Sunday, April 17, 2011

Suzanne Collins. THE HUNGER GAMES

I know, I know...I'm the last person on the planet to finally read THE HUNGER GAMES. Here's the deal. I ordered it for the middle school library I was at when it came out. I planned to read it, since I loved GREGOR and this new book by Collins was already receiving so much buzz in Libraryland. I even began reading it. But the whole idea of fighting to the death just turned me off. Frankly, it didn't appeal to me at all. And there are so many more books to read, that I just declined.

Since then, I've heard so many people rave about it and now it's even becoming a movie. Alas, I finally read it. And yes, it's as good as everyone says. I couldn't put it down. It kept me up at night.

For those few left who haven't read it. Here's the summary:
The setting is sometime in the future and all that's left of North America is a country called Panem. There are 12 Districts and a central district called the Capitol. Years before, the districts rebelled against the Capitol, so now to be continually punished, each district has to give up one boy and one girl to compete in the Hunger Games. The two children are chosen randomly through a drawing, called the reaping. The game itself is brutal. The contestants are put in this arena to fight to the death. The winner is then given a life of luxury and fame for the remainder of their life.

The characters and action are what made the book so appealing. Katniss is the female character. Her younger sister's name is pulled at the reaping, but she volunteers to go in her place. Peeta, the boy who is chosen, has an interesting connection to Katniss. Through the story, we learn more about Katniss's past with her hunting partner, how the death of her father transformed her life and how she may actually have the skills to win the game.

The action wasn't as gruesome as you might imagine. Although the fact the the entire world is watching the games is a little disconcerting, even more so since it's mandatory to watch. Sadly, there are elements of our current society that make the idea of watching this as entertainment not so far-fetched. What I really appreciated was the hunting and survival skills that Katniss needed to use. It reminds you of how important those skills really are when you're in life or death situations. But there were also a lot of mind games, so it was really fascinating.

Overall, it's though-provoking, moving, sad and action-packed!

If you haven't read it yet, it really is a book you won't soon forget. Now I'm really excited about the movie!

Here's a pretty cool fan-made trailer I found.