Saturday, March 26, 2011

Updating Time!

Okay, just a quick update. :-)

The most applicable update to this blog is the fact that I left my publisher a couple of days ago. I learned some rather disturbing things, and decided it was time to move on. I'm now in the process of finding another agent/publisher. I'm excited for the task – I feel good about my decision to leave my publisher, and I know things'll work out.

The most exciting update of all: I got married three weeks ago! Yay! I absolutely love being married (what else would you expect from a newlywed? :-)) and have the most amazing, supportive husband ever. Sigh. :-)

Anyway – those are the main updates. I'm still working three jobs (two part time, one full time) and life is crazy busy right now.

Onward, ever onward!

Book Review: The Maze Runner

Okay, so I haven't had time to read a book (and finish it) in several months. Pretty depressing! And I don't know when I'll have time to do it again. :-) But, I just finished The Maze Runner and wanted to give a quick review on it.

The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner (website)

I'll give both what I liked and what I disliked about The Maze Runner. There are spoiler alerts in this review - don't read it if you don't want to get them. :-)

I usually enjoy distopian styled books (Hunger Games is in my top three favorite series of all time), but overall, I didn't like The Maze Runner. I never truly "fell in love" with the plot. I know many people who really, really like this sort of fiction, and I'll recommend the book to them wholeheartedly.

First, what I liked:
The action was good - I wasn't ever really bored. I felt compelled to finish the story.
The characters were very well developed - especially Thomas, Chuck, Newt, and Minho. I truly liked Newt and Minho, which is very important for a story's success.
There were enough twists and turns and down times - the pacing between scenes was perfect.

Next, what I didn't like:
I felt like things were rushed, especially on Thomas' part.  Examples:
  • He didn't think out his decision to get Stung well enough - the reader didn't get the opportunity to come to the same conclusion.
  • He didn't feel enough pain during the Changing - "Everything else turned into pain" is a classic example of telling vs showing.
  • The night Thomas spent out in the maze went too fast - the sun rose several hours earlier than it logically should have.
Next, There was too much description of feelings, especially during the more intense scenes. I scanned over several paragraphs worth of writing to get to the next thing. (Note: using thoughts and descriptions can up the stress of a scene, but too much is too much.) 
I didn't like the premise - when the characters figured out that The Maze was just a test, and not real, I felt cheated. I felt like the whole story was based on a game of Suduko or something.
It was too graphic - seemingly unnecessarily so, and mainly due to Thomas over-thinking things. An author's job is to create images in the mind of the reader with a few well-placed words, not a barrage of them. 

Like I said, I can easily recommend this book to other people - my younger brother LOVED it. I won't be reading the second book, however.

Now, back to what I was working on before I started reading The Maze Runner - that of unpacking. :-) Just posted a short update on my life, including publication information. Read it here.