**spoiler alert** This is probably my least favorite book of the series. I still really like the character of Minho, but the plot itself dragged a bit**spoiler alert** This is probably my least favorite book of the series. I still really like the character of Minho, but the plot itself dragged a bit. And at times characters seemed to be added for no particular reason, and things were created that just didn't make sense, such as the liquid that would surround someone's head and harden...
People called Creators put a bunch of boys whose memories were erased into a Maze in Book One of The Maze Runner series. Thomas, the protagonist, was one of the last ones to be put in the Maze, along with a girl named Teresa, the only girl, and that's when things got strange, but the boys eventually found out how to escape. Once they escaped, they were "rescued" by some sort of rebel group, and then they were brought to a safe haven where they could sleep, and stuff like that.
The Scorch Trials opens with the boys—Gladers—all in their dormitories having a grand old confusing time, when a new something bad happens. Crazy people outside—they're called Cranks—start screaming, so the boys all race into Teresa's room to see if she's okay. On the way, they find a bunch of dead bodies hanging from the ceiling of the hallway. Great. Then, when the boys get to Teresa's room, they find that she's gone; a boy named Aris is in her room instead.
No one knows what's going on, and when the boys get back to the hallway, it turns out that the dead bodies are all gone.
Later, a random dude just appears in the central room of the dormitories. He sits in a chair and reads a book, and he's also protected by a force field. Eventually, he breaks his silence and tells the boys what's going on. He's part of WICKED, and the scoop is that the boys are all about to be put into a trial. At 6 a.m., they'll need to go through a Flat Trans and then enter the Scorch, where they'll need to reach the safe haven in exactly two weeks' time.
Anyway, the next morning, the kids all go through the Flat Trans. It's a dark portal thingy, and bad stuff happens inside. A few kids get their heads sliced off from metal ball things, but eventually, most of them reach the other side. Meanwhile, Thomas tries telepathically to reach Teresa, but she isn't responding, which is pretty alarming.
When the boys exit the Flat Trans, they walk out into the Scorch, which is pretty much a barren wasteland with extreme heat. Up ahead is a city filled with Cranks, and ahead of the city is a mountain range. The boys need to make it past the mountain range.
The boys make their trek to the city, but a storm hits and blows a few of them to pieces. When the boys reach the city, they run into a Crank dude named Jorge, who claims he's the leader of the Cranks. He wants to kill Minho so much, but Thomas talks him out of it. In fact, Thomas talks Jorge into helping the kids, as their safe haven supposedly has the cure for the Flare, the disease that all of the Cranks have.
By the way, the kids all have the Flare, too—it just hasn't affected their brains yet.
Jorge starts to lead the boys toward the mountain with another Crank named Brenda, who's super smart. Unfortunately, Thomas and Brenda get separated from the rest during a Crank attack.
Brenda helps Thomas make his way through the city by taking him through an underground tunnel system. On the way, the pair is attacked by some crazy Cranks, but everything turns out okay. When Brenda and Thomas reach the center of the city, Thomas finds a sign that says he's the true leader. Apparently, these signs are everywhere, which is why Jorge and Brenda ended up helping him.
But Thomas and Brenda get in trouble pretty quickly: a group of Cranks force them to attend their party, where Thomas and Brenda are drugged and captured. Luckily, Minho and the Gladers ambush the party and save Thomas and Brenda.
Thomas has the worst luck: one of the Cranks turns out to have a pistol, and he shoots Thomas in the shoulder. To make things even weirder, WICKED sends a flying-saucer-type-deal called a Berg to take Thomas back to the WICKED headquarters so they can fix him up.
AnywThomas is dropped off with the group again, and they all make their way to the mountains. Teresa is there with Group B, a bunch of girls who were also put through the Maze trials. Teresa isn't so happy anymore, and she seems to hate Thomas. In fact, Group B takes Thomas hostage: they walk away with him to kill him.
On their way to the place where he's supposed to be killed, Thomas talks the girls out of killing him. He thinks that WICKED is testing the girls' rational thinking as another Variable. The girls let Thomas go, but Teresa is not happy, and she storms away. Evidently, she wants this guy dead, so bad. She meets back up with everyone when they're almost at the safe haven; there, she convinces Thomas to follow her, pleading that she was only acting mean.
