I had seen the movie trailer and heard good things about the book, so I asked Ashleigh if I could borrow her copy. She willingly obliged (because that's how friendship works). And I got stuck into it...
First, let me tell you what the book is about. It's narrated by Thomas, an approximately 16 year old who wakes up in a dark box with very limited memory. The box then opens and he's surrounded by a bunch of teenage boys who are standing in the center of a maze, the Glade, their Homestead. The important part is the Maze, right? So then Thomas decides he wants to be a Runner, someone who spends their whole day exploring and mapping out the Maze. Then, a twist of fate. A girl shows up in the box and tells them there aren't going to be any more "deliveries". Then she collapses into a coma. Then Thomas gets stuck inside the Maze at night, which is pretty much a death wish because of these Griever creatures. Anyway, it continues on in a similar manner until Thomas decides they have to break out and then like everyone dies.
Ugh. I don't even know. I'm frustrating myself just trying to write this review. That's it in a nut shell and I don't even feel like I'm spoiling anything because it is all so predictable. I don't mean to make anyone upset or whatever by "dissing" a book that they may have loved. This is just my opinion and it doesn't matter anyway. Okay. reasons I didn't like it...
With every supposedly "surprising plot twist" I would roll my eyes and sigh and say in my most sarcastic voice "Guess who never saw that coming?!?!" I'll tell you who. Not me. I saw it coming back in the 15th century.
2. It was supposed to be suspenseful, but it wasn't.
According to "people" it's "high suspense" and "can't put down" kind of literature and I'm telling you now that that is a lie. I'm pretty sure I spent more time convincing myself to keep reading than actually reading. I watched several episodes of Peppa Pig between sentences. It took me like three weeks to read and it's not a particularly long book. And even when the "action" did pick up, I didn't feel the suspense. The first time I read The Hunger Games (and apparently this book is a must read for fans of The Hunger Games), I had butterflies in my stomach because I was like "She's gonna die! Omygosh! She's gonna die!! and then Clove throws a knife at her and I'm pretty sure I squealed. I didn't find the Griever's a particularly threatening enemy although they killed plenty of people. In my mind they were just gigantic slugs with poison spikes sticking out of their backs like a Stegosaurus. It's not really scary when you can just outrun them or dodge past them. Even though they were made out to be the most horrifying of creatures and most the time you wouldn't even die if you came into contact with one. Lame! Also, they spent way more time talking about the suspense, then when it actually happened it was meh.
3. The writing was cringe worthy.
Oh man. There were so many points where I would read a line and literally cringe and people would look at me probably because they thought something gory or horrific had happened, when the only horrific thing that had actually happened was the writing. Parts of it reminded me of when I had tried to write a suspense novel when I was 13.
4. None of the characters were even vaguely likable.
All the characters were annoying and got on my nerves. They were all so self-righteous and gung-ho to save the world, even though they were all stuck inside this "unsolvable" Maze. Especially Thomas. He was particularly annoying because it was narrated from his point of view, so I saw way more of his stupid thoughts than I would have liked.
5. I felt like the author was trying to manipulate me into liking/caring for the characters, and that just made me hate them more.
Okay. There was this part where Thomas was in the prison-type cell thing and his only friend Chuck comes to talk to him and suddenly Thomas resolves to break them out of the Maze and return Chuck to his parents. Then when (SPOILERS!!!!) Chuck dies he keeps bringing up the fact that "Oh! Wo is me! I'm such a bad friend for breaking my promise." Earth to Thomas... Chuck doesn't care. He's dead. Sorry not sorry.
6. It was frustrating. I know that's not a real reason, but just deal with it.
I don't like that I had to force/motivate myself to read it. That's maybe acceptable if it's War and Peace and you're only halfway through, but this is a "teen thriller." It shouldn't be frustrating. Also, the only female character in it was also weird and annoying. I probably should have mentioned that before, but it just came to me now.
7. Super repetitive. He would remind me of a plot point seven hundred times and it made me feel like an idiot.
After reading for probably the ten thousandth time that Thomas is frustrated by his memory loss, that he can remember aspects like trees, but not who or where he was when he experienced those trees, I had to roll my eyes and put down the book again. I GET IT OKAY??!?!?! HE HAS SELECTIVE MEMORY LOSS!!! LET'S MOVE ON!!! I reckon this book could have been about 200 pages shorter if Thomas didn't repeat himself so much.
Overall, I commend Dashner for having an original idea for a story, but it would've been great if someone else had maybe executed it for him. I apologize if any of this post offends you because you really like this book or whatever. I think maybe for the first time in the history of my life, the movie will be better than the book.
Cry Scale: Negative 17.5