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Van onder ‘t stof: The Maze Runner (James Dashner)

9789021454658Om te vieren dat The Maze Runner, één van mijn lievelingsboeken, intussen vertaald is naar het Nederlands door Querido als ‘De Labyrinthrenner‘ èn omdat de film natuurlijk bijna uitkomt (BE: 15 okt / NL: 25 sept – niet eerlijk dat wij weer langer moeten wachten!), haal ik vandaag mijn recensie van dit topboek van onder ‘t stof.

In de ‘Van onder ‘t stof’-rubriek post ik zoals jullie intussen wellicht weten oude Goodreads-recensies van mijn pre-blogtijdperk.
The Maze Runner las ik in juli 2013, en dit was wat ik er destijds van vond:

 

Confession time! I started reading The Maze Runner because the movie adaptation has Dylan O’Brien in it and, well … what a waste would it be to NOT get on board with that, right? Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have picked it up, because I usually have a hard time getting into books that are narrated from a boy’s perspective – especially if the story is not romance-centered.

Okay, you can start throwing rocks with the word ‘shallow’ written on them at me now. Or … hold off a while longer and let me explain!

Because this book is the glorious exception to the rule (a rule I will have to see revised after reading The Maze Runner!).
I loved every page of it, despite the fact that 99% of the characters are in fact smudge-faced teenage boys and that the only girl present doesn’t say a word until about halfway through the book.
As far as my juvenile need for romance in novels goes … it still stands, because there IS some romance in The Maze Runner and it’s adorbs. Let’s just say I have a feeling it’s going to be worth it at the end of the series. If it isn’t, there’s going to be A LOT of crying on my part.

Dashner’s writing style is of the highest level you will encounter in YA lit. Colourful characters come to life from the second they are introduced and will stay with you until long after you’ve read the last page.
The unfamiliar surroundings and feelings you experience through Thomas are described in such a colourful and detailed way that you really feel like you are in The Glade with them.
Dashner truly has an amazing eye (errr, pen?) for detail, all the while never slowing down from the ‘running’ (get it – running?) pace with which the story develops.

Okay, what more can I say about the characters? That I loved each and every one of them in their own way? Sure did.
That Thomas is an amazing protagonist and my new personal hero? Jup, sure is.
That the “secondary characters” (in this case, I hate referring to them as such because they are all so alive) were unforgettable? Sure are!
I especially adored Newt (great casting choice for him by the way) and Minho. Oh, Minho! Can we start a Team Minho, please?

As prejudiced as I am/was against so called ‘boy books’, I have always enjoyed books with bite-sized chapters and their own vocabulary (Across the Universe by Beth Revis for instance). The Maze Runner has both! Guess that helped in alleviating my prejudice.
Almost every chapter ends in a cliffhanger (seriously wtf is going on in here?) and I’m sure to start calling people “slinthead chuck-faced shank” from now on.

If I have to give one single tiiiiiiny point of criticism …[SPOILER] the letter at the end was a bit to Maximum Ride in my opinion. Though I like Maximum Ride, it didn’t fit the general style of this book. I felt it to be rather unnecessary to be honest. [END OF SPOILER]

Conclusion: regardless your age or you preferred genre, The Maze Runner is a must read. Buy the book asap, turn of your computer to avoid spoilers (I had the unfortunate luck of coming across some grave ones on Tumblr) and READ THIS BOOK BEFORE THE MOVIE! And then go see the movie anyways because, you know … Dylan O’Brien.

PS: Thank you to everyone on Tumblr who convinced me to read The Maze Runner despite my previously adressed and now non-existing prejudice!

Five well-earned stars to you, James Dashner!

Kijken jullie ook zo hard uit naar de film? Misschien breng ik nog wel eens een bezoekje aan de ciné in Maastricht om ‘m toch eerder te kunnen zien dan de rest van België 🙂 Geduld is echt niet mijn forté …

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