07 March 2012

29. The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

A friend wrote this synopsis and little review a while ago.
"Twenty-four children: twelve boys, twelve girls, tributes selected by random lottery every year and sent to the capitol city of Panem to compete in a brutal, bloodthirsty fight for survival, with the last participant standing declared champion.
Welcome to the Hunger Games, a grim reminder to those living in the twelve districts comprising what was once the United States of their place as virtual slaves to the gleaming Capitol at their center.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen is this year's female representative for District 12, having volunteered to take her younger sister Prim's place. Sent to the arena with the baker's son and classmate, Peeta Mellark -- a boy who, several years prior, saved Kat and her family from the ravages of starvation after her father's death in a coal mining accident -- neither competitor from the final district seem to be contenders.But Peeta's good nature and Kat's small stature belie the former's cunning intelligence and the latter's experience as a hunter; while a revelation from Peeta during the introductory ceremonies sends Katniss into the first day of competition more than a little off-kilter.
The stage is set, the tributes have arrived, and the cameras are watching...let the games begin.
It is no exaggeration to call THE HUNGER GAMES a pulse-pounding page-turner. Collins grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. While Katniss isn't always the most likable character (in fact, there were plenty of times I much preferred the affable Peeta, or even sweet, birdlike little Ruth), she is always compelling, thanks to her rational approach to every challenge and her dogged determination.While THE HUNGER GAMES is a plot-driven novel, the characters and their relationships are the heart of the story. Ms. Collins has created a dystopian tale of Orwellian caliber for young adults."
I agree with that assessment. It is a great read and is exciting. It is definitely not difficult. It is Young Adult fiction. How difficult can it be?
I saw reviews for the movie coming out soon. I will go see it and hope they stick to the book. Will I read the rest of the trilogy? Probably not. There are so many other books to read. I did pass this one off to my teens. Two of them are "already reading something", one has no interest in the book but will watch the movie, and one grabbed it hoping it didn't suck. She will probably be happy with the read.
The ruthlessness of some of the children really threw me, but it is supposed to be a different time and their society has changed a lot.
The character of Rue fascinated me and I felt genuinely sad when she died. Poor kid.

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