Tag Archives: Read Along #1

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 52- THE END

24 Jul

ReadAlong1Maze

It’s over! My first read-along is over and I’m so glad that those who participated had a good time doing it. I’m thinking of starting another one of these in a month or two, so stay tuned if you’re interested in this again. I’ll put up a few choices for books in a poll in the near future so keep a look out for that! And now, time to finish the book! If you haven’t read it, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!

Question from Katherine: Do you think this will be an instance where the movie will be better than the book?
Oh my gosh, YES! Dashner wrote a great plot, there’s no denying that, but his characters are seriously lacking. I think any mid-grade or better actor could portray the emotions Thomas and the others go through better than they were conveyed in the book. The plot is sure to be impressive, as we already know, but I see only room for improvement in character development. Plus, we get to see Grievers!

Question from Nicole: Do you think at the end of the book the boys have any idea what’s in store going forward? Do we know if any of their families survived?
I doubt they have a clue. Thomas says he feels safe and I think their sense of safety is going to be very different from a normal humans. They just survived a massive Griever attack; safe is not being in battle! I think the beginning of the second book will have them second guessing their rescuers, but I think they’ll still feel safer with someone telling them what’s going on rather than trying to figure out a maze every day. As far as their families, I’m not sure we’ll ever know if they survived because I’m not sure that the kids would be able to figure out who their birth parents are. If they were taken from their parents at a young age and I’m assuming their names were changed, there’s no easy way to reconnect them with their parents. In my mind, they’re orphans.

Question from Ashlee: It broke my heart when Chuck died. Who were you most surprised to see die?
I was surprised with how quickly and without ceremony Alby died. He was a rather major character in the plot up until the end and he seemed to go quickly. I suspect that it wasn’t a sacrifice like it seems, but that the Creators were controlling his mind and made him run to the Grivers to get the Gladers to attack. It still shocked me.

Question from Lynn: Any guesses about the purpose of this whole experiment?
One of the people on the bus said something about ‘believing the rumors’ from South America. That leads me to believe that there’s not a lot of communication between the two continents and they’re looking for a way to reach those in South America. I wonder if the Maze was designed to test the boys and see if they have what it takes to cross the Scorch and reach those on the other side. Thomas and Minho can obviously run all day, they know how to fight large monsters, and they’ve shown their cunning and bravery. I think they’re going to be sent across the ‘no man’s land’ and try to establish contact with another group of civilization.

I want to thank all the wonderful ladies who participated in this read along with me! I had so much fun in my first digital book club and I hope they all did as well! I’m thinking of starting this up again in a month or so, when the hectic part of summer is over and I’ll have to time to pick some titles. Look for a poll in another few weeks if you want to participate.

For a link to all the posts about this book, visit the hub page.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 39-51

10 Jul

ReadAlong1Maze

This is the second to last installment. Can you believe it?! I’m still trying to get over the fact some crazies joined me in reading this book. Thank you to all of you who are reading along, you’ve made this so much fun!

Question from Nicole: I wondered towards the end of this section if the Creators were aware of the boys and what they were on too. And if they did know what was happening, why didn’t they try to stop it or was this part of the “plan”?
There weren’t any mentions of Beetle Blades in these last chapters, so I’m not sure. I feel like the blades are spies for the creators so if they’re not around like they were when Thomas first arrived, maybe the Creators aren’t as aware. If they did know about the plan, their next step would probably depend on what the purpose of the experiment is.

Question from Ashlee: Do you think Theresa was the only girl who went through the special training? Or why weren’t more females thrown into the Maze?
They talk so much about variables, I wonder if all men was a way of removing the romantic variable. No women, no distractions. Kind of like Catholic high-schools. As far as Teresa showing up, I think that the part of the ending sequence she triggered threw a lot of variables to the wind. The doors weren’t supposed to stay open either.

Question from Sultana: Just one last chunk of reading left! General predictions, anyone?
As of writing this, I’ve finished it, but my prediction going into the last section was that Minho would die. He’s my favorite character and my disappointment in this book so far dictated that he would have to die.

Question from Barb: Why is Newt so negative to Thomas’s code breaking? There is no better option so why does Newt resist so much?
I think Newt was so new to being in control that he didn’t know how to act. He wanted to stay in control and be leading the boys, but Thomas had a monopoly on that for the time being. I think he resented Thomas more than he resented the idea of breaking the code.

Question from Lynn: Also, the people who have been through the changing – some of them don’t want to leave the maze as a result as they think the world out there will be much worse – how come Thomas isn’t feeling that?
I think Thomas somehow was raised apart from the rest of the boys. His memories are different, he has a different connection with Teresa, and he feels familiar in the maze. To me, all of these point to having been there before and having been involved somehow in design, which it seems obvious the remaining boys were not.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Read Along With Me #1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner Chapters 1-9

15 May

ReadAlong1MazeIt’s here! The first round of Read Along posts about The Maze Runner is upon us! If you haven’t read about this yet, you can check out my Read Along page and the hub page for Read Along #1. If you want to join in, you’re not that far behind. The way this works is that we will read the assigned chapters and then pose questions about what we read to the other participants. If you haven’t read the book, beware of spoilers!

