With the movie version of The Maze Runner coming out in September, which looks amazing based on all I’ve seen so far, I wanted to get started with actually reading the series.
In The Maze Runner, a teenaged boy named Thomas suddenly wakes up in a sort of elevator. He has amnesia – he doesn’t remember anything about who he is or how he got there, but he remembers basic things about how to live, the names of things, and feels like he recognizes stuff but doesn’t know why. At the end of the lift, the doors open to reveal a group of other teenaged boys stuck in a maze. Just as Thomas starts to figure out how the maze society works, another unexpected thing happens: a girl is delivered in the box the very next day, the first girl ever to be sent to the maze, and she has a scary message to deliver. Throughout the course of the book, Thomas tries to remember anything that would explain why they’re there and how they could possibly make it out of the maze.
I don’t even really know how to classify this book – it’s not dystopian as there’s nothing seemingly “perfect” about the society Thomas suddenly finds himself in, and Dashner doesn’t reveal much to us about life outside of the maze until the very end so I hesitate to call it a post-apocolytic novel, but it’s pretty clear that something big is happening. As the reader tries to figure it out along with Thomas and the other kids trapped in the maze, we’re a part of and adventure that is definitely thrilling.
Fans of books like the Divergent and Hunger Games series’ will find The Maze Runner interesting, though it doesn’t have the romantic element found in those. I’ll definitely be adding this title to my 8th grade summer reading list – it’s a great option for students probably 7th grade and up.