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* * Old, old review * *

I watched The Maze Runner movie a few days ago and held off writing this up because I needed to process all of my feelings towards it. So after a lot of thought I can safely say that I liked it. But I think the fact that I read the book kind of ruined it.
Allow me to explain.
I really fell in love with the books: the characters, the relationships and the writing. Honestly, the story is very silly– I feel this way even more since I started the sequel– but it is still an entertaining read. Hell, one of my favorite things about the book was the relationship between Newt and Alby and the relationship between Chuck and Thomas. I simply don’t think the movie delivered on that.
Now, the movie did a lot of things wonderfully. I think most of the interactions in the movie work. Dylan O'Brien is a very talented actor and the rest of the cast was wonderful as well. There was a lot of chemistry there. I think Will Poulter was a real stand out in the movie. My favorite was the dynamic between Gally and Thomas.
Acutally, Gally in general is much better in the movie than in the book. I understand his feelings and motivation a lot better than in the book.
But other rather important  characters felt a bit lack luster. Like Alby and Chuck. Simply didn’t hit me as hard.
That’s my main criticism of the film.
The set and sound design were wonderful. The maze looked huge and impossible. They way the doors moved and the maze shifting were amazing and gave a them a great sense of weight!
The designs of the Grievers were terrifying. A mixture of spiders. scorpions and some king of weird gelatinous monster. I actually jumped a couple of times.
I felt like the story, for all the changes they made, was tight and concise. I’ve seen fans of the books complain about aspects of the movie so it’s really up to each person to decide if the movies worth it or not.
My Rating: 4/5

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* * This contains spoilers * *
Guess who just finished the long slog of a book? If you guess me then, my friend, you are most certainly right.
This is kind of weird, I’ve been reading this book for…a long while now and have been angry every step of the way. But now that I’ve finished I feel as though I have nothing to say. Which is completely untrue. I have a lot to say. Perhaps too much. Maybe that’s where this…loss of words is coming from.
Oh well. I’ll charge forward and ramble if need be.
One thing that bothered me throughout the whole book was the fact that Thomas didn’t have his memories back. Yes, this is away to keep the mystery for the reader but it was all really unfair I felt. There were hints in the second book that his memories were…leaking (?) through and I couldn’t wait to at least learn something more about Thomas or any of the other characters.Like…Thomas had a choice– which was so freaking pointless since they decided to try and force him anyways– and he chose'no’. The guy who wanted answers through the whole series and then, when everything’s being offered he just turns it down!
Now, that in and of itself didn’t piss me off. No. It was later on in the book when Thomas was having a dream with all his memories were just right there! At the tip of his fingers. And what does Thomas do? He walks away! What the hell? Like, I (sort of) get it.He’s moving forward and doesn’t want the past to follow him.Except…there are times in the book where Thomas thinks “…if only he remembered…” or something to that effect and all I could think was “YOU HAD A CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR MEMORIES AND ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’D NEED AND YOU WALKED AWAY!!!” I was so angry every time that came up.
I also don’t like Brenda. Like, I’m not sure Dashner can write romance (Thomas/Teresa was my least favorite parts of the first book and I didn’t like it in the second book either) so every time that came up I just rolled my eyes. But I also just didn’t like her character. That could be because I experience her through Thomas’s perception and I really hated Thomas in this book so that could be it.
Also, Thomas was super fucking whiny in this book! Seriously, I couldn’t stand him for a lot of it. Especially when it came to him and Teresa. He just claims to be done with her in the beginning of the book. And I guess I get it. What happened in the second book hurt him. Okay. Except we know why she did it. She did it because she was told to or else Thomas would be dead. She played it safe to save his life. But then he never forgives her! He forgives Gally and Aris (who was with Teresa by the way) but not Teresa! How the hell is that fair? Why doesn’t he forgive her??
Which is actually another reason I don’t like Brenda because it feels like she was just put there to replace Teresa.
There’s also the writing which I feels lack in a lot of areas.Thomas always felt very…reaction-y to me, or like he would"forget" about certain things which I thought would have been on his mind during the whole book. Like When Thomas and the Gang, sans Newt, were in the city. Fine, they were going on about their new lives or whatever, but it seemed like they totally forgot about Newt until the just decided to go back to the Berg. Then Thomas is all “How could he forget about Newt” or something and I’m like, “Yeah, Thomas, how could you? Or Minho?”. Then after they leave the Crank House and are all like, “We gotta go to Right Arm” and I’m sitting there thinking that was the plan all along.
Everything just came off very disconnected to me.
I blame the writing honestly.
Also…WHY THE HELL DOES THOMAS (AND MINHO) TRUST BRENDA AND JORGE?? Like if he’s supposed to just be done with WICKED and not trust anything they have to say or be suspicious about anything to do with that, then why does he just trust them from the get go? Shouldn’t he be worried that this is all some kind of weird WICKED test? I know it’s not but still, it should stay consistent.
And why doesn’t Brenda just tell Thomas that getting to the safe space was the plan? Why all this running around? Sure Thomas didn’t want to know anything about Chancellor Paige, but Brenda could have mentioned it at some point. Just keeping it a secret didn’t really seem t make much sense other than another surprise for the audience. But whatever I guess.
I guess there was just so much that I wanted from the story.Like…I would have been more into it if Thomas had his memories. He would have to actually deal with what he had done in the past. Then him trying to take down WICKED as a redemption would have had more impact because he would actually have an idea of what he did. He would be able to make informed decisions about everything, and he would struggle with the whole “Should I actually go back to WICKED to possibly save the world” instead of only thinking about it once or twice. That would be something I would have enjoyed reading. Maybe I would have liked this book if Teresa had been the main characters.
There’s probably a whole lot more but I can’t think of it right now. This review is a long ramble anyways. But I’m done and won’t be reading anything else in the series. Probably. Unless there’s more Newt, Alby, and Minho.
My Rating: 1.5/5

