Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Hunger Games

Book: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Like/Don't Like: Ooh, liked!

Tell me if this doesn't turn you stomach a bit: a post-apocalyptic society that each year makes 24 teenagers fight each other to the death on live television.

That's what this story is about. And when I realized it I almost stopped reading. Because I don't like reading about people killing each other. I especially don't like reading about teenagers killing each other. But oh so many people recommended this book to me. And one even went so far as to bring it by my house, wherein I started reading and could not stop. Sure, sleep and work got in the way but everything else fell by the side because this just sucked me right in.

Right off the bat we learn that the United States is no more. There aren't many details as to what caused it but what is left are 12 districts. There used to be 13 but there was a rebellion and the 13th was destroyed in it. In its aftermath the leaders decide that the only way to keep the people under control is to starve them and then have a competition where 2