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The Kill Order – Book Review

In Sunday’s wee hours of the morning, I finally finished reading The Kill Order by James Dashner.

It is billed as the prequel to the series; it was published after the other three books.  Thus, I read it last.

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I have not enjoyed Dashner’s other books in this Maze Runner series.  The concept was actually quite good; however, it was not executed well, in my opinion.

Sure, there were characters that I actually liked, but they were far and few between.

In this final installment, readers learn what led to the maze being created in the first place.

I actually enjoyed this book most out of all four.  The dialogue was not as juvenile.  This could be due to one of the main characters being an older teen.

I liked the characters in this book as well and rooted for them to survive.

However, I still had trouble getting through this book simply because I had nothing pulling me back to it, unlike the scores of other Young Adult fiction books I’ve read over the last two years.

The fighting scenes in this book dragged on forever.  Perhaps young men reading these scenes will appreciate them, given the virtual reality games they like to play.

I am a female, which sounds stereotypical, but I just didn’t enjoy them.

The positives that I can say about this series is that I think it does appeal to young men who crave action when they read.  The text is not high complexity, and the chapters are short, which makes the books perfect for struggling readers who cannot seem to get past two or three pages in one sitting.

With all of that said, I am glad to have finally closed the back cover of this series.

I’m already nearly finished with a book a began immediately afterward.  I’ll be back with another review shortly!

Reading Up a Storm

What is up with me?  I feed badly for letting my blog go lately!

But I’ve been busy.

Sort of.

Actually, I’m ahead on lesson planning…by two weeks…so I’ve been coming home in the afternoons and chilling…something I rarely get to do.

One thing I’ve been doing during my down time is reading…

A lot.

Because I teach intensive reading…to high school students…I feel as though part of my job involves keeping up with relevant reading material so i can honestly and enthusiastically recommend books to my students.

This week, I finished two books.

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, was recommended to me by a young lady in my first period class.

I was immediately drawn into this book by the opening lines and intrigued by the concept of having to find a way out of a maze to survive.  However, the further I read, the more it sounded like The Hunger Games series.  I believe that Dashner wrote this book first though.

One other thing that bothered me was the constant references to memories just beyond the main character’s (Thomas) consciousness.  This repetition grew old at times.

Still, it was a good read, and I will continue with the other books in this series.

The second book I finished was Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko.

Two of my students from my sixth period class recommended this book to me.

The setting is Alcatraz in 1935.  The story is about a family who moves to Alcatraz, where the father works as an electrician and guard.  The son, “Moose,” is tasked with taking care of his sister, Natalie, who is mentally challenged.

When you read this book, you get a sense of how society thought about the mentally challenged as well as the personal obstacles that families faced as they tried to come to terms with the less-than-perfect circumstances involved with taking care of such loved ones.

At first, I did not really like this book.  It truly read like an early middle school book.

My feelings changed, though, the further along I got in the book.  As I watched characters evolve, my heart melted.  By the end, I was in awe of Moose and his compassion for his sister.

I’m looking forward to reading Al Capone Shines My Shoes, which I ordered at the same time as the other book.

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