Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mother-Daughter Review: The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N 


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. 


The Maze Runner

Mckenzie:  I'd had The Maze Runner on my shelf for a while before my mom and my fellow bookworm/best friend Lidia (<3) urged me to read it. So I finally started it. It took me a few chapters to get into the story -- there are a lot of confusing elements in the beginning, and the pace isn't slow but it's not necessarily fast either. Thomas, the main character, wakes up in a metal box surrounded by fifty-something boys, with no memory of how he got there or anything that happened before. All he knows is his name and... well, that's about it, actually. The first half of the book is spent learning a lot, and I think that's one of the things that endears Thomas to the reader. We learn and find out things about how the Glade and the Maze work at the same time Thomas does; it makes the story so relatable that he doesn't know what's going on any more than we do. It's so easy to feel how Thomas is feeling because it's almost like the reader and the character are in the same situation.

The second half of the book is a completely different story. I can only compare it to a roller coaster -- at first, the book takes its time letting Thomas (and the reader) get used to the world and figure out what exactly is going on and building up slowly to the climax; and then the next thing you know, everything is happening at break-neck speed and things are changing so quickly that it's like you've stepped into a completely different world. And in a way, you have. Everything changes in the span of a few chapters.

This was such an amazing start to a series; and as soon as I finished, I had to pick up the second book right away.

Michele:  This series has been on my radar for a while, and I was really excited to read it and especially to see if it could capture the heart of my teen the way I hoped it would.  I became so engrossed in this amazing world Mr. Dashner created.  The story is extremely fascinating, even giving us a new vernacular.  The kiddo and I both say “slim it” and “good that” quite often now.  It gave me plenty of feels as well as some knots in my stomach while I nervously awaited the outcome of this first installment.  And that hope I had that Mckenzie would love it?  Fulfilled.  She was absolutely glued to it, and that made it perfect.

Favorite quote: “Just follow me and run like your life depends on it. Because it does.” 

The Scorch Trials

Mckenzie:  This was probably my least favorite book in the Maze Runner series. I liked it, I really did -- it's impossible for me to not enjoy something James Dashner has written -- but there were several new characters in this one that took some warming up to and one that I never really did warm up to. That being said, the story still had all the action and edge-of-your-seat panic as the first book, if not more, and the same captivating, vivid writing that I fell in love with in The Maze Runner.

Michele:  I'm definitely in the minority here because this was my FAVORITE book in the series!  The introduction of new characters, the new landscape, and holy trust issues, guys --  I was so torn on who to root for and who to root against!  If anything, this follow-up to the series had me in even more knots than book one.  I love where the author took this story and how it set up for book three.

Favorite quote: “He turned to look just in time to see the rain start falling out as if the storm had finally decided to weep with shame for what it had done to them.” 

The Death Cure


As much as I've tried, I still can't form any coherent thoughts to put in this review. But the gif sums up how I feel pretty well. My heart hurts, my soul hurts, everything hurts. I’m not even going to tell you how long I cried after I finished this book.

Michele:  Three. Whole. Hours.

Mckenzie:  MOM. Anyway, as I was saying… Although the last book pretty much broke me, I absolutely adored this series and plan on re-reading it very soon and then moving onto The Kill Order. The writing is incredible -- after this series, James Dashner is hands-down one of my favorite authors -- the plot moves at a good pace, and the characters are more than lovable. I'm absolutely, completely in love with this world and this series, and I can't wait to go right back in and live it all over again <3

Michele:  What a phenomenal conclusion!  This book was thrilling, and it was definitely heart-wrenching.  As much as I would like to explore the happenings of this installment with you, there is no way without revealing plot secrets and major spoilers.  This is a series that I can easily put my mom stamp of approval on but also one that I love as a reader.  I commend the author for writing an amazing series for young adults and adults alike that captures the attention, engages the mind, and owns the heart.  I would much rather see my daughter cry for three hours over a book character than some baggy-pants little boy in real life.  This series gets all the stars from me!

Favorite quote: “As we tried to instill in each of our subjects over and over, WICKED is good.”

 © at A Belle's Tales



  1. I read the first book thought it was okay then the second... didn't much care for it. The third was okay. i like the movie much better. Not sure why. I found the second and third to be a bit more rushed and confusing.

  2. You know I am all Team Mckenzie when it comes to my thoughts on this series. The gif for Death Cure basically sums up my feelings and we both know how cranky I got in parts of The Scorch Trials... but I agree with both of you that this is a fantastic series and I'm so glad you guys pushed me to finally read it. Loved this review and love you both!

  3. Oh no it made McKenzie cry for three hours? Yikes. I haven't gotten around to this series and I need to. I am sure when I do, I will be kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Loved your reviews.

  4. LOL! Way to out her, mom. That's funny how you two had such opposite feelings for the 2nd book. I wasn't going to read these, especially after watching the first movie, but heard the books are a lot different than the movies. So now I want to read them.

    1. The books are SO much better -- we couldn't even get through the second movie.

  5. Great review! I still need to get around to these. Glad you enjoy them!

  6. I only read what you ladies had to say about the first one because I still haven't picked up this series. It has been on my radar for ages. I need to get to them soon. Loved hearing what you both thought of book 1. :)

  7. Awe you cried. I love how you had differing opinions of book two.

  8. I just adore you two so much! I still need to read the last book but now I'm scared it's going to break me...make me cry... I'll hopefully get to it soon! Love you girls big! *HUGS*

    Fabulous post!


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