  1. Question submitted by Katherine: Do you care about Thomas yet? Have you gotten a read on him? And is 66 pages too long or too short to really establish your character?
    I really don’t care about him yet and I didn’t realize this until Katherine asked. I think he’s too confused to really project much of a personality. He seems lost but I don’t think he’ll have a ‘lost’ personality. I think it’s because of the confusing situation he’s in. In most books, I think the protagonist needs to be pretty well established in the first 50 or so pages, but this book seems to be an exception. Dashner wants us to be just as lost as Thomas is and experience this with him and from that perspective, he’s doing a great job.
  2. Question submitted by Ashlee: I’m really distracted by their unique language – shuck face, good that, shank. Is it driving you nuts too?
    Yes! Very much so. I put something into my own questions that language is part of what defines a unique culture and I think Dashner was trying to establish that these boys are a shut-off and unique set of people. However, it’s at a point where as a reader, I’m too distracted by the words to enjoy the story 100% of the time. I understand his tool, but I think it’s too forced here.
  3. Question submitted by Lynn: Why do you think the boys are there?  What are your guesses about what the place really is?
    This guess is going to come from reading Allegiant so I’m sorry to Dashner for not giving him any points for originality. I think the boys are being tested in some way. I think the designers are trying to find a trait in them that can’t be tested in any other way. Maybe bravery, athleticism, intelligence, survival instinct, or something I’m not thinking of yet.  I think the boys were selected based on some quality to be entered into this experiment. The Glade has an almost Hunger Games arena feel to me and the most intriguing thing is how far above the launch point it is. A half hour ride in the box? That’s crazy deep in the world.
  4. Question submitted by Barb: Is the amnesia which Thomas is experiencing the result of a “mind wipe” or is it an on-going effect of the Glade?  Thomas has intermittent memory flashes in the first day he’s in Glade.  He has general impressions of a past life but no concrete memories.  I have experienced traumatic amnesia and there is no middle ground to remembering; it was a complete blank.  The symptoms which Thomas experiences seem to be a temporary condition which allows him to begin assimilation into the Glade.  As he falls asleep the first night he feels an unexpected calm which Chuck foreshadows in some of his statements about things getting easier.
    I think the memory loss the boys experience is some sort of futuristic technology that allows a person to erase memories of a period of time. Maybe their memories are stored somewhere, either on a computer or in a part of their memory that can be accessed by a ‘trigger word’ or something. I made the note while reading that the memories they do have seem very emotionally detached. He remembers people walking in a city, but not being there or why he was there or who he was with. They’re very detached memories. I think that once the mystery of the book is solved, Thomas will somehow remember who he was before. It also seems that the girl has not lost her memory completely so we might get a lot of answers in our next set of chapters.
  5. Question submitted by Nicole: I remember an older movie called The Village. I can’t help but compare the two plots. What are some similarities and differences? In the movie, the main motive was to keep the people safe, so they scared them into thinking that they had no choice or options outside of the village. Do you think that this could be happening in the book as well? What is outside and why were they placed here with wiped memories?
    It’s been a while since I saw The Village but I remember the premise. There was a monster that kept the people in their village, much like the Grievers keeping the Gladers in their walls. I don’t think I can think of any differences yet, having seen the end of the movie and being just into this book. In the film, there was a larger almost government-like force keeping them in the village and I suspect we have something similar in the Glade. In the film, there was someone on the inside who was helping to keep the order and I think some of my fellow readers think Alby is doing something similar. It will be interesting to see if these plots are parallel as we read on.
  6. Question submitted by MovieGeek: Do you think the narrator should have only focus on Thomas because I would have love to know what Chuck, Alby, Gally and Newt felt.
    So far I’m a fan of the third person limited point of view. It’s a breath of fresh air from all the first person narrations I’ve read in YA books lately. After this question, I’m thinking about hearing from the other boys. I actually think I prefer following Thomas because I’m just as confused as he is. Maybe if he understood as well as the other boys I would want to hear from them all but right now I relate to Thomas because of this confusion so I like sticking to his head.
  7. Question submitted by Sultana: Environment plays a huge role in shaping a person. By removing the boys from their past environments (family, friends, society, etc.) and by removing their memories, does this fundamentally change the boys? If so, how? If not, do you think that the nature of who they are is innate and wins out over environmental factors? By having these boys “start fresh” in the Maze, is Dashner exploring how a person becomes who he/she is?
    This reminds me of Thomas’s suspicion that they’re in a prison. If their memories are erased, are they still criminals? I read on a bit and he suspects the boy who slaughters the animals of being a serial killer. I think it changes them because they don’t have a frame of reference to judge decisions and people. The Glade is their new frame of reference. I believe that who we are is a mix of nature and nurture and I’ll go back to my Divergent-esque assumption that the ‘Big Brother’ in this book is searching for some type of innate trait that these boys might have.

Yay, that was fun! If you’re interested in joining us, it’s not too late! Send me an email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com and tell me you’re interested.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!