A guest review from Teen Room Staff Brandon!
The Maze Runner offers little background knowledge at the beginning of the book. The reader, as well as the main character, Thomas, is thrust into a strange environment with no knowledge of Thomas’s former life. The book begins with Thomas waking up disoriented in an enclosed space known as the Glade. He soon meets the local populace, a group of boys ranging in age from around thirteen to seventeen. They call themselves the Gladers. Like Thomas, none of them remember anything from their lives before the Glade.
Slowly, Thomas learns about the Glade and the maze that surrounds it. The Gladers have been searching for two years for an exit, and still haven’t found one. Of course, their progress is hindered due to the fact that the maze is prowled by the deadly Grievers, monstrous mutations made of metal and flesh that kill anything in their path.
The next day, a new phenomenon occurs in the Glade. A girl arrives, via the same route all the boys have arrived. This is tremendous because there has never been a girl in the Glade. Ever. Thomas feels a strange connection to the girl, but keeps this knowledge to himself. That night, two of the Gladers, Minho and Alby, are trapped outside the walls which protect the Gladers from the Grievers at night. Thomas tries to rescue them but is also trapped outside the walls. Since nobody has ever survived a night in the maze, prospects are looking slim. But through some miraculous feat, they manage to survive, and Thomas then leads a crusade to escape the maze with the help of the girl, Theresa.
The Maze Runner is an exciting book from front cover to back. Just when the reader thinks the action is slowing down a little, Dashner incorporates some interesting twist. This book certainly keeps the reader guessing. For me personally, it was a bit too sci-fi for my taste, but it came highly recommended from my good friend Melissa. :)
P.S. from Melissa: watch for the next book in this trilogy in October 2010!
Peak has just been caught scaling a skyscraper, and faces criminal charges. Instead of a trial and a serious punishment, the judge agrees to release Peak into his absentee father’s care with the promise that Peak will be out of the country and therefore out of the newspapers. Peak soon realizes that his father’s motives might not be with his best interests in mind. His father owns and operates a mountain climbing excursion company, and he wants Peak to make history for him by being the youngest climber to summit Everest—a dangerous and sometimes deadly climb for an experienced adult climber. Will Peak make it to the top? And does he really want to?
A guest review from Teen Room Staff Cat!
David Small was just a boy when he woke up from a seemingly harmless operation to find he could no longer talk. The lump on his neck that he thought was a cyst was actually a tumor, though he didn’t find this out for two weeks after he had his surgery. Stitches tells the story of this boy. His life has many morbid facets, and each facet is shown in clarity. This autobiographical work seems to be a story from made up in a dark world, but this really is David Small’s life, and he manages to come out of this life brilliantly.
I loved this book. It had a relatively happy ending which is always a plus, and it’s a graphic novel, which I really liked. It is a tiny bit graphic, so be prepared if you want to read it.
Daisy no longer feels like she fits in her father’s home, with his new wife and a baby on the way, so she travels to England to live with her mom’s sister and her four cousins whom she has never met. Upon arrival, Daisy feels an almost immediate connection with this family, and can’t explain why. Shortly after her arrival though, the world decides to intervene on her new found happiness. London is attacked and the world is suddenly at war. The five kids are left on their own in the English countryside. At first the kids don’t feel the effects of the war, but soon their tranquil atmosphere is disrupted by soldiers who take over their home and separate the kids into foster homes across the country. Daisy and her younger cousin end up working on a farm, helping soldiers care for the cows that desperately need milking. With the help of some of the soldiers, will Daisy be able to plot their escape and return to the family’s farm house?
2005 Printz Award Winner
John Green is the author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and Let it Snow (with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle). He has just finished writing another book, with David Levithan, which will be available in April. Keep your eyes open for Will Grayson, Will Grayson. You can find John online in many different places. He and his brother Hank Green have been communicating by video for the past three years, and you can watch their interactions on YouTube--they even have their own channel (VLOGBROTHERS). They also have an online community, called Nerdfighters, a worldwide group that works towards both having fun and eliminating worldsuck. Anyone can create an account on Nerdfighters to follow along.
Nerdfighters (John and Hank Green's online community): http://nerdfighters.ning.com/
John's Website: www.sparksflyup.com
John's Blog: www.sparksflyup.com/weblog.php
John and Hank Green's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/vlogbrothers
Patrick Jones is a former librarian for teenagers who now concentrates on writing fiction for teens. His books include: Nailed, Chasing Tail Lights, Cheated, Stolen Car, The Tear Collector, and Things Change. You can find Patrick on Facebook, Myspace, and Wikipedia!
Patrick's Website: http://www.connectingya.com/
Stay tuned to the blog for more details!