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Stranger Things: Runaway Max

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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 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 newfound sense of home in Hawkins, Indiana.


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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 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 newfound sense of home in Hawkins, Indiana.

30 review for Stranger Things: Runaway Max

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This emotional, must-read book tells the background of the beloved and independent Max Mayfield, and of her arrival in Hawkins, IN. While Max does her best to accept the reality of her new home, she also has to deal with family issues at home and a step-brother with a horrible temper. But then she meets Lucas and Dustin; could she have finally found friends? Runaway Max takes place during the events of season 2 through Max’s point of view, and we learn of her background in CA (including meeting B This emotional, must-read book tells the background of the beloved and independent Max Mayfield, and of her arrival in Hawkins, IN. While Max does her best to accept the reality of her new home, she also has to deal with family issues at home and a step-brother with a horrible temper. But then she meets Lucas and Dustin; could she have finally found friends? Runaway Max takes place during the events of season 2 through Max’s point of view, and we learn of her background in CA (including meeting Billy for the first time) through flashbacks and what led to her family’s move to Indiana. There was a good bit of content from season 2 in the book from the parts where Max was present, and it was really insightful to see things from her angle, like meeting the team, growing closer to Lucas, fighting the demodogs, and finally standing up to her brother. I’ve seen that most of the negative reviews of this book stated that it offered no new material or information into the world of Hawkins and the Upside-down. Yes, this is true. But if you can go in knowing that, I think you may enjoy it more. Go in expecting to learn more about the spunky redhead Max and her bullying step-brother Billy, and I think you’ll enjoy this little companion book to the Stranger Things TV series. Such a quick, fun read that helped me fall even more in love with Max Mayfield.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Renee M. P. T. Kray

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 stars. This book is season 2 as told through Max's eyes, which actually doesn't bug me as a concept. I liked delving into Max's home life and her thought process, and there were some really solid scenes. To be fair, the first half was really enjoyable. But ultimately, it didn't even attempt to fill in any blanks or add to the story of the show. The ending of the season, which is arguably Max's best stuff, was skimmed over so quickly that, as a ST fan, I was genuinely insulted. Add that with re 2.5 stars. This book is season 2 as told through Max's eyes, which actually doesn't bug me as a concept. I liked delving into Max's home life and her thought process, and there were some really solid scenes. To be fair, the first half was really enjoyable. But ultimately, it didn't even attempt to fill in any blanks or add to the story of the show. The ending of the season, which is arguably Max's best stuff, was skimmed over so quickly that, as a ST fan, I was genuinely insulted. Add that with repetative prose (she describes figuring out who Nancy is twice on two separate pages) and typos and it's clear that no one really cared about the ending of this book. Lucas is presented as "nice," but nothing else. We actually get more emotional Mileven stuff in here than Lumax, which I thought was just.... odd. Isn't this about Max? Wouldn't this be a great opportunity to really focus on their relationship? One would think. As mentioned above, no creative attempt was made to give any supplement to the show. We don't get anything about, maybe, what went on after that last night- did Max go home and face her mom? Or did she camp out at the Byers' with the guys and wait for everyone to come back? How might that first awkward conversation between her and El have gone? Instead we get a summary so brief and pointless it's basically a sparknotes of the end of the show. We end at the snowball, not even with Max looking at Lucas but with her "craning her neck" to watch Mileven. Whut. Even. Like I said. Enjoyable through the first half. Insulting in the last half. I went down from a 4 star rating to a 2.5 because of the last 75-100 pages. If you want a purely movie tie in, you'll enjoy this. But don't look for anything to expand the ST universe because this one just kind of gave up on that halfway through.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Cat abuse of any kind is a colossal fucking no way for me. I will instantly drop the book. This includes (view spoiler)[fucking around with a dead cat for the sheer sadistic joy of it, especially when it’s obvious the cat suffered before dying. (hide spoiler)] Fuck that bullshite. Fuck. It. I know it was done to establish a character’s personality as a whole, but there are ways to do that which doesn’t involve this kind of crap.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marilee

    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 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 trigger warnings for scenes of physical abuse. Out of all the stranger things novels that have been published so far this one is definately my favorite.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dichotomy Girl

    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

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen Kohoutek

    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 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, and getting the story from Max's point of view really adds to it. But yeah -- this proved I could read a whole series of books from Max's POV. She's a great character, her struggles were really relatable (despite the over-the-top family drama and the threat from the Upside Down, both which come from the show), and her victories were way more emotionally satisfying than I expected.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Derek Neveu

