughts on the film adaptation. Honestly, I didn’t really like it. In my opinion, it doesn’t represent the book at all. I know that these adaptations always have extra scenes and details that aren’t in the books because they represent the director’s view, but this film had absolutely nothing to do with the book. The events that happen in the film have almost no connection with those that happen in the book, the relationships between the characters are all messed up and there are huge plot holes in the film. I mean, if you’ve never read the book and you go watch the film, maybe then in this situation it is not as bad as it seems. In few words, it was really disappointing for me. I’m glad I have the books because the story there is a lot better. Now all I need is to read the next two books (and then the prequels).