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Upcoming Book to Movie | Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Hardcore dystopia readers: Have you already read The Maze Runner? I’d love for you to weigh in on this one…

Upcoming Book to Movie | Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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the maze runner james dashner book review

Title & Author: The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction- Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic

Release Date: October 6, 2009

Series: The Maze Runner #1

Publisher: Delacorte Press

How I Got the Book: Bought


“‘If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.’

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.”

Late to the Game

With all of these 2014 YA book to movie adaptions , I feel compelled to read them first. Which is unusual, because I have a strange habit of watching first then reading later.

So, now that I’ve finally getting the order right…I’m disappointed. I have a feeling I will like The Maze Runner movie more than the book.

Let me explain: The Maze Runner is a book with gobs of hype. It was published in 2009, so it had plenty time to amass a fan base and be recommended. Also, I started reading it knowing a film was being adapted.

With that being said, I know all of that affected my expectations. They were high. Really, really high.

And, honestly, The Maze Runner wasn’t anything super standout to me. It was definitely a solid read. If I HAD to rate it (which I try to avoid because of mood reading, reflection, etc.), I’d give it a 3 out of 5. Solid but ok. Definite C work.

I think the concept is interesting. But it’s not original. For anyone who read it when it was first published, was it unique then? The explosion of dystopia has ruined me for most of these concepts.

Well, I take that back. I read and LOVED The Giver, which is like the original dystopia. It was published in the early 90s.

Ok, so that’s not really it. If I had to pin-point it, I’d say it was the set-up. All these boys in one area, running a maze to figure out how to escape it because they’re memories of the past have been wiped.

For the longest time, I was confused because the main character, Thomas, was also confused. The story starts when he enters The Glade and is bombarded with new people and new terms.

Then, there’s the lack of real momentum. It’s all a slow build-up to the real action at the end of the book. This is a great tactic, but combined with my lack of interest in all male protagonists (for a good chunk of the book, at least), it was a recipe for disinterest.

And, that’s the worst part. I didn’t dislike The Maze Runner by any means. I just didn’t care. Which is kind of worse.

However, I will say that this book was made to be turned into a movie. There’s tons of running and fighting and twists to be revealed. I’m honestly excited to see The Maze Runner movie.

If only the book had given me the same feeling…


If you’re also a newbie to this series and have read a ton of dystopia, you may be disappointed with the book. It’s a slow climb to the real suspense and action, and I wasn’t overly shocked or startled by the twists and revelations. It’s dystopia standard stuff. I am extremely excited to see The Maze Runner movie, and I think this may be the rare occasion where only watching the film in a book to movie adaption will suffice.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.