SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE MOVIE AND THE BOOK. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Release Date: August 24th 2010 by Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback, 375 pages.
Rating: 4/5 Crabapples
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
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.
So. The Maze Runner.
I picked up the book back in… August, if we’re being technical, but I didn’t actually get to read it until September of last year due to school-related things and an overall reading slump I was having, which had spanned the entire year. Yeah. It was upsetting. While I found the book to be a little slow at points, I really did enjoy the story and the way it ended. There were certain aspects here and there that I thought could have used a little more oomph or depth or something I just don’t have the words to explain, but I chalk the slight… let’s say flatness, up to it being considered both a teen and a middle grade book.
Not that there’s anything wrong with middle grade books, I read plenty of middle grade books, but sometimes they lack some of the “older-feeling” elements that young adult novels do, and for good reason. It’s made for a younger audience. I still loved the book quite a bit, though. I need to read the others at some point, which, thanks to the movie, will most likely be sooner rather than later. I really want to see what’s going to happen next, more so than I had when I had finished the book. That doesn’t mean a whole lot coming from me, however. I may not be the biggest fan of book-to-movie adaptations, but I love a good movie.
The movie adaptation of this book? That is a good movie.
Did it match the book perfectly? Hell no. Of course not.
Did it match the book at least somewhat? Yes. A fairly good amount, in my opinion.
Was it a good movie despite not being exactly like the book? God yes, it was so good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a Dylan O’Brien fan. (I actually prefer him as Stiles Stilinksi, but he was good in this, too.) I love movies with suspense and action, but not to the point where you feel like you can’t breathe throughout the entire thing. Even though I knew what was going to happen, the fact it was book-to-movie and did not fit perfectly kept me on my toes just enough to the point where I really enjoyed the whole experience. The way they rendered the grievers was amazing, they were creepy and gross and just mechanical enough. Not what I had in mind when I read the book, but that’s okay. They were better.
So, the movie.
Those elements I felt the book was missing because it wasn’t for an older audience? Yeah, the movie threw those in for me. They also eliminated some of the parts of the book that had dragged for me, which is reasonable. You don’t want to be bored watching a movie. You don’t want to be bored reading a book, either, but it’s less forgiving when it’s in a movie. For me, anyway. The action they threw in instead, though? Holy crap, I loved it. There seemed to be a lot of action in the scenes they showed, almost to make up for the cuts they made.
However, because they also cut out some of the things I liked–things that had picked up the story for me–I got the feeling it was kind of rushed and it bothered me a little. They cut quite a few scenes short, and cut out a lot of the antagonism towards Thomas, making him seem a lot more accepted. I love the scene with Teresa attacking the boys, though. That was hilarious.
I was also kind of happy they cut out the weird mind thing Teresa and Thomas had going on, it made the two of them seem a lot less supernatural. I haven’t read the other books yet, so I don’t know the purpose and I don’t know if it will be an issue that they no longer can mind-talk, but for the moment I’m content with the lack of psychic-ish ability that’s now a thing in the movie world of the series.
The way they escape the Glade was a cool change, too. Instead of the strange opening seemingly in the middle of jack shit nowhere, which, again, made little sense to me but was accepted despite, there was a series of walls and lock that they had to get through. I’m assuming this is meant to be a lot like the lock they had found at the end of the secret tunnel thing they went through in the books, the ones that shut the grievers down. Maybe. It’s been a while since I read the book, I might be mixing it up.
Anyway, before watching the movie I had heard the doubt in it and the dislike of the changes from others who preferred the book, but I for one was not as disappointed as I thought I was going to be. The movie was good, in my opinion, and even though it didn’t match up to the books (which I was expecting anyway), I think it held its own and was a pretty entertaining adaptation. I’d definitely watch it again, and I’m excited to see the next one once it’s out.
Thanks for reading!