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The Maze Runner by James Dashner – ERC Challenge – @bookdout

I really loved this futuristic dystopian novel by James Dashner. I debated if I should give it four or five stars, so I think I will give it four, but say it is a close 4.5. In this story we met a young man, Thomas, who is of an undetermined age, we assume around 16, and has no memory. He arrives in an area known only as The Glade. Here there is a functioning society of other kids of a variety of ages that have developed their own type of government, their own language, and system for maintaining The Glade. One of the most fascinating features of The Glade is the large maze that surrounds the grounds. Thomas arrives in a box that usually carries supplies, and around once a month another male to live in The Glade. Thomas learns of all the various roles and jobs within the system of The Glade, but there is one job he feels destined to do…. be a Runner. Runners go into the maze every day and see if there are patterns that will help solve the maze and free the kids who are living in The Glade all while dodging Grievers, deadly creatures who’s intent is to kill anyone in their path. Little does everyone know that things are about to change. First with the arrival of Thomas. Then with the arrival the next day of a new member. A first. A girl. A girl with a message. The rules as they know it are about to change.

This book is wonderful. It is confusing. It is wonderfully confusing. It is a beautiful chaos. It makes you ask, who? What? Why? Just when you think you think you have something figured out, you are wrong. And it leaves you guessing what could possibly happen next?

I cannot wait to get started on the second book, in fact I finished this book at 5:00 am this morning and I am already starting the second one now. I cannot wait to see what Dashner has in store for the rest of the series.

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ERC – The Maze Runner by James Dashner – @bookdout

For my second read with the ERC I will be reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I have already started this book, and I have to say that I love it and I cannot put it down! I will be reading, and check my progress on my Kindle and notice that I have suddenly read another 20%. The characters are intriguing, the story is confusing in a good way, and I find myself trying to guess what could possibly happen next. Let me explain what I mean by the story being confusing. It is always thinking, “What? What just happened? What is going on? Who is Thomas really? Why is he there? Is he a good guy, or a bad guy? And let me say it again, WHAT IS GOING ON?” I love this. The plot is not confusing, so it is not that it is poorly written, infact it is excellent writing, it is confusing in an intriguing way. I am always guessing. And I am never right. Just when I think I have something figured out, boom, a surprise happens. I cannot wait to finish the book and write a full review. Right now I am so pleased with this book and I recommend this to everyone! Here is to a great finish!!!

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The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke – The Review @bookdout

In this cozy mystery by Joanne Fluke, you are first introduced to Hannah Swensen and her crazy family. Hannah runs a successful cookie and coffee shop in town called The Cookie Jar, and one day when she suddenly finds herself face to face with the dead body of a local hero and friend – Ron, she is thrown into the world of investigation. While she does not have an official role with the local police force, she works closely with her brother-in-law Bill to try and find Ron’s killer while feeding the town her delicious confections. This book has not gotten the best reviews from other readers, but I loved the lighthearted story after the tough, grisly, and graphic thrillers I read every day. Also, being a cook, I loved the yummy recipes she included. They are simple enough that someone who has never baked in their life would be able to follow the simple instructions. Was this the great American novel? No. Was it just what I needed after a long day of work? Yes! I loved all the characters, Hannah with her messy style; crazy, red, frizzy curls; and her loving nature towards her friends like Lisa and family. Sometimes her mother could even drive me a little nuts with all her fussing over Hannah and trying to fix her up, but I know it was all out of love. Her sister knew how to take advantage of her at times, but it was nice in the end to see her reconnect with her again.  I loved this book beginning to end, and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a yummy, fun, cozy mystery. I look forward to reading more in this series. Four Stars.

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