    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 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 whole Mayfield/Hargrove clan. Season three does put small crimps into some of Billy’s character development in his text, but nothing major. Max’s narration is authentic and believable, the retelling aspects of season two are not overdone, and the original content of Max’s past in San Diego and her life with Billy and Neil help shed some light on the underlying, brooding, and conflicted character that we all met and fell in love with in season two. It’s an easy YA read, but if you are a fan of this series, you’ll be a fan of this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashes

    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 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 book with one word: abuse. In the end, both of them were victims. I felt for Max. And I felt for Billy. Especially after season 3 - which, by the way, featured a different flashback to how and when Max and Billy first met. So it gives a different spin to their relationship. Which keeps me from treating the content of the book as 100% canonical.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Krasowski-Olmstead

    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 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 to comment on how well the author portrayed the events in season two through Max's eyes. It was amazing to understand the thoughts and feelings of Max as events unfold through her lens. To any Stranger Things fan contemplating buying this book, I really recommend it. You will not be disappointed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    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 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 about Max, but I felt this wasn't fleshed out enough. It was okay, but I think a novel about any other character would have been vastly more interesting. (When are we getting a novel about Steve?!)

  12. 4 out of 5

    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 ***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 with good writing and mellifluous storytelling. This book did not significantly change anything we already know about Season 2 but it sure helps me to connect with Max and Billy in a deeper way. Hence, I would still recommend this book to fans of Stranger Things!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hope (HopelessBookAddict)

    This was cute but I didnt think it was necessary for story development.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    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!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sami

    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 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 Audiobook and the production was pretty good...

  17. 4 out of 5

    katabaza

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. i paid money to read about neil hargrove beating his son with a belt and said son burning a dead cat. also very exact descriptions of billy's eyes. that was worth at least one star more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wermeskerch

    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 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 that doesn't really contribute much to the overall story. (As an aside: there were quite a few typos that slipped in, and most that I identified weren't even questionable commas. One example? "Dart; brought friends.")

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Raylen

    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 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 from Max's viewpoint with a bunch of flashbacks to her life in California. And man, I really, REALLY wish it was just a genuine prequel. The sections retelling scenes from season 2 were easily the worst parts and paled in comparison to the show. It was so tell-y and glanced over important parts like they didn't matter. The dialogue wasn't written out but summarized half the time. However, I don't regret the buy, because the stuff with Billy made up for those parts. Max's opinion of her stepbrother is SO interesting. (I'm still mad they did what they did with him at the end of season 3.) Seeing Neil's abuse from her perspective and how she sees Billy as a victim but also a monster by the end was amazing. However, besides that one scene, the ending really fell flat. The author glanced over so much of the end as if none of it mattered and she just wanted to get the book done with and out of her sight. It's honestly a little depressing. I read this in less than a day. It's okay but nothing special. OH. Can't believe I almost forgot! Max's backstory BLATANTLY contradicts the backstory presented in season 3, and it bothered me SO much. In season 3, Max and Billy meet several years before they move to Hawkins. Honestly, when I saw that in the show, it made no sense to me. The two really don't seem close enough at all for them to have known each other for years. Billy acts like he's only had to be big brother for a few months at the most and this whole thing with Max is new to him, and vice versa. In the book, they became step-siblings earlier the same year they moved to Hawkins. That makes so much more sense to me, but at the same time, it still really bothered me that they didn't take the time to make sure the backstories were consistent! This book was published by Netflix for heaven's sake! Keep your stories consistent! Little continuity errors like that annoy the heck out of me, though, so perhaps it's just me who's really bothered by this. Unless season 4 goes out of its way to explain Max's backstory (in which case, what even was the point of this?), I'm taking this book as canon over that two-second clip from season 3, since it makes a lot more sense in my opinion. So...do I recommend? Eh, not really. You can skip it. Unless you're really young and can't recognize the poor writing (in which case why are you watching Stranger Things?) or you just REALLY love Max and Billy, I say move along.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)

    read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com Likes 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 read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com Likes 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 relationship between the two siblings who are forced together, neither much liking their respective parents. I did enjoy the relationship between Max and Billy, even if it was often strained. We see them back in their old life and Max begins to learn Billy is bad news. I did enjoy learning a little more about her past. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen Season 2, and I don’t think her past was touched upon too much in the show. Dislikes However, the majority of this book covers things which we have already seen on screen in Season 2, just from Max’s perspective. This was an interesting read to refresh my memory but overall, I didn’t feel like this added anything to the Stranger Things verse or Max’s story. A lot of complaints I’ve seen say that this reads like “young adult” and….yeah, that’s exactly what this is. It doesn’t feel middle grade, its definitely on the YA spectrum and I have no issue with that - Max is in the YA age group so it fits. But like I said, this just doesn’t add anything to the story, so I really wouldn’t bother with this one. Audiobook Thoughts The audiobook was a fast listen and I was able to bump the speed up to 2.5x comfortably, so it went by quickly. I have no complaints about the narrator, she read slowly - hence the quick speed - but overall she felt like Max’s authentic voice. Recommend? Honestly, I would not recommend this book. You’re better off reading recaps of Season 2 or just waiting for Season 3 (OR IT COULD BE OUT NOW AS YOU READ THIS AHHHH!). This added nothing to the story, it was just a long recap. I’ve seen there are other Stranger Things companion books out there and I was curious at first, but after reading some more reviews of those, they all say the same thing, that the stories don’t add anything to the overall canon of Stranger Things. These books, while nice ideas, fall short of what the tv show delivers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Schneck

