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Reading Between Classes

A unique perspective on YA Literature from a junior high teacher. 

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Unbreakable
Kami Garcia
Etiquette & Espionage
Gail Carriger
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Marissa Meyer, Rebecca Soler

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Series #1) (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1)

The Maze Runner - James Dashner I did not connect with the characters. Thomas was cold and, despite having a million questions at the beginning of the book, stopped asking ANY by the end. The character of Chuck was clearly meant to evoke a sense of humanity, pity and rooting for the underdog (ala Piggy from Lord of the Flies), but his character is not developed enough for the reader to feel anything other than mild annoyance. When Teresa was introduced, it seemed that the author wanted to create a sense of a deep connection between the two teens, but had no idea how to accomplish this. I was also annoyed by the use of slang. Not only was it a poorly veiled attempt to avoid swearing, but they re-used the one word so often that it became reminiscent of an episode of the smurfs. SPOILERS BELOW!Some issues I had:1. This book is a basic re-hashing of The Lord of the Flies premise but with a conspiracy theory thrown in and without the heart-wrenching plot and character development2. The Grievers were ridiculous. It seemed like the author tried to take as many scary elements as possible and smash them together into one creature. BTW, did I miss a part where they explained why they were called Grievers or did they simply not do that?3. What happened to not being able to talk about their memories after the changing? Alby tried to kill himself rather than speak then, all of a sudden, after Thomas is stung, both he and Alby can speak freely. Claiming this was part of the "Ending" being triggered is lame.4. How exactly did Teresa trigger the ending? She was in a freaking coma. 5. I got really annoyed with everyone refusing to answer questions. They get a new recruit every month, you would think they would have prepared a tour and speech by now.All in all, this seemed like a book written by a boy, for boys. I will recommend the series for my male junior high students, but will not continue reading it myself.