I’m one of those people that has to read the book before watching the movie. So, basically I’m a normal and sane human being (kinda. That’s up for discussion, but not this one). That being said, this policy also extends to books I’ve already read and need brushing up on, because in my old age I forget the teeniest details that make the book stand out so much against the movie.
So when my boyfriend said that he rented The Maze Runner, the little wheels in my head starting turning and I thought, “I remember reading that!” However, this was a good while ago, and I forgot much of the details. Being a YA lit novel, I took the opportunity to speed re-read the book in a 2 day span before our movie rental expired (I held the movie hostage until I could finish the book. Gotta do what you gotta do!). I immediately went and charged up the ol’ Kindle and got it up to speed. Without further ado, here’s a mini-recap of the book.
We start with Thomas, a boy who is carried in an elevator into the Glade, a large field/farm/forest that is surrounded by four towering walls. Thomas is sent into the Glade with no memories other than the knowledge that his name is Thomas, and soon meets the other boys of the glade. Alby and Newt are the ringleaders in the Glade, and Thomas soon learns that the Glade is actually the center of a maze filled with horrifying and deadly creatures called Grievers. Each day a select few boys go out into the maze in an attempt to solve it/find an exit/stay alive. They are given supplies and such by an anonymous source through the elevator, and they have a routine. This routine changes when *gasp* a girl is sent through the elevator the day after Thomas arrives, sooner than any other “greenie” that comes through the elevator. Not only that, but she shows up rambling nonsense before slipping into a coma. But here’s the worst part: supplies stop coming and the “sun” doesn’t appear anymore, and the walls that close at night to separate the Glade from the Maze are left open free for Grievers to enter.
The boys are now in survival mode, and finding the exit is more imperative than ever. Thomas hypothesizes that the maze walls, which shift every night, may not be moving randomly but may be a code. Shortly after Teresa, the girl, wakes up, stating she and Thomas know each other and can communicate telepathically, which increases the already-thick tension between Thomas and the rest of the group.
Whether or not they escape will be up to you to find out, but this book is suspenseful from the beginning. The only downside I noticed was that it followed a typical dystopian theme that’s become mainstream for YA novels; however, each character is unique and adds the right amount of friction to the story to keep it rolling. You definitely get the feel of Hunger Games, but The Maze Runner is original enough to stand on its own just fine.
Fortunately it’s part of a series (yippie!), and the movie isn’t too terrible (not as good as the book, duh). If you like dystopian books and are searching for something along those lines, I’ve got you covered.
Merry reading until then.