Then comes her betrayal: she totally leads Thomas to a dark room, where he's supposed to be killed. She's been accompanied by Aris the whole time, and he's been communicating with her telepathically ever since they were put into the Maze. Thomas is crushed. Turns out their mission was to kill Thomas the whole time.
Thomas is gassed in the room, but he doesn't die. In fact, his injuries from getting whacked on the head by Teresa's spear are cured, and she comes running into the room telling him it was all an act. The story goes that WICKED told her they'd kill Thomas if she didn't do what she was told; her mission was to make Thomas feel betrayed, or else WICKED would kill him.
Thomas reluctantly follows Aris and Teresa so that they can reach the safe haven. He doesn't trust either of them, despite the fact that they seem like they're genuinely sorry for what they did. The three meet up with Groups A and B, who are standing over a stick with a flag that says "The Safe Haven."
With an hour left until the end of the trials, giant coffin-like containers suddenly descend from the clouds, and huge monsters climb out.
Both groups are forced to fight the monsters, and there's basically an epic battle. A few Gladers die, but no one too important. Then when the trial time is up, another Berg appears, and everyone jumps on it. Finally, the trial is over.
A man who represents WICKED isn't too happy about the fact that Brenda and Jorge have made it onto the Berg, since they aren't test subjects. Oh, well—Thomas steals the dude's gun and forces him to let Brenda and Jorge stay.
Everyone's placed back in a dormitory again, except for Thomas, who finds himself in a plain white room. Teresa speaks to him telepathically, asking if he's okay. She tells him that everyone's been in the dorms for a week, but WICKED has been telling everyone that Thomas has the Flare, so he's being treated elsewhere. Thomas gets totally fed up with Teresa and tells her to go away.
Though she's hurt, Teresa consents, but she tells Thomas one last thing: "WICKED is good"
The story ends there, but then the epilogue begins with yet another memorandum from Ava Paige, the Chancellor of WICKED. She says that things are going well despite a few hiccups, and the kids are all going to have their memories restored eventually.
**spoiler alert** This happened to be my favorite book of the series, primarily because I am such a fan of backstory. Early on it was evident to me th**spoiler alert** This happened to be my favorite book of the series, primarily because I am such a fan of backstory. Early on it was evident to me that the young girl who was saved, Deedee, would turn out to be Teresa. This book is a prequel to the Maze Runner series and gives us the story about what had happened to the earth, and how and why W.I.C.K.E.D was formed. Let's take a step back: before Thomas, there was Mark.
Right from the beginning, we're told that the story takes place thirteen years earlier than the Maze. So we have a bunch of new characters to get to know. There's Mark, Trina, Alec, Lana, Misty, the Toad, and Darnell. They're all survivors of the sun-flares, and they're living together in a village somewhere.
The conflict begins when a Berg shows up at the settlement—that's right, a Berg (a giant airship that WICKED uses —it's basically a plane, but with more rooms). It's super-rare for a Berg to show up, and the people who come out of the Berg shoot up the village with darts. People drop like flies (including Darnell), but Alec, Mark, Trina, Lana, Misty, and the Toad escape.
Amid the shooting, Alec takes out a grappling hook and shoots it onto the Berg. Mark follows suit with another grappling hook, and pretty soon the two are walking around in the Berg trying to figure out what's going on. Alec and Mark break down some doors and generally cause mayhem, and pretty soon the Berg crashes.
Alec and Mark are fine. But when they trek back to the settlement, they find people dead everywhere. Oh, and Darnell is locked up in a cage going nutso. He's screaming about something hurting in his head. Then he whacks his head on the wall until he dies.
So something bad is going on, clearly. Whatever was in those darts is poisonous, and it's spreading. The remaining friends decide to flee the village. On their way, though, Misty starts feeling sick. She's pretty much a goner too at this point, and the Toad refuses to keep going without her. Oh well: Trina, Lana, Alec, and Mark keep going.
