Mar 4, 2010

James Dashner Month – Day 4 – Guest Review

tn Last night Kristi of The Story Siren fame hosted in impromptu chatzy and I had the pleasure of bestowing my unique personality on some new victims. Among them is my new biggest fan, who proclaims me as “weird” on twitter. And who is this mystery person? Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit! So head on over there and giver her a follow. She told me that her husband confiscated The Maze Runner before she ever got to read it. He did a guest review on HER blog and now he is appearing on mine, even though he doesn’t know it. Really, this guy is clueless!

Dang, look at the freaking cute couple!

Day 3 Day 4 (yeah, I can't keep track)

Guest Review by Steve:

9780385737944 This original sci-fi-ish fiction novel was great. A community of children are stuck inside a maze and are put through a series of trials as some part of a large experiment which could affect the entire human race. I don't know if it's just the whole children against adults/world disaster plotline (Ender's Game anyone, c'mon people?!), or if I just like kids who aren't afraid to take on adventure, either way, this book and me click.

After a slow start to the book, you begin to appreciate the main character Thomas and his special set of skills. Once the book really gets going, the rest is a speedy downhill sprint. I couldn't wait to figure out more about the setting and background, the newly introduced characters, or what was going on behind the scenes in the world outside the maze.

While this was not the "BEST BOOK EVAR!!1!" it was quite good and definitely worth a read if you like adventure, sci-fi, young adult books, or ponies. I may have made the ponies part up, whoops. Also, the word on the street is that this is book one of a trilogy. Woo, woo. Double also, I see that Shanyn is using a points scale for her reviews!! I love points; here is my own scale for The Maze Runner:

Book Cover: 4 - ugly much?

Book Title: 7 - accurate-ish.

Plot: 9 - adventure + ponies! (yes, the ponies still aren't real)

Characters: 10 - Thomas.

Ending: 8 - only cuz now I can't wait for the next book! (coulda been a 9)

Overall: 8 - great book.


Steve, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. It is interesting that you bring up Ender’s Game because James Dashner says he was very influenced by Card’s writing and I would not be surprised if he meant that book in particular.

Steve says that the cover of The Maze Runner is ugly. How do you feel about it? I have actually always kind of liked it. i am not exactly sure why. I am curious what Steve found ugly about it.

So, yeah. This was awesome!

Mar 2, 2010

March is Dedicated to James Dashner

Day 2

Yesterday I revealed one of James Dashner’s deep dark secrets. I think he would probably be very ashamed if he knew you knew what I told you!

In return I am now going to share one of my deep dark secrets. It is not one I am particularly proud of, but sadly, that doesn’t make it any less true.

Though I have been a fan of dystopian fiction for years and specifically young adult dystopian book, I didn’t actually like The Maze Runner that much. Not liking The Maze Runner makes me feel a little bit like a fraud.  Everyone else seems to love it and it is in my area of interest. Is there something wrong with me? (DON’T ANSWER THAT!)

But it seems only fair to start my Dashner month with admitting this dark secret. If you are interested in seeing my original post on The Maze Runner, you can find it here. It has been hard for me to figure out just what I didn’t enjoy about the book. And when I was at LTUE hear James Dashner speak on panels I learned a lot about his craft and writing influences. I found out that the way he intentionally write may have been exactly what I disliked the most about his dystopian novel.mazerunner

Also, Dashner utilizes a lot of elements of science fiction and dystopia that annoy me that most. And that was just bad luck. I am not sure even if someone tried to write a book intending to annoy me they could have done it better. For being a fan of science fiction, I really don’t like survival elements in my fiction; that can be a struggling point for me. I care so much more about the creation of the world than the person who is trying to run away from it and survive in the wilderness.

I heard about The Maze Runner first as a dystopian and found out it was by a local author second. I admit that this made me doubly excited to read it. It also makes me wonder where James got inspired to write this story.

Throughout the month I will be looking at different perspectives on The Maze Runner and high lighting some of James’s other books. What books by him do you want to read?

