“Summary: When Thomas wakes up in a strange, industrial elevator, he doesn't remember anything of any significance. When the box grinds to a halt, he is surrounded by other teenagers and told not to ask any question and to just try to stay alive. Here in The Glade, a completely self-sustaining community inside the center of a maze, every boy has a role. Thomas is inexplicably drawn to join the Runners, the boys who go out into the maze, study it, and try to report back before the Glade's walls close and Grievers come out. Thomas barely remembers anything, but he has the strange sensation that he's been here before. As he tries to figure out who and where he really is, he's also just trying to survive. The plot begins to thicken when a comatose girl arrives in the elevator with a note that reads, "She is the last one."
Review: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dashner tells a fun and original story while avoiding the trappings of a dystopian novel. The protagonist's selective amnesia might be troublesome in another writer's hands. However, the fact that Thomas is struggling with the specific nature of his amnesia and is constantly questioning why he can remember some things but not others, actually adds to the mystery instead of being a downfall. I also like the slang that Dashner's characters spew. They are essentially swear words, but since they don't have any meaning in our society, readers are not offended.
Connections: "Logan's Run" (film), Discussion/Writing about teens need for "freedom," making the best of a bad situation, and working hard when odds are stacked.
Quote: "'I remember remembering,' she muttered, sitting down with a heavy sigh; she pulled her legs up to wrap her arms around her knees. 'Feelings. Emotions. Like I have all these shelves in my head, labeled for memories and faces, but they're empty. As if everything before this is just on the other side of a white curtain.'"