The Maze Runner

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, musty air.
My name is Thomas, he thought.
That…that was the only thing he could remember about his life. *

Thomas wakes up to find himself devoid of memories, surrounded by strangers-all boys like himself-and trapped inside a huge maze with no apparent way out.

If you ain’t scared…you ain’t human. *

No one remembers anything about themselves, or why they were put there inside the Maze. All they know is that they have to get out. And they’ve been trying for years.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the glade. *

Thomas is convinced that he can help them escape. But the stakes are raised when the first girl is delivered to the Maze. The message she is sent with will change the boys’ lives forever.

She’s the last one. Ever.
Everything is going to change. *

The Gladers must trust each other as they fight to stay alive. Someone put them in the Maze. And they’re going to find out why. But first they have to make it out. The Maze must be cracked. There are traitors in their midst, and time is against them. Will they be able to succeed before it’s too late? When they do, will their memories be returned to them? And what do the words on the walls of the Maze mean-World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department? What is going on in the world outside the Maze?

It’ll end soon.
It has to.
Thomas. *

The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner and published in 2009 by Delacorte Press, is a fascinating story of survival, friendship, and intrigue. Fast-paced and gritty, this book falls under the post-apocalyptic\futuristic genre.
I would recommend this book for ages 15+. There is some mild inappropriate usages of words and some off-color jokes, as well as intense violence and gory action. An enthralling story with amazing characters and an imaginative story world. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

WICKED is good. *

*All excerpts are taken from The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner and published in 2009 by Delacorte Press.


My name is David Charleston.
I kill people with super powers. *

Written by Brandon Sanderson and published in 2015 by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Firefight is the compelling second installment in the popular Reckoners series. Filled with intrigue, mad superheroes, and a dash of good-humored banter, this book falls under the Superhero\Sci-Fi Action genre.
David Charleston has officially joined the band of rebels that he has dreamed about for years. They’re managed to free one metropolis from an Epic tyrant and are making plans to free other cities nearby. But Regalia, the empress of Balibar, formerly New York City, keeps interfering with their plans, sending them Epic after Epic to defeat. David is convinced that there’s more to this than meets the eye; so when Prof. Jon Phaedrus-leader of the Reckoners-decides to visit his rebel cell in Balibar, David eagerly accompanies him. Then, the Reckoners discover that a High Epic named Obliteration, one of the deadliest Epics to walk the Earth is now in Balibar and is preparing to destroy the city. Firefight, an Epic who had infiltrated the Reckoners and grown close to David, also is in Balibar. What is going on? Is Regalia plotting something that will destroy the Reckoners? And will David be able to persuade his fellow rebels that Firefight is not evil and can be trusted?
I highly recommend this book for ages 16+. There is some mature elements as well as some language and a few mildly inappropriate parts. The storyline is phenomenal, characters amazing, and super powers incredibly imaginative. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I believe in heroes. **

*Excerpt taken from Firefight, Chapter Three; Written by Brandon Sanderson and Copyright by Dragonsteel Entertainment 2015.
**Excerpt taken from Firefight, Chapter Fifty One; Written by Brandon Sanderson and Copyright by Dragonsteel Entertainment 2015.


How far would you go to get revenge on the man who murdered your father? Would you go as far as plotting to kill him yourself? David Charleston will stop at nothing to provide justice in this post-apocalyptic book, Steelheart, written by Brandon Sanderson. Published by Ember, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, this book is the first in a series called The Reckoners.
David was only eight years old when he watched an Epic called Steelheart callously murder his father. Epics have superhuman abilities; some are immortal, and others have regenerative powers. They are virtually impossible to stop and they want to take over the world. Everyone fears them.
David’s life goal is to one day kill Steelheart. He’s a particularly tyrannical Epic with the power to turn inanimate objects to steel. He is incredibly strong, and almost impenetrable to any weapon. Moments before he died, however; David’s father was able to injure him…and David is determined to find out how.
Ten years later, David is still as determined as ever to kill Steelheart. Now he has a plan, and it involves a group known as the Reckoners. This elite group of rebels are an extremist gang that kills Epics. David has collected information on almost every Epic in the world. He is convinced that because of his knowledge they’ll let him join them. They can help each other; the Reckoners with their tactics and David with his information, so he sets out to find them. But when he does, they’re not exactly what he imagined they’d be…
Sanderson writes amazing stories with detailed scenes and humorous quotes. His use of dialogue is pretty good; this book is told from first person perspective and it is very interesting to read David’s insight on everything happening. The story flowed very well, and is fairly easy to read.
I would recommend this book for 15+. It had some mature themes in it, and a few uses of mild profanity. It has an extremely well written storyline, and has good imagery. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Gathering Blue

The threads began to sing to her. Not a song of words or tones, but a pulsing, a quivering in her hands as if they had life. For the first time, her fingers did not direct the threads, but followed where they led. She was able to close her eyes and simply feel the needle move through the fabric, pulled by the urgent, vibrating threads.

It was radiant. *


Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue is a well written and fascinating book. Set in a dystopian time frame, it sends its readers on a journey that causes them to reflect on their life and community, as well as what may happen in the future if they follow the values they have learned. This book was written in published in 2000 by Lois Lowry.

This story follows the life of a young girl named Kira who was born with a crooked leg in a village where the physically unfit are usually left to die. Orphaned and alone, she attempts to procure a living using the only thing she can do: weaving. Her weaving is extraordinary, and her mother used to say that even at a very young age Kira’s skill was far greater than her own. When her neighbors demand her to be cast out into the field to die because of her disability, the Guardians of the village summon her before them for judgement. Kira prepares to defend her life, but the Guardians, surprisingly, have other plans for her than death.

Matt, a mischievous nine-year-old boy, and his dog Branch are some of Kira’s only friends. Another of her friends is Thomas, who also has a gift similar to Kira’s weaving. His is carving, and he can create some of the most beautiful carvings that anyone had ever seen in the village- or out of it. Some other characters are Jamison, Kira’s supporter and her defender before the Guardians; Annabella, Kira’s trainer in plant dyes; Vandara, Kira’s hostile neighbor; and Jo, a little girl with a big heart and a heavy destiny.

Lois Lowry’s style of writing is unusual. She uses very little detail of the objects and people, and mostly uses some dialogue here and there as well as the main character’s thoughts. The story flows very well, and there are no dull or slow spots. This book is not easy to read, and I would place it at the difficult level. Although the words she uses are not hard to understand, the concepts and the way she writes are tough to comprehend and weighty.

I highly recommend this book for ages 13+! This book is actually the second in a dystopian series, of which the first is The Giver. There are some adult themes in it, but nothing graphic. It is amazingly well-written, with good imagery, and excellent values. 4.5 out of 5 stars.


What secrets do a staff, a robe, and a song have buried in their depths that could change Kira’s life and that of her friends…forever?

*Excerpt taken from Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, published in 2000 by Lois Lowry; chapter 4, page 45