Mar 1, 2010

March is James Dashner Month

After meeting seeing James Dashner at LTUE I find myself being somewhat obsessed with him. The truth of the mater is that I have never met an author whose book(s) I have read before. Now that he has validated my existence by talking to me on Twitter I have decided to dedicate my blogging and reading month to the one and only Mr. Dashner.

So, while I didn’t actually MEET James because I was too shy to actually walk up to him and say anything, I did heckle him a few times by shouting across the room. That was fun. I came away from the experience feel like he is the most dedicated and devoted author I have ever met. (See, that is a really bloated compliment considering how many authors I have ACTUALLY met, but we can just ignore that.) 2dashThis was as close as I got to him. I walked up and took this picture while he was signing someone else’s book and then disappeared into the darkness.

James background is in one of the most boring and uncreative fields ever invented and how he came to be a successful writer is really a mystery to me. LTUE panels were filled with English majors and college professors. But James is trained in numbers. Accounting. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Despite this pathetic life choice he always had a passion for reading and now has been able to translate that passion into a full time career.

In an interview with book blogger Steph Su, Dashner shared a bit of insight (or not) into his writing motivations.

SS: You were an accountant before you became a full-time writer.
Has that job influenced the way you approach storytelling, writing, and publicity? If so, how?

JD: Not too much. Mainly in that it gave me a lot of incentive to get published and make it my career!
Yeah, I really hated accounting.

I hope you will come back throughout the month and listen to me ramble about how great James Dashner is and then go to his blog and read it. Cause he like when you do that. Then comment, cause he like that too. Then say how great I am, just so he doesn’t miss out on that fulfillment in life, i.e. knowing how great I am. Who is this post about again?

Also, if you are reading this post, you are great too. Especially if you recognize my brilliance, or have enjoyed one of James’s books.

Feb 28, 2010


I forced Lenore to put up another guest post from me on her blog as a last minute end cap to her dystopian month. She still has some pretty great reviews and contests over there so you better check them out. AFTER you read my guest post.

February Reads

Most of my record keeping blog posts have fallen to the wayside and we aren’t even that far into the year. I still hope to catch up, but in the meantime I want to make sure I have a month by month list of the books I read. Here are the ones for the second month of the year.

1. Candor
2. Fade
3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife (abridged audio)
5. The Silver Child
6. Parable of the Sower (audio)
7. The Hotel Under the Sand

These books are not in the order that I finished them. I just wanted to make sure I got them recorded.
Feel free to share the books you read!

The Sunday Salon – Little Progress

The Sunday

I have had a dismal reading week. I set out to read a book a day and so far I have finished…none. Oooops. But I do have some exciting book news. I help coordinate and set up the book fair for my daughter’s elementary school and tomorrow we start our BOGO fair! This time we are going with a local book fair company, A+ Book Fairs, and that has been an exciting change having access to some different books than we are used to. It was really fun to open the cases and see a new selection before us and a great variety of bargain books! Here is a selection of some of the books that caught my attention.

The_Homeward_Bounders  0440228352  0099402858


The Witch’s Boy in particular has a really striking cover. I am sure I will be buying a lot more than I expect because the buy one get one free draw is just way too tempting.  We are really excited for the fair to start so we can start sharing these books with the students. What book would you recommend to elementary school kids?

I have been slowly and steadily working through the audio of City of Glass which I may be enjoying more than the previous two books. There is a whole soap opera element that drives me a little crazy, but it is engaging me more than the previous too. Maybe also providing more answers. Have you read this series? What do you like about it?

How was your February reading month? I have read 7 books and I am sort of disappointed with myself. I am trying to enjoy the other parts of my life that are taking more prominence right now, though. For the next week my reading will be slow too because of my work at the book fair.  I read about half of what I was hoping to but I am going to try to make up for that in the later part of March. What book are looking the most forward to reading in March? I am going to try and read Need with Chelsea and I have 1984 for my local book club. I am feeling very overwhelmed by all the books that I want to read. How do you decide what book to read next? I try to read what is due next at the library but all my books are overdue and I am still pretending they aren’t!

Today I am babysitting and probably won’t get much reading done. I am going to try and get one short story read. Do you have too recommend?

Bibliophile Exploring Dystopia | Food & Community | Utopian Projects