About a few miles into the woods, the group stops to get some rest. As Mark is about to fall asleep, he sees the Toad in the woods. And as you can imagine, the Toad's now sick too. He tells them he took care of Misty until she died, and now his head hurts. Alec, being a grizzled war vet, takes the Toad out to the woods and kills him (we don't know how)—they can't have anyone with the virus following them.
We're down to Mark, Alec, Trina, and Lana. They start exploring the woods and come across another settlement. There, they find a little five-year-old girl who has a dart wound on her arm, but she's not sick. She tells them that her name is Deedee, and they decide to bring her with them.
Whenever Mark dreams, the dreams are all very linear: they start at the day the sun-flares hit until the day that he escapes New York by boat. This is how we find out about how he meets Alec and Lana, and how most of the people in New York City were killed and there those who survived fled to.
So the group, now with Deedee, starts to move away from the settlement. But pretty soon they hear singing and see dancing out in a clearing. Mark and Alec take a gander, but the people see them and hold them captive, and these people are big on praising spirits and condemning demons
Alec and Mark are able to escape, but when they run away they realize the forest is on fire. Awesome. After lots of running they get back to where they left Trina, Lana, and Deedee… and realize they're gone.
Their next step is to find their friends, but on their way they stumble upon a landing pad for a Berg. It turns out that the landing pad leads to an underground bunker, where Alec and Mark find a group of crazy people yelling in an auditorium.
After some eavesdropping, Alec and Mark find out that the people in the auditorium were the ones who shot the darts at both settlements, but they aren't happy. Their superiors are in Asheville attempting to use a Flat Trans (a teleportation device) to get to Alaska. We're not sure why they want to go to Alaska at this point, but we can assume it's because Alaska is going to be the only safe haven left, seeing that Asheville is now filled with people infected by the Flare.
By the way, the people in the auditorium are suffering from the virus. Unfortunately for them, the virus is super contagious, so by shooting it and spreading it among the masses, they all accidentally caught it themselves. As you can imagine, they were fiddling with the darts while loading their guns—also, the Flare is something you can catch just by breathing in infected air. Basically, they had to do the dirty work for their superiors, and by doing the dirty work, they're now all doomed because they caught the virus.
Although they try to be stealthy, Mark and Alec aren't great at eavesdropping. Pretty soon, everyone in the auditorium thinks there are "spies," possibly working for the PFC (Post-Flares Coalition) listening in on them. Alec and Mark escape with a Berg, but Mark realizes he has the Flare after torturing an attacker.
When Mark and Alec land, they're in a cul-de-sac outside of Asheville. Alec also did some reconnaissance in the area, and saw Lana, Trina, and Deedee being held captive by some crazies. So the next plan: save them somehow. Luckily, Mark and Alec find a weapon inside the Berg that dissipates people—it blows them to little pieces, causing their bodies to disappear into thin air.
Alec and Mark fly the Berg to where Trina, Lana, and Deedee are, and they enter the area. They're totally geared up because it's a zombie-land in that place. People attack them left and right, but Mark and Alec fend them off with their weapons.
Eventually, after approximately a million attacks and close calls, Mark and Alec find Lana. But she's stabbed by some crazy dudes, and Alec puts her out of her misery by shooting her with his weapon.
Fortunately, Mark and Alec find Trina and Deedee in a basement of a house. Unfortunately though, Trina is super-sick and doesn't even remember Mark. But since people are attacking them, they fight their way out and get to the Berg.
At this point, Trina's sick, Mark's getting crazier, and now Alec is feeling terrible. They all have the Flare, but Deedee's still fine. How is she managing it?
The plan now is to get Deedee to the Flat Trans in Asheville because she must be immune to the Flare—the problem is that this is a suicide mission for Alec, Trina, and Mark. But again, it's about all they can do. So that's what they end up doing; they get Deedee to the Flat Trans, then after she travels through it, Alec crashes the Berg into the building that has the Flat Trans, killing everyone.
But hey, at least Trina remembers Mark at the very last moment.
In the epilogue, we get to see the scene where Thomas is taken away from his mother.
