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Stranger Things: Runaway Max

(Stranger Things Novels #3)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Don't miss this gripping, emotional prequel to the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things! The never-before-told backstory of the beloved Dig Dug maven, Max Mayfield, written by New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff.

This must-read novel, based on the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things, explores Max's past--the good and the bad--as well as how she came to find her
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  473 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Renee M. P. T. Kray
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
Jul 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not sure what I expected but what we got is a retelling of season 2 through Max’s narrative (which anyone could have gotten from watching the show) and a little bit of backstory. Nothing was added to the canon of the show that felt important.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this! The book takes place during the actual events of Stranger Things, season 2. We get the story from Max's perspective, as she gets to know Lucas, Dustin, Mike, and Will. It's not a shot for shot, line by line remake of pivotal scenes, and I really like that. Where the book shines, is showing what it's like in Max's home life. We know from the show that things aren't shiny perfect in her home environment. The book delves into that a little more and I would add that there are ...more
Dichotomy Girl
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Initial Review:
This has left me feeling very ambivalent. On the one hand, very excited to get something new from Brenna Yovanoff, on the other hand, media tie-ins never work well for me.

I'm going to think happy thoughts and hope for the best.

After Reading:

This wasn't bad for what it was, but I was left feeling that I didn't read a *true* Brenna Yovanoff book.

3.5 Stars
Karen Kohoutek
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Through what I'm sure was no fault of the author, who probably was working within guidelines on a project like this, I was a little disappointed with the shortness of the book, and the fact that much of it re-tells events from the show's second season. I was expected more of a full-fledged prequel, leading up to Max's arrival in Hawkins, with more of a full story in that timeframe. Once I got used to that, though, I did really enjoy it. We are re-watching this season in preparation for the third ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Only for the fans of Stranger Things. It's YA, and the writing isn't spectacular. It's a quick and easy read, but nothing more; something you'd want to pick up after season 3 if you're still not over it.

It's basically season 2 as seen through Max's eyes, but not a recap of it; mostly it's Max's backstory and what was going on with her behind the scenes. By proxy, there's also a lot about Billy. We get to see how awful he was, and at the same time, how utterly broken. You could sum up the whole b
Derek Neveu
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having already watched season 2 of Stranger Things three times over, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to get out of this text. At worst I feared a lack luster retread, and at best I feared a weird fan girl take on the series and character. I’m happy to say it was neither. Yovanoff does an excellent job of channeling the spirit of Mad Max, and retelling season two in an original and interesting way. She fills in a lot of gaps that help bring depth not only to Max’s character, but to the who ...more
Ryan Krasowski-Olmstead
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I have never really read YA before, as you can tell by my profile, but being a fan of Stranger Things, I gave it a try. I read this book in 1 day... This book was phenomenal. The backstory of Max's life was a great insight into how the character grew to be the character we love in the show. Her struggles with moving and dealing with Billy on a consistent basis was a fascinating story. It painted a great picture of the good and bad parts of the relationship we see in the show. Lastly, I want ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is quick and easy to read. You get to see a bit of Max's past before she moves to Hawkins. There's a lot of tell vs. show, like explaining a conversation from the show rather than using the actual dialogue from the show. The actual dialogue would have made this more fun, though I suspect they shorten conversations to a short couple-sentence description assuming readers have seen the show.

I was hoping this would have something more interesting and unique, was hoping to care a bit more a
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
***4.5 stars***

For fans of Stranger Things, this book will feel like déjà vu. The plot is actually based on Season 2 where we were first introduced to Max (Maxine) Mayfield. But before you decide not to read this book, I honestly think that this book is a decent read as it delves more into the backstories of Max and Billy. It's like watching Season 2 from Max's perspective.

