Wednesday, May 28, 2014

REVIEW: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”  
6186357When I was in sixth grade, I read the Maze Runner and I absolutely loved it. I definitely would have finished the rest of the series, but for some reason I completely and totally forgot about the whole series until about two days ago, when I saw the movie poster for it while I was in line waiting to see Godzilla. Since the movie is coming out in September, I figured I should do a quick re-read and get working on The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. The Maze Runner was even better than I remember reading it the first time.
If you haven't had the chance to read this amazing book yet, be sure to put it up at the top of your list and check it out before the movie hits the theaters in September.
This book is about a boy named Thomas who wakes up with no memory of his past life except his name. I will be quite honest- this book is kind of hard to get into at first. Most people that I know have tried to read it, gotten frustrated in the first fifty or so pages, and given up. I agree; at first, everything is confusing and frustrating. Thomas has a lot of questions, and everyone seems to want to keep him in the dark. Dashner might have done this to make the book more mysterious, but it just served to be extremely frustrating. (Have I used the word "frustrating" enough in this review already?)

However, if you can PUSH THROUGH all the boring beginning, I'm pretty sure you will love this book. I can't guarantee it; while looking through the reviews on Goodreads, I have found that half of the reviews are two stars and the other half are five stars. So it's safe to say I really don't have a clue if you like this book or not.

Personally, as I have previously mentioned, I loved this book.

It is full of mystery and suspense, heart-pounding action, and FEELS. {Some of the characters do lack proper development and make you want to throw them across the room, but mostly the characters are built pretty well.} James Dashner, if nothing else, is definitely very good at suspense.

Thomas wakes up in the middle of The Glade, with many other boys who are in the same boat as he is. None of them have any memory of anything, and they have all been trapped here; some for as long as two years. The Glade is surrounded by stone walls, and outside those walls is a huge maze. The maze always changes, and no one has ever found the exit. But the Gladers will never give up. Every morning, the Runners are sent out into the Maze, cautious for the Grievers, beasts that will rip you apart in the blink of an eye.

“A loud boom exploded the air, making Thomas jump. It was followed by a horrible crunching, grinding sound. He stumbled backward, fell to the ground. He wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it for himself. The enormous stone wall to the right of them seemed to defy every known law of physics as it slid along the ground, throwing sparks and dust as it moved, rock against rock. The crunching sound rattled his bones. He looked around at the other openings. On all four sides of the Glade, the right walls were moving toward the left, closing the gap of the Doors.
Then one final boom rumbled across the Glade as all four Doors sealed shut for the night.”

Shortly after Thomas arrives, a girl shows up, and that changes everything, because of three reasons:

1) She is the only girl to ever be sent to the maze.
2) She knows who Thomas is, and who he was.
3) She delivers a message that changes everyone's lives forever.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mini Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped by
This is a very cute book that I would recommend for those who do not like the fast paced sci-fi thrillers and just like real-life sort of things. This was a very short, quick read, so if you need to do a last minute book report on Monday and you haven't read anything yet, pick up a copy of Flipped at the library and start reading.
 This book is told from two POVs, one from Juli Baker and one from Bryce Loski. When Bryce was six years old, the Bakers moved in next door, and his life would never be the same. The moment Juli Baker saw him, her heart beat faster in her chest and she fell hopelessly in love with him. His eyes just seemed to look right inside her. One thing Juli Baker knew is that she was going to make Bryce love her back. Meanwhile,  he has been trying to avoid her ever since.
“Juli always tried to stand beside me, or talk to me, or in some other way mortify me.”  
Bryce Loski definitely does not want anything to do with Juli Baker. Ever since they held hands when they were six years old, she has never given him a break. In second grade, she chased him around the playground trying to kiss him, and in sixth grade she would lean forward and smell his hair. What kind of crazy wacko does that? No sir, Bryce does not want anything to do with that girl.

“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss...." He turned to me. "But every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”
Juli Baker is in fact different, but I personally loved her character. She raises her own chickens and collects the eggs. Also, there is one point in the story where we find out that she has had an obsession with a sycamore tree at the end of the street. When some workers try and cut it down so they can build a house there, she refuses to move out of the tree. She has a lot of spirit that makes the book come alive. 
In conclusion, with sycamore trees, science projects, propetual motion and a pinch of a love story, this book was absolutely adorable and whoever loves romances and blue-eyed boys and stories of falling in love will definitely "fall in love" with this book.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The One

The One by Kiera Cass
                This was the third and final book in the Selection series. For the most part, I think fans of this series will be satisfied and eat this up. However, there were many parts that I thought were extremely predictable. Some moments were cheesy and the stupidity of some of the characters made me want to chuck the book across the room at the wall- however, I refrained myself. Also, this book leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions; you might have to just go with the ending that Cass gives you and answer the questions yourself.
                “The best people all have some kind of scar.”
          One thing Cass did very well in this book was character development. In my opinion, it doesn't matter how good of a world builder an author is, if they can't create good, relatable characters, their book is going to fall flat. In the Elite, America was extremely frustrating. Good gracious, some times I just wanted to slap her across the face and yell "What the heck is wrong with you?" She was so indecisive and rebellious and it drove me crazy. However, {for the most part} of The One, she redeemed herself. Her more loving, kind parts came out, and at the same time, she fought hard for those she loved and for her country.
“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.”
         Maxon, Maxon Maxon. He is one of my favorite male characters of all time, and in The One, he won't make you swoon any less than he has before. He is the sweetest, most gentlemanly character ever. He was patient with America in parts that she was extremely frustrating, and he was open to listening to her and pleasing her. Let me just say, Maxon is the one character in this book who you do not get ticked at.
Celeste walked up, as strong as I’d ever seen her, and whispered something into Maxon’s ear.

When she was done, he smiled. “I don’t think that will be necessary.”

“Good.” She left, closing the door behind her, and I stood to take whatever was coming.

“What was that about?” I asked, nodding toward the door.

“Oh, Celeste was making it clear that if I hurt you, she’d make me cry,” he said with a smile.

I laughed. “I’ve been on the receiving end of those nails, so be careful there.”

“Yes, ma’am."
             You also find out a lot more about Celeste and Kriss, who, I must admit, I ended up liking almost as much as I liked America. Celeste is not really as cruel as she seems, despite the incident with her and Maxon in The Elite. And I know everyone has a love/hate relationship with Kriss, because even though she is really sweet, she is the one person America will have to fight with to get Maxon's heart.
        Another thing that bugged me about this book was that the rebel attacks, as they have been in the past, were extremely disappointing. They weren't pulse-pounding action scenes with screaming and running and all the different things that I like. But that is just me.
         I know I'm making this sound like it was a horrible book, but it really wasn't. There were some very cute scenes, lines from Maxon that made you say aw, and an ending that you would never expect. Despite some of the disappointments, this was overall a cute book and a good ending to America's story. Be prepared to fall in love with this story all over again.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I'm Doing Video Reviews!!

I'm starting a new thing- called a YouTube channel! The first video will be posted next week and once it's up I will give you all the link. Please let me know in the comments below or the contact form to your left which book you want me to do for the very first book review. It's going to be awesome, guys. Also, if you haven't seen John Green's Question Tuesdays, they are so fun, so I am going to try a few of those. Comment questions for that video also.
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