Then after the epilogue, we get a secret file that reveals Teresa's memory beginning in WICKED's headquarters. Turns out her name used to be Deedee......more
**spoiler alert** I wanted to love this book because it was compared to John Green's books and many of them I really like, but I just didn't. The plot**spoiler alert** I wanted to love this book because it was compared to John Green's books and many of them I really like, but I just didn't. The plot wasn't as good, the characters not as well developed, and I just didn't care about what was happening to them. I saw Greg as very selfish and not really caring about Rachel, though in the end he does seem to rise to the occasion.
Greg Gaines’ main goal in life is to avoid making any friends at high school. By avoiding making any friends, Greg reasons, he can avoid being criticized, judged, or disliked. Greg is so insecure that it is stopping him from being truly alive: he avoids life rather than participating in it. Greg’s only friend is Earl Jackson, another senior at his high school. The boys share a love of cinema and together they write and direct their own short films inspired by their favorite movies. Although they take pleasure in making the films together they refuse to ever show the finished product to anyone else. Only two copies of each Gaines/Jackson DVD exist – one for Greg and one for Earl – and no one else has ever seen any of their films.
Greg’s life started to change when his mom insisted that he get back in touch with a girl called Rachel who he attended Hebrew school with in the sixth grade. Rachel had been diagnosed with leukemia and both Greg’s mom and Rachel’s mom thought it would cheer Rachel up to spend some time with Greg. Greg was initially reluctant to contact Rachel because the plan went against everything he was trying to achieve: he wanted to avoid making friends, not reconnect with people from his past. But gradually, Greg came to realize how much he enjoyed spending time with Rachel and their friendship blossomed. Eventually, Greg introduced Rachel to Earl - his only other friend - and after a bumpy start they became friends too. When Rachel expressed an interest in the Gaines/Jackson films Earl offered to show her the DVDs despite protests from Greg. Rachel loved the DVDs and watched them over and over again when she was in hospital having chemotherapy. Another student from their high school, Madison Hartner, found out how much Rachel enjoyed the Gaines/Jackson films and suggested to Greg that they should make a film especially for Rachel.
Greg agreed to the plan but quickly regretted it when he and Earl struggled to come up with ideas about what the film should be. The film began to take over Greg’s life and he started to fall behind at school, causing his teachers to worry that he would ruin his chances of getting into a good college. What was worse, from Greg’s perspective, was that everyone at school knew that he and Earl were making a film for Rachel. Suddenly everyone knew who he was and Greg was no longer able to live the kind of anonymous existence that he craved.
After multiple failed attempts Greg and Earl finally finished “Rachel the Film”. Unbeknownst to them, Rachel’s mom had found a copy of the film and had shown it to Greg’s mom. The two women were so touched by what Greg and Earl had done that they decided everyone should get the chance to see the film. Without telling the boys, the Principal arranged for a special screening of “Rachel the Film” for the entire school. This was a nightmare for Greg, who never wanted to share any of their films with anyone. Most of the students thought that Greg and Earl’s film was weird, but Rachel told them that she enjoyed it. She told Greg and Earl that she wanted both of them to apply to go to Film School. Shortly after the screening of their film for her, Rachel died.
In the Epilogue, Greg reveals that he is writing the book in order to explain to the admissions board that his grief over Rachel’s death is the reason that he failed so many classes in his first year of college. Through the process of writing the book, Greg realizes that he doesn’t want to go back to college. He wants to apply to Film School, just like Rachel suggested he should. Writing about what happened to him has provided a kind of therapy, and by the end of the Epilogue Greg is no longer afraid to go out into the world and be the person he really is. Although Greg protests that he didn’t learn any important life lessons as a result of the events in the novel, in fact, Rachel’s death has taught him the value of being alive.
The character I liked most was Earl. He seems the most realistic - he was true to himself and was honest with others. He befriended Rachel not because someone told him to, but because he liked spending time with her and talking to her. He also came from a very rough family, with multiple brothers who were physically violent to each other, and a mother who had no time to spend with her boys and was instead busy with a man or drinking. Earl made the best of this by spending so much time with Greg's family (and eating Greg's father's strange food), and making films with Greg.