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 Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch– the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction– and they’re determined to survive. (Summary taken from Goodreads)
I actually finished this book a while ago and didn’t write up a review on it mostly because school and life in general got in the way. But I’ve got some time now and here’s what I think.
As far as sequels go this one is pretty weak. I’ve read a lot of things that talk about second books in trilogies being some of the hardest because it’s the middle of an overall story while still having a beginning, a middle, and an end in itself and this book…well, allow me to explain.
This book starts not too long after the first book ended. It’s the same night actually where we have a little interaction between Thomas and Teresa. I’m still not a fan of their relationship but the moment was cute. We even get a glimps of a memory. Then everything goes to hell: Gladers running around screaming, Teresa’s been kidnapped, and there are crazy people outside the windows begging to be killed. It’s all confusing but brings up interesting questions for the reader to ask. Namely, “What the hell is going on?”
Similar to the first book in that respect. But the difference here is that the first book was all about finding the answer to that question. While in this book we get the answer pretty early on. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but the answer is lame and can’t really hold a book on its own.
The Gladers are being put through the title of the book and it’s just boring to read. The problem is that none of this is devoted to exploring more of the characters. All we get is Thomas and his inner thoughts about the situation which is boring because Thomas is boring. I’m sorry to say for those of you to like him, but I don’t find him very interesting. He wasn’t even my favorite part of the last book. All the characters I really cared about are either dead or pushed to the side because no one is talking to each other.
Then Thomas get separated from the group with this girl named Brenda and I just didn’t care. Though I don’t think that Dashner can write girls. Or at least girls in relationships (of any kind) with Thomas. Because as soon as it started up I rolled my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head because I didn’t care.
Even with the introduction of Group B and everything there was a lack of caring on my part. I find that to be a real problem when the plot hinges on the characters being in mortal danger.
Most of this is weird though because the writing style isn’t slow or boring. Everything is fast paced and simple, very clear to understand and none of the scenes dragged. So the was a fast but boring read.
I don’t know.  This book did not make me excited to read the final book, though I am going to read it. This is just a disappointing follow-up to a book that I really enjoyed.
My Rating: 2.5/5

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I recently finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner and…well, I liked it but I’ve still got some weird feels about it.
So, what’s this book about?
Well, the story follows a group, more specifically Thomas, who are trapped in a large maze. They remember nothing of their previous lives except for their first names. With the arrival of Thomas and the first girl Teresa things rapidly start to change and these kids only have a limited amount of time to solve the maze or circum to terrors of the maze.
I think this a very interesting idea. Hell, it’s part of the reason I picked up the book (the other reason is because Dylan O'Brien is starring in the movie). But an interesting isn’t the same as ‘good’ (which is a subjective term anyways).
I’ll start with the characters…the most important ones anyways. In this book we have Thomas, Teresa, Alby, Newt and Minho; a lot of characters to deal with but I think Dashner handles them very well. Even though some of the fake slang made me giggle and roll my eyes but these guys sound like teens. I believed that Dashner really caught their voices but still made them all distinct enough to be likable.
I honestly feel like Dashner did a better job with Thomas’ relations to the other boys than his relationship with Teresa. That whole thing just felt forced to me. I understand that they were supposed to have this connection that he was rediscovering but…it was just unnatural. Perhaps because it seemed so immediate as soon as she woke up. But I don’t know.
My favorite relationship in the book also happened between my two favorite characters, Newt and Alby. I could really feel their friendship and how they did care for each other, even though the book is told though Thomas’ eyes.
Overall I think this book is unbalanced. The beginning…well most of the book actually, we’re all confused about what’s going on. Again, this is because we experience things through Thomas’ eyes and he’s kept in the dark about a lot of things for most of the book and it was frustrating, as it was supposed to be but there;s a difference between the reader being frustrated and feeling the character’s frustration.
The last third of the book is really good. It’s fast pace and exciting but I’m not sure if it’s enough of a pay off for the rest of the book.
All in all I like this book well enough and am looking forward to the sequel. I really feel like this isn’t so bogged down with “dude” that it alienates ladies. I recommend reading this before watching the movie.
My Rating: 4/5

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