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Utah writer James Dashner's new young adult novel, The Scorch Trials, has proved too hot for Deseret Book, which has declined to carry the popular book on its retail shelves.
"This latest book from James Dashner contains language some of our customers would find offensive, as this book is targeted to teenagers," said Gail Halladay, managing director of marketing at Deseret Book. "We must be careful with all the books we bring in, and we look very closely at the language in the books we carry."
None of the bookseller's stores received customer complaints about the Dashner's novel, Halladay said. Instead, the decision was made by Deseret Book's buying office shortly after the book's October release. The bookstore chain, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Deseret Management Corp., screens all books considered for its stores.
Dashner declined comment on the decision, as did Random House Children's Books, said publicist Emily Pourciau.
Reviewers have noted the book's graphic scenes of violence, comparing it to national writer Suzanne Collin's best-selling Hunger Games series. The Scorch Trials, the story of teenagers trekking across a dystopian landscape populated by "Cranks," includes words such as "damn" and "this sucks," as well as the phrase "shuck it."
The phrase "I'm with shuck face" has proved popular among the book's fans, with one reader emblazoning it on a T-shirt seen on Dashner's website at http://www.jamesdashner.com. Dashner, who attended Brigham Young University, lives in South Jordan with his wife and four children.
Dashner's book is among the top 15 best-selling titles for children and teens, according to Amazon.com sales figures.
It was released this fall by Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, a division of Random House Children's Books, with a first printing of 100,000 copies and a six-city national author's tour. The book is the second of an announced trilogy, coming as a follow-up to Dashner's popular The Maze Runner. It tells the story of boys living inside the walls of a structure called "The Glade" who must work their way through a monster-filled maze. The Scorch Trials resumes the adventures of the Gladers.
In a similar move in the spring of 2009, Deseret Book requested that its locations return back copies of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling vampire romance Twilight novels after the company said they "met with mixed reviews."
Although the bookstore doesn't have copies of The Scorch Trials on its shelves, Halladay noted that customers can special order the title for pick-up.
Shuck this: The Scorch Trials
O Visit South Jordan writer James Dashner's website at http://www.jamesdashner.com.