Friday, February 10, 2012

Book 15: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is one of the electrifying young adult books in a long time. After hearing a lot of buzz, I expected great things from the book and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

I’ve never seen a book that has been talked about nearly as much as The Hunger Games. Sure there was Harry Potter and Twilight, but I will admit those books were wide read but never hit as many different groups of people like this book has. I’ve seen my Trekker friends, co-workers, and even family members all enjoy this book and plow through it.  It’s a book that has literally cross boundaries in a board way. Cause with Harry Potter, my co-workers weren’t so into and there are so many people who dislike Twilight. So I was getting very curious about the book that captured so many people’s attention.

I’m always a little mixed on dystopian stories. Most of them tend to fall into the same general patterns, which starts to frustrate me very quickly. But at the same time, Brave New World and 1984 are some of my favorite books.  I was glad to see that the Hunger Games fell into the creative dystopian story that catches your attention and then holds it.

The Hunger Games start on the Reaping day. As a reader, you start to sense something very sinister about the reaping. Then at the reaping ceremony, you see the real danger. It’s when a boy and a girl are chosen from each district (there are twelve) to fight to the death for the entertainment for the capital and as a punishment to a rebellion by the twelve districts seventy-three years earlier. So you can tell that when Katniss’ sister is called, you know that all is not well. Her sister is more of a healer and doesn’t know how to hunt like Katniss does. Immediately, you are pulled into reading the next chapter.

Fortunately for the reader, Katniss steps in and volunteers to take her sister’s place. This means she has saved her sister but almost guaranteed her own death. Then the pull the boy’s name.  It was Peeta, the baker’s son who Katniss barely knows but is fond of due to the fact he once saved her life. The two of them are immediately taken to the games. The Hunger Games has as much pomp and circumstance as the Olympics. There are three districts known for training the best players in the games while other districts like Katniss’ were more known as being cannon fodder.  There is the opening ceremonies, group training sessions, private session with the game makers, an interview session, and of course the time when the kids have to start killing each other in the arena.

Katniss and the reader are caught off guard in the interview session when Peeta admitted he had a lifelong crush on Katniss. This love would be played upon from that moment on. Both by the mentors and Katniss/Peeta. But what is interesting is that while Katniss isn’t in love with anyone back home, she does have extremely close friend in Gale.  A start to a love triangle.

The games are interesting. But I won’t discuss that. Too many spoilers if I talk about those.

The characters and the world are very strong.  There are no complaints on my end other then you don’t really know much about the tributes but that is done on purpose. Katniss doesn’t get to know those she has to kill. She just knows which district they are from and general traits.

I loved this book. I read it in two days and my first thought when I finished up reading the book, “Read faster Susan”. I thought that for one simple reason, she is loaning me the series. So I wanted the second installment as soon as possible. Fortunately for me, when we were doing our talk about the book (always a sign of a good book when you talk about it to one of your friends and compare notes/thoughts) she said she finished it up.

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