Personally, I didn't LOVE The Maze Runner (the first book in this series), but I could see why my junior high students would. I probably would not have read this second book except for two reasons:
1) One of my hard-to-reach students is reading this series
2) It was a book I started on Play-away from the library. I listened to the first third in the car for Christmas travels. I read the remainder on my e-reader at home.
I liked this second book much more than I like the first book in this series. In fact, I liked it enough to consider reading the third book. These post-apocalyptic books deliver as much excitement as The Hunger Games trilogy. The main character is male (though no one could accuse Katniss of being too girly). The two books are closely aligned in general plot--government experiment with children (rather sick concept) to determine survival skills necessary to survive a devastated war and a feisty main character that outwits the powers-that-be. I was laughing wondering when THIS movie will come out, but when I went to the author's website--I see it is this year. See James Dashner for the author's site OR click HERE to go to The Maze Runner official site.