    Review also found at www.booksandwildflowers.com 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 Review also found at www.booksandwildflowers.com 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 in with the guys more than the girls, so when Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will start spying on her, she thinks she might have found her new group of friends. But the gang has a secret, and secrets are for party members only. Content only to eat lunch with her and invite her trick or treating, the group keeps leaving her out of secret meetings and Max is fed up. What are these boys hiding? Will they ever actually be her friends, or is she bound to wind up friendless in her new town? In addition to Max navigating a new life in Hawkins, there are also a lot of family dynamics discussed in this book. From her abusive stepfather and timid mother, to her angry, off-the-rails stepbrother Billy, Max has it pretty rough at home. You got a tiny bit of this in the show, but this book really delved deeper into the things that Max has experienced outside of her interactions with the boys. I did enjoy getting to know Max more as a character, since a lot about her was still an unknown while watching the show. This book was good, but was mostly just a written regurgitation of Season 2. As a huge ST fan, I liked it, since anything ST is good in my book. If you are just meh about the show, this definitely wouldn't give you anything new other than a bit more about Max's family dynamic. Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Stanifer

    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 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 to see some of the key events of Season 2 in written form. On the other hand, the added backstory and the description of Max's thoughts and motives lend some of the most iconic moments of Season 2 even more emotional heft than they already had to begin with. Let's just say . . . Billy plays a pretty big role here. Which is why I think this is a good one to read before Season 3, since it's obvious Billy is going to play a HUGE role in Season 3. Also, I felt like I gained an even deeper appreciation of Lucas and why Max chose him over Dustin. And . . . I don't want to say too much more since that would spoil some of the fun of reading this. This is a great way to relive Season 2, not only learning more about one of its central characters, but also seeing all the others in a new, richer light. Did I mention this is just over 230 pages and a very easy read? Definitely give it a shot if you're a ST fan.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hollowspine

    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 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 for Billy's anger and their move to Indiana are explained and the story goes through the second season in Max's perspective. So, while there wasn't a whole lot of new material here, I really enjoyed reading about "the Party" from the perspective of an outsider, it gave a whole new light to how Max interacts with the group of guys, and her response to Eleven, and it really rang true to life as well. It's hard trying to belong, especially when your interests don't fall into line with most people's expectations. And it's also hard to be a girl in a group of guys. My only criticism with both the book and the television series is that just because a girl is part of a group of mainly boys, doesn't mean that she has to end up dating one of them. I find that disappointing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Incorrigible_bibliophile

