I read James Dashner’s dystopian YA dystopia book The Maze Runner more out of duty than pleasure. The story isn’t terrible. There’s a small colony of teenage boys living in a compound in the middle of a shifting maze with no memories of their lives before they arrived but their names. Thomas is the hero and we follow him from the day he arrives in the maze.
A few bits of the story irked me (a colony of boys – plus a telepathic Smurfette character – might have made sense when Lord of the Flies was written but without a reason, it seems pretty stupid this century) but it was the writing that really killed the book for me. Its sentences were boring, and everything felt very telegraphed. There weren’t any really interesting questions beyond the information everyone withheld from Thomas, but the withholding felt incredibly manipulative throughout.
I would recommend this for kids who found The Hunger Games too dense/intense, but it pales in comparison on pretty much every other level. Not terrible, but there’s way better stuff out there (The Knife of Never Letting Go leaps to mind, especially since the consequences of the all-male colony are explored.)