**spoiler alert** This is one of my favorite John Green books, primarily because I love the characters. Both Wills surround themselves with characters**spoiler alert** This is one of my favorite John Green books, primarily because I love the characters. Both Wills surround themselves with characters that play off their strengths and weaknesses. Will Grayson number 1 has a best friend named Tiny Cooper, which is ironic because Tiny is exceptionally large. But he is also kind, upbeat, and very much in love with other males. SO much so that he is always telling Will of his latest love, and how in love he is, and invariably about the breakup he will soon have. Tiny also has a friend named Jane, who Will thinks nothing of at first, but will soon begin to have feelings for. They will eventually be attracted to each other, she will go back to her old boyfriend, then they will become good friends, and then a couple. The other Will Grayson is at a crossroads. He is in love with an on-line boy named Isaac that he has been talking to for three years, and has decided that it is time for them to meet up. But he does not tell his "friend" Maura about Isaac - he has not even told anyone he is gay. On the night he is to meet Isaac, he finds himself at an adult book store, since this is the address and name of the place where he was told to meet Isaac. Here, he also meets the other Will, who was not able to get in to see a concert with Tiny and Jane because his fake ID said he was only 20. The two meet up and they talk about their depressing evenings. Will gets a call from Maura, telling him that she has been Isaac all along. He is devastated, and is only comforted when Tiny and Jane show up. Tiny eventually falls for Will, and they start dating, and Will lets his family know he is gay. They are very accepting, but he is still refusing to speak to Maura, and he will not forgive her. Will and Tiny text all day long, and the other Will, Tiny's friend, begins to feel left out. Tiny is in the midst of staging a play about his life, and has made characters based off his own friends. Will does not like the character based off himself, and wants Tiny to replace him. In the end, Tiny and Will break up as Will is not ready for a committed relationship and is not ready to be open and honest about his feelings and his life. The other Will, knowing how he has pulled away from Tiny, with the help of the other Will, goes to Tiny's opening night. He has made phone calls to many other Will Graysons, of different ages, and has asked them all to come to the show and at the end to stand up and tell Tiny who they are and why they appreciate him. This in turn shows Tiny how important he has been to both Wills, and is an uplifting end to the story....more
**spoiler alert** I am happy I reads the entire series as I hate to begin one and not finish, but this was not Wedsterfields best work, in my opinion.**spoiler alert** I am happy I reads the entire series as I hate to begin one and not finish, but this was not Wedsterfields best work, in my opinion. Many of the characters were not fully developed, therefore not getting as much by-in from the reader. And the premise of the story was, to meet, a bit far fetched - and not the blue time comes during the day? Not convinced...In the final book of the series,
When time freezes in the middle of the day during a school pep rally, the Midnighters have a problem. The secret hour is slowly making its way into the real world. The last book in the Midnighters trilogy is all about the adventure of trying to keep the secret hour in the secret hour.
The Midnighters begin to experience the secret hour more and more frequently during daylight hours. To make matters worse, Rex's darkling side cannot always control itself, and may be becoming stronger. By using Madeline and other resources, the Midnighters find out that on the night of Samhain (Halloween), the Secret Hour will expand, and more of the Earth will be sucked up. This is because there is a "rip" in true midnight, which allows non-midnighters to slip into the blue time, that is expanding like a seam in fabric. While trying to keep people out of these dangerous zones, Jessica has some trouble with her curious little sister Beth. True midnight (usually confined to the secret hour) will last for the whole day, and all humans and creatures within it will be awake, no longer 'stiff'. This will allow the darklings to feast once again upon the creatures of day-unless the five teens find a way to stop it from happening.
Rex is more fearful of spiders than anything --- and those clever darklings have assumed the form he most hates. Yes, the darklings are back! Rex is now half-darkling himself. While this has given him some insights, it has also created new feelings in him that he does not understand. The darklings now want all of him and even more.
The secret hour still arrives every midnight but something new is happening. The blue time is appearing at random times during the day. Rex and his four teenage friends know that this is a more dangerous situation than they've faced before. As they try to figure out what might be causing this, they all must deal with personal issues and relationships. Jessica (the flame thrower) and Jonathan (flyboy during the blue time), Melissa (the mindreader), and the brilliant Dess, who works on the numerical calculations and weapons used against the darklings, are all thrown into a frantic race against time. Now, according to Dess's figures, it will be only a matter of a few weeks until Halloween --- and that is when the world as they all know it will end. In other words, the darklings will take over and blue time will envelop them all.
