Book & Movie Review: The Maze Runner

September 23, 2014 book review, movie review 5 ★★★

As basically all of you know, The Maze Runner movie premiered this past weekend. I read the book a couple of weeks ago–yeah, way behind the times, I know–because I’m one of those people who like to read the book before I go and see the movie. While I didn’t absolutely love the book, I was dying to see the movie because hello, Dylan O’Brien! That kid is perfection in Teen Wolf and I couldn’t not go see him in his movie debut. Also, the commercials for the movie looked amazing and it appeared to me at the time that the movie would be a bit different than the book, and I was hoping it would be in the best way.

So anyway, I thought today I would do a mini review of both the book and the movie and put them into one post, especially since I haven’t reviewed the book yet. This way you can see my thoughts on both, all in one convenient little place!

You guys ready? I’ll start out with the book first.

Book & Movie Review: The Maze RunnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Published by Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Pages: 375
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Goodreads,

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.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

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.

Everything is going to change.

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

Remember. Survive. Run

Review

After waking up in an escalator type box and stopping in the middle of a huge field surrounded by massive walls, Thomas learns he has been put there intentionally. He, along with the other boys who have been sent there, have one goal: find a way out of the maze that lies beyond the walls. If it were up to him, Thomas would go running through the maze at the drop of the hat in order to get the heck out of there. But as things begin to change in the Glade, it may very well be up to Thomas to get everyone out and alive.

This book started out really slow to me. I started the first chapter one night and didn’t pick the book back up until 3 days later. That first chapter is a pivotal point in a book to me. It has the tremendous task of grasping my attention if it ever wants me to continue reading the book. I wanted to read this book, especially since the movie was coming out soon. I didn’t know much about the series but was intrigued enough to keep reading. Not much happens for the majority of the first half of the book. It’s a lot of world building and setting up the way in which the Glade’s society is run, which is understandable. These kids were brought up one by one for over two years, there has to be some structure to explain how they all get along and can maintain a relatively normal life. But I like action and wanted to get to the juicy stuff: the maze and the infamous grievers that live outside that wall. I wanted to know why those boys were there. I wanted to know how they could get out. I wanted to know about all the changes that were slowly happening and what they could mean. I wanted Thomas to get the ball rolling! Eventually it did happen and at that point, I couldn’t set the book down.

I liked Thomas. I thought he was a good choice of narrator and unlike most of the other boys, he was curious and wanted answers. It seems like most of the others became complacent after accepting the fact they were stuck there. Thomas couldn’t live with that, he knew they had lives on the other side and wanted to get back, even though he couldn’t remember anything from before. He was a little whiny and annoying some times at the beginning and repeated himself, a lot. One of the first nights he was there, if not the first, he got it into his head that he was destined to become a Runner, the only group of people allowed to explore the maze. He knew nothing about the Glade, how it worked, what lies outside, nothing, but yet he was bound and determined to be the person to solve everything. It was a little ???? to me. I certainly wouldn’t be thinking that on one of my first nights. The notion of becoming a runner became sort of like an addiction, each chapter he thought over and over how he just knew he was meant to be a Runner. I wanted to yell at him and say, “OKAY, we get it!” But later on in the book, he had the exact personality and conviction to make escaping a reality.

Some of the elements and reasoning behind the Maze and how it worked were confusing, I’ll go ahead and tell you that. I don’t want to spoil anything for anybody who hasn’t read this so I’ll stay pretty vague. I didn’t really understand the purpose of the Maze, how it worked, and the possible escape route. It was hard to visualize and understand the science behind it. When we learn why the boys were sent to the Glade in the first place I was even more confused. I still don’t really get the whole point. So by the end of the book I kind of figured I wouldn’t feel like reading the others in the series. The Maze Runner was only okay, I didn’t really care about what happened next…until I got to the last chapter. That ending! That ending was one of those endings that you close the book and go SERIOUSLY?! Now I have to find out what happens next. I can’t just accept that ending and be okay with never finding out what comes next. Kudos to you, Mr. Dashner. So yes, I think I’ll eventually go out and read The Scorch Trials. Maybe not right this very second, but eventually I will.

3 Thought Clouds

3 Thought Clouds

 

And now on to the movie review!!

 

the maze runner movie poster

I LOVED THIS MOVIE. Loved it! While I was pretty meh about most of the book, the movie immediately grasped my attention and I was completely lost in the world of the Glade until the very end. The cinematographers did a fantastic job with creating this world. The actual maze was beyond my imagination and looked as terrifying as Dashner wanted you to think it was. The acting was phenomenal and of course, Dylan O’Brien delivered a believable and can’t-help-but-love performance as Thomas.

My mom went with me to see it and hadn’t previously read the books so she had no idea what this was about or how certain events took place. The grievers digusted her and she made audible gasps when they would pop out of nowhere from behind one of the walls in the Maze. It made me laugh. But let me tell you this, I jumped at multiple scenes! It was great! I loved that even though I knew what was ultimately going to happen, the movie still surprised me and almost made me scream from catching me off guard; it was super action packed and a little terrifying.

This movie was completely different from the book. Yes, the overall premise was the same, but the directors, writers, and producers definitely took their liberties when it came to adapting the book to the big screen. And it paid off, big time. I loved every change they made. Not sticking straight to the book was the best decision they could have made in my opinion. Some scenes I was like wait a second, that’s not how this is supposed to happen. (For example, the way out of the maze is one of the biggest changes, but the movie’s version makes much more logical sense than the book’s.) But by the end of the movie, I realized that it was better this way. It made some of the slower scenes in the book much more fast paced, it made the situation of being in the Glade much more dire, it kept the audience engaged the entire time, and for those people who didn’t read the books, it threw punch after punch.

After reading the book and then watching some of the trailers for the movie, I had a feeling it was going to be different from the book. I didn’t really know how different but I just had an itching feeling things would be different and that it would work out for the better. I was so happy that I was right. Seriously you guys, if you have or have not read The Maze Runner, you have got to go see this movie. It’ll blow you away. I’m so excited about The Scorch Trials!

My Final Verdict?

If you’ve read the book: go see the movie! You’ll love it!
If you haven’t read the book: go see the movie! You’ll love it!

Would I urge you to read the book first? No, probably not. The movie was much much better than the book. If you want to see how many things changed, read the book after.

Christine

5 Responses to “Book & Movie Review: The Maze Runner”

    • Christine

      The movie was amazing!! You need to go see it! I’m going to start The Scorch Trials soon and see if the book version picks up a little bit.

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