I actually enjoyed this book as I get to know more about Max and Billy. And I even feel sorry for Billy! It's a quick read
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I wasn't sure how I would like a book told from the perspective of a teenage girl it was an engaging, if quick read. Basically we get to see the events of season 2 through Max's eyes, but also expanded her backstory. Through Max, we also get to see the events of the season from the perspective of an outsider.
Gabriela Kozhuharova
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
Still haven't watched Stranger Things (I know, shame on me), but nonetheless I really enjoyed this novel. It's a meaningful story about abusive households and broken families, and the main character, Maxine, managed to draw me in with her point of view. I'm sure I would have liked it more in context, but still a good read.
Hope (HopelessBookAddict)
This was cute but I didnt think it was necessary for story development.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book because I got to know more about her backstory. Ever since max appeared on season 2, I was curious about her. If you like Stranger things you will DEFINITELY enjoy this novel!
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book! I think it goes without saying that if you are a fan of Stranger Things fan, you’re going to love this.
I’m seeing a lot of comments about this just being Season 2 from Max’s perspective so nothing new etc. Well, it is, and it’s awesome!
I felt this book to be like those film bonus director’s cut kind of material. You know the story from the show, but it’s just full of background info and gives us an opportunity to be part of Max’s thought process.
I listened to the Audiob
Chuy Ruiz
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-sophia
It was entertaining. 3 1/2 stars really. But 3 feels harsh. This one mostly runs alongside the events of season 2. Just from Max's perspective. You learn more about her home life and family, and Billy. But beyond that, it's all in Season 2.
Chris Wermeskerch
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Mostly a re-telling of ST season 2 from Max's POV. A worthwhile endeavor, but it doesn't really add much to the season. Key moments you'd think would garner more attention are completely glossed over - what did Max do after she knocked Billy out? Instead, we get flashbacks to growing up with Billy and Neil, learning what it was like to live with two powder kegs. Not a bad read, it was quick for sure, but I'm thinking it's too similar to Dark Horse's ST: The Other Side, where we get a POV story t ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this as a companion novel, and it definitely gave a bit of a background to Max and Billy. It didn't give a whole lot of information we couldn't glean from the show, but it was entertaining to see everything unfold from Max's perspective.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
So basically, this is season 2 of Stranger Things told from Max's point of view with lots of flashbacks thrown in to give us her backstory and make it the "prequel" it's advertised as being. If you are a HUGE Stranger Things fan or if Max or Billy are one of your favorite characters, I would say you might want to read this. But otherwise, you can probably skip it.

Want to save yourself some time and just read spoilers on the biggest and most important parts of Max's backstory instead of reading
Jenny Raylen
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought this on a whim knowing that it probably wouldn't be that good, but wanting to take the chance anyway in the small likelihood that there was some good being-"related"-to-Billy angst. And in that manner it definitely delivered.

The prose was just...meh. It read like a first draft. There were obvious mistakes, like Max learning who Nancy is twice within the span of literally two pages. The sentences were choppy and awkward.

This is definitely NOT a prequel. It's a retelling of season two fro
Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)
read this and more reviews on Frayed Books:

In Season 2, we met Max - the new kid in town who doesn’t know about any of the strange things happening. This book is set during season 2 and about her life prior to moving to Hawkins.

We learn about Max’s life in California, her mom being a single mom and dating the worst guys before she marries her current step-father, who moves them to Hawkins, and in the process gaining a step-brother Billy. This book shows the
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you didn't know yet, I am a huge fan of this series! The characters, the plot, Hawkins and just everything about it! Because the tv show has too little episode each season, I'm always craving for more so I'm so excited to be able to get an even deeper glimpse into one of the characters that I adore, Max Mayfield. Or earlier known to be Mad Max.

In Stranger Things: Runaway Max it began on a backstory of Max. Of what actually happened before she moved to Hawkins. This story is definitely offici
Mandi Schneck
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Review also found at

With Stranger Things Season 3 having just been released (it was SO GOOD!) I've been snatching up all the ST books I could find! The first one I read was the YA fiction Runaway Max by Brenna Yovanoff. This story basically tells the entire plot of Season 2 from Max Mayfield's point of view. If you haven't watched Season 2, make sure to do so before reading this book!

Max is the new girl in town in Hawkins, Indiana. Sporty and a tomboy, she always fits
Zachary Johnson
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1.Max-She is a female and the main character. She is a tomboy with a fierce attitude.
Billy-He is Max's big brother. He is very violent and a drug addicted high schooler.
Lucas-Max's boyfriend and he is very nice and convinces Max that Will really disappeared in the upside down.
2.The main setting is in Hawkins Indiana in the 1980's mostly in the outdoors or Max's house.
3.A main theme in the story is to live life to the foolest and try new things.
4.An action that hooked me was when Billy broke Nate
John Stanifer
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the last few months, three books have been released with the label "Official Stranger Things Novel."

I've read all three, and after watching the final trailer for Season 3 that came out a few days ago, "Runaway Max" feels like the most essential of the three to read before seeing the new season.

On one level, this is a retelling of Season 2 from Max's perspective, with parts of her backstory added in. So some of it will be familiar to die-hard fans of the show. Not to say it isn't interesting t
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book came at a great time. After reading all of the dark family dramas/tragedies this year, I’ve needed to read some fun and adventure. Something quick not thick. I love Stranger Things so this seemed like a combination of all the right stuff.

The story was interesting. It mixes Max’s past with the current events of season 2 by retelling those moments with Max’s POV. So there were a couple of moments where it was kind of nice to see inside her head...Like when meeting up with the squad. How
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
For fans of the Netflix series, there may not be a lot of new ground covered in this story, or reveals about the nature of the Upside Down or the Mindflayer, but the window into the Max's version of events is definitely worth reading.

The book starts out before Max, Billy and their family moved from busy California to middle of nowhere Indiana and readers get the chance to see what influences made Max into "Mad Max" King of Dig Dug, fearless skateboarder and occasional lock picker. The reasons f
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Other books in the series

Stranger Things Novels (3 books)
  • Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things, #1)
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town