One of the many things complicating their investigation is Jessica's very curious and interfering little sister Beth, who wants to know why Jessica is disappearing at midnight and how she can get involved in the great adventure. Jessica wants to protect her sister but even Jessica is unable to prevent Beth from finding out the truth in a most frightening way.
As the barrier between the secret hour and normal time is growing weaker, other mysteries must be sorted out. What are the connections between the Grayfoot family and the darklings? How is the first Halfling, Anathea, connected to the early takeover of the darklings, and how can Rex and his friends stop these powers from destroying everything they hold dear? And is there a reason they hate and fear Jessica Day more than anyone? Does she have more power than she realizes?
When Jessica and her boyfriend Jonathan manage to stop the "blue time" from spreading to the whole world, Jessica unfortunately gets sucked into the "blue time". To Jonathan and the whole Midnighter's teams dismay, she will forever be trapped in the blue time, only able to live for an hour of every day. Jessica's parents become very sad about their daughter's "disappearance" and are still grieving her loss when Beth comes to visit Jess for the last time. Both sisters share an emotional time with each other before Jonathan has his moment to say goodbye. Finally, with a half-hour to spare, Jonathan takes Jessica and Beth on their last flight through the blue time.
I like the character of Jonathan best - he seems the most realistic to me. I do like that we got a more detailed description of Jess's parents, and the role they play in her life. And how her sister happened to befriend the young girl who had been captured by the darklings. And in this book we also find out what happened to Rex's father, that it was he and Melissa and her powers who left him mentally incapacitated, though not on purpose. And we meet the only other Midnighter, and old woman who holds the secrets to what the blue time was like before the Grayfoots made their mark and extinguished most of them. ...more
I liked this book far more than I ever expected. For a book about the end of the world, it wasn't as nearly as depressing as I thought it would be. WhI liked this book far more than I ever expected. For a book about the end of the world, it wasn't as nearly as depressing as I thought it would be. While I wanted to know what happened at the end of the world, that really wasn't what the book was all about. It was really about what you would do with your time if you knew it was almost up. This is the story of four high school seniors and their families, and how they react to news of an asteroid hurtling toward earth which will certainly wipe out humanity - in two months. Peter is the star basketball player dating the most beautiful, popular girl in school, Stacey - who he eventually dumps - but he is secretly in love with Eliza, a girl he once kissed while she was at her job as a film developer. She loves photography and this is what helps keep her sane in the face of being labelled a slut by everyone at her school. She goes out at night, smokes, and spends her time in bars listening to music and picking up older men and bringing them home to have sex. Peter is a goody-goody; he is a good big brother who cares about his younger sister, a rebel, and he cooks and cleans at Friendly Forks, a restaurant that specialized in feeding the homeless. There is also Andy, who Anita falls in love with. He is a slacker and someone who finks out on his best friend, Bobo, he turns out to be a drug addict and a complete loser (but unfortunately is Peter's sister, Misery's boyfriend). But Andy is a magician with music, and has a caring heart and soul. He may very well be the best person in the book. Anita loves music also, and at the end of the book, when they have planned the biggest party the world has ever scene, in a stadium filled with people all trying to love each other, knowing it will be their last time, Anita sings beautifully to the back drop of Andy's music. And it is a beautiful scene. Too bad Peter had to have been killed by Bobo's friend, Golden, who is also killed. Drug addicts don't like when you try to steal back something they have stolen from you - this being Misery. Anita has been the overachiever all her life, trying to please her strict parents. But this gives her the opportunity to just be herself and not have to live up to anyone's expectations. Throughout the two months, the characters make connections with each other in ways that would never have occurred in high school (think Breakfast Club here), and they each show who they really are at the core of their personality. All of them, even at times Bobo, have a heart, and we see that sometimes, the pain in your hurt from a hurt you have received when you were young is just too much to overcome, and it ruins the person you could have been. Bobo is one of these. But Eliza is not, and her willingness to bring humanity together through music for one last time is a beautiful ending to a very though-provoking novel....more