The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

Thomas arrives at The Glade with no memory of who he is or where he has come from, except his name.  The Glade is not a place for the faint hearted. Sitting in the middle of a huge maze and surrounded by massive stone walls, the Glade is inhabited by teenagers ranging from 13 – 17, who run their world to strict guidelines. Each boy has a job. The Keepers are in charge. The Runners run the Maze each day. No one stays out in the Maze at night. If you break the rules punishment is harsh and sometimes deadly!

Outside the Glade, the Maze is inhabited by the Grievers. Clanking, Grinding creatures who’w spongy flesh hides their viscous and deadly needles and appendages. No one stays out in the Glade at night! By the time Thomas has been in the Glade for a day, he knows he wants to be a runner. But then another adolescent arrives. The Next Day! And it’s a Girl!! Things are changing. This is not good, and somehow it is Thomas’ fault! Who is he really?

Very enjoyable book. The characters are believable and the vernacular they use instead of swearing is quite funny. All is not as it seems. Thomas is central, not just to the story, but to the Glad and the Maze and to the escape…

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone

Gone

This is a very popular book with the Year 6s and 7s at my school, so of course I had to get hold of a copy and read! the fact that Michael Grant was visiting didn’t hurt either (although I managed not to see him!).
High school. Boredom. Teenagers angst. Bullies… and then everyone over the age of 15 disappears!
In this situation what do you do? Do you step up and take charge? Do you let someone else take over? Do you throw a party and do whatever you want because no one can tell you not to?
What happens when things start to go wrong? and what about those freaky super powers?
I enjoyed this book after I got half way through. The main character, Sam is your average hero in a crisis who would rather not be the one in charge. He constantly second guesses everything he says and does and it is not until he finally accepts the situation that the story really gets moving. The book looks at some fairly solid issues – bullying, social standing and taking responsibility.

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I am Number Four

I am Number Four

I am Number Four both book and movie were an interesting experience. I really struggled with the beginning of the book, the in depth details about the Perfection of Lorien – almost too much loving detail about how wonderful and perfect everything was, not just from the ‘child’ John’s  point of view, but also from his guardian Henri. It reminded me very much of the grass always being greener on the other side. There must have been some aspects of Lorien, either the planet, the people or the society which was not so mind numbingly perfect!!!

John Smith is just a name, one in a long line of false names and identities used by Number Four to hide his existence from the evil Mogadorians. However John has now reached adolescence and is coming into his powers and reaching that awkward age where ‘love’ and friendships become major issues – not just saving the world!

The film gave much less background information about Lorien and John’s emerging powers, almost not enough as some critics have observed. Hard to find that middle ground. Once I got past the endless descriptions of the past, and got into the relationships and events of the present, I quite enjoyed the book, although I found John’s assertion that Sarah is the love of his life a bit overdone! But then again – he is a teenager, and everything is life or death to a teenager!