    First off, this was in no way a retelling of season 2 from Max's perspective like the blurb says. It is a glimpse into who Max was before coming to Hawkins and how she adjusts to Billy becoming a part of her life. I'm a person who really likes tie-in editions, especially when they offer a previously unseen glimpse into a character that I really like. We start out with Max in San Diego. Her parents have recently divorced and her mother is going through a string of loser boyfriends before unfortun First off, this was in no way a retelling of season 2 from Max's perspective like the blurb says. It is a glimpse into who Max was before coming to Hawkins and how she adjusts to Billy becoming a part of her life. I'm a person who really likes tie-in editions, especially when they offer a previously unseen glimpse into a character that I really like. We start out with Max in San Diego. Her parents have recently divorced and her mother is going through a string of loser boyfriends before unfortunately settling upon Billy's dad, Neil. We really get to dive into Billy's relationship with his father, which of course is abusive and is reason that Billy is so awful in the show. If you were wondering exactly why Max and Billy moved to Hawkins, and why Billy blames Max, the book answers this in detail. Sadly, it is pretty short. It was only 230 pages but it was worth the hefty hardcover pricetag to get a glimpse into Max and Billy before Hawkins. While Billy is a part of this book, it isn't centered on him and is strictly about Max's perspective. Billy totally needs his own book now. I feel like there is so much more to be discovered about him!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    I've been obsessed with Stranger Things this summer. I got up at 6am on July 4th to start watching Season 3, and ended up watching all eight episodes continuously even though I started feeling kinda sick and temporary lost partial vision in one eye. So naturally I've been attempting to keep up with the "official Stranger Things novels," which have been generally disappointing so far. Until now. Even though Max Mayfield is not my favorite character, (Joyce Byers is) Brenna Yovanoff does an excelle I've been obsessed with Stranger Things this summer. I got up at 6am on July 4th to start watching Season 3, and ended up watching all eight episodes continuously even though I started feeling kinda sick and temporary lost partial vision in one eye. So naturally I've been attempting to keep up with the "official Stranger Things novels," which have been generally disappointing so far. Until now. Even though Max Mayfield is not my favorite character, (Joyce Byers is) Brenna Yovanoff does an excellent job of extrapolating her story in a cohesive and appealing way. Yovanoff spliced together scenes from the series told from Max's perspective, along with events from her past (Billy is particularly heinous). I hope that whichever authors take the reins for the next "official Stranger Things novel," he or she takes a page from "Runaway Max."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    I generally don’t read tie-in novels as a rule. But the Stranger Things bug bit me hard and I needed something to tide me over til next year so I decided to give these novels a shot. This one is YA, unlike the other two, and it covers Max’s role in s2 as well as giving us some backstory. Ultimately, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re as big of a fan of the show as I am. I enjoyed that it fleshed out Billy and Max’s relationship a lot more, as well a their whole family dynamic, which was someth I generally don’t read tie-in novels as a rule. But the Stranger Things bug bit me hard and I needed something to tide me over til next year so I decided to give these novels a shot. This one is YA, unlike the other two, and it covers Max’s role in s2 as well as giving us some backstory. Ultimately, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re as big of a fan of the show as I am. I enjoyed that it fleshed out Billy and Max’s relationship a lot more, as well a their whole family dynamic, which was something I had wanted to see in more detail in the show. I would have enjoyed if the entire book was a flashback set pre-show. The parts that were direct novelizations of episodes were by far the weakest ones.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma Kate

    This book redeemed part of Season 2 for me. I had been disappointed that they introduced Max only to seemingly reduce her to a love interest for Dustin and Lucas to fight over. But this book follows most of season 2 from her perspective so it filled in some gaps. I really enjoyed learning Max's full story and how she came to Hawkins. I had also always wondered if there was more to Billy's abuse and appreciated learning the extent of it. I think this would also shed some light on some of season 3 This book redeemed part of Season 2 for me. I had been disappointed that they introduced Max only to seemingly reduce her to a love interest for Dustin and Lucas to fight over. But this book follows most of season 2 from her perspective so it filled in some gaps. I really enjoyed learning Max's full story and how she came to Hawkins. I had also always wondered if there was more to Billy's abuse and appreciated learning the extent of it. I think this would also shed some light on some of season 3 as well and Max and Billy's relationship. Her reactions to his possession make more sense when you learn how much she admired him at first. Overall, a quick and easy read that expanded the world of Stranger Things so much more.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn

    Oh, Max. This story gives us Max's story. We get to see events from season 2 play out from Max's perspective. We are also provided with flashbacks to Max's life before Hawkins. With these flashbacks we get to see how Billy came into her life. Max doesn't have the easiest home life but she finally found the place she belonged and she finally found people who understand her. Also, even though this is Max's story I found I got a better understanding of Billy as well. I am not making excuses for him Oh, Max. This story gives us Max's story. We get to see events from season 2 play out from Max's perspective. We are also provided with flashbacks to Max's life before Hawkins. With these flashbacks we get to see how Billy came into her life. Max doesn't have the easiest home life but she finally found the place she belonged and she finally found people who understand her. Also, even though this is Max's story I found I got a better understanding of Billy as well. I am not making excuses for him but one could argue that there is a reason he ended up the way he did (nature vs nurture). I don't know if they are planning anymore of these Stranger Things books but I kind of hope they are. As long as they keep making them, I will keep reading them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Sedinger

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I'll be writing a longer review of this for THE GEEKIVERSE, so just a couple of bullet points: --I like the character of Max on STRANGER THINGS, so I liked this book. --The book basically tells Season Two's story from Max's POV, with a lot of her background filled in. --Good first person character work here. Max seems like a real person. --I'm not sure the book works as a standalone, or if you haven't seen Season Two of the show. If you're a ST fan, this is an entertaining a Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I'll be writing a longer review of this for THE GEEKIVERSE, so just a couple of bullet points: --I like the character of Max on STRANGER THINGS, so I liked this book. --The book basically tells Season Two's story from Max's POV, with a lot of her background filled in. --Good first person character work here. Max seems like a real person. --I'm not sure the book works as a standalone, or if you haven't seen Season Two of the show. If you're a ST fan, this is an entertaining and quick read. It doesn't so much add to the larger ST story as it deepens it a bit by taking us into the life of one character who did NOT grow up in Hawkins, IN.

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