Credit for this idea goes one hundred percent to Mia @ Number of Pages. She made a post about this and I thought it was hilarious, and there’s nothing I love more than laughing at my own 12 year old self so I thought I’d give it a go. You should definitely go and give her blog a look, she creates some amazing content.
Just to prepare you for the absolute nightmare that is about to occur, let me set the scene. It’s the early 2010s and I’m around 12 years old. I’m at the pinnacle of my pretentious, angsty, unself-aware self and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to write book reviews about all the books I hated (as you can see I started young and have been a cynical piece of shit for quite some time now). Eventually (I think a couple years later, which still speaks to the fact that I matured zero percent seeing as I thought they were worthy of being seen by the internet) I posted them on a Goodreads account that is still active because I forgot the password and will forever remain a burden on my soul.
I’ve decided to choose one of these reviews to share with you lucky suckers today. I might make more of these seeing as I have quite a few cringey reviews from my middle school days and they’re fun to do.
My past self will be represented in blue, italicized lettering.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Forever the holder of the title of “Libby’s Least Favourite Book of All Time”, The Maze Runner goes down in history as the first book to spark the full, fiery hatred of my critical black heart. I don’t think this book is actually the worst book ever written, or even the worst book I’ve ever read, but it incites a weird feeling of nostalgia inside of me that despises it so much that I don’t think I’ll ever dislike a book more than this one. And there are plenty of books I dislike.
In fact, I remember being less than fifty pages in and grabbing a notebook so I could write down every single minor issue I had with it. The notebook has since disappeared but the review remains. I’ll pick out the best quotes for you seeing as it’s 1770 words (please send help). If you want to read the full review you can find it here. I’m actually pretty harsh in it and I definitely would have been a little bit nicer (although probably still just as critical if I were rewriting it today) so keep that in mind if you do choose to read the full thing. I was a shithead.
I was commenting on Dashner’s writing style and had this to say:
It’s basically a bundle of clichés. From “He didn’t understand how this could be possible” – which btdubs, sounds like a sentence from a second grader’s learn-to-write-in-paragraphs worksheet
First of all, who the fuck writes out “btdubs”. I could understand saying it out loud due to the time period but goddamn, spelling it out is a whole other level of cringe. Also I’m not sure where I was going with that second grader’s homework thing??
And here I was commenting on the use of descriptive words in the book:
When you use the word ‘cascading’ with long blond hair I’m not picturing a guy with “Veins [that] stuck out of his muscled arms.” I’m picturing a cheerleader wearing a mini-skirt or a beautiful girl with blue eyes dressed in a light pink ball gown all ready for prom.
I kind of have a point here I think. I could have said this more clearly and talked about connotation but I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that was even a word. But also this whole image just makes me imagine a muscular man in a prom dress which is fun.
This is probably my favourite part of the review because I call Thomas, the main character, an emotional twat. Which, although a fair description, is not a very good thing for a 12 year old to be saying. Lmao, you go Little Lib.
This part makes me cringe so hard. I honestly don’t know what the fuck possessed me to create this paragraph.
When Thomas thinks he does a poor job of it. I normally see my mind as an upside down wedding cake. You have all the tiers, different layers of rich, chocolate thoughts. The first one is the strongest – sticking to my simile, the largest – and it tends to overpower the rest of my thoughts – the rest of the tiers. But they are still there. I can eat a lot of cake. Much more than that guy from Matilda. Much, much more than Thomas. Because Thomas has to think in a jagged sequence of thoughts that sound, well, stupid.
Yikes. I thought I was so smart oh my god. I can just imagine myself smirking and smiling while typing this out thinking about my superior mind and intellect. This snippet could be a post on r/iamverysmart and that is not a good thing. Hopefully when she grows up she gets a little more humble. Oh shit. That’s me. Fuck.
In the book instead of swearing with words that we use in the real world they used the word “shuck” for pretty much everything. I, with the creative and genius mind that I so obviously possessed at this time in my life decided to say this:
To me it sounds like a bunch of idiots saying ‘corn.’ Calling people “corn-face” and telling them that they “don’t corning believe you.” Oh yeah, that’s real threatening.
At the very end of the review I thought I’d tell the people how I would have written this novel instead. The first sentence is the first line of the book. The second, as you probably could have guessed, is my rendition of The Maze Runner.
He began his new life standing up. But then he fell down because he died.
Beautiful work. How I haven’t gotten a book published yet I have no idea. I’m clearly a very skilled novelist, even from age twelve.
Hopefully you enjoyed coming along on this jolly jaunt through memory lane with me. Again, be sure to check out Mia’s blog! Let me know if you’d like to see more of these and I’ll be happy to share more cringe with you (I’ll probably do it anyway even if you don’t want to suffer with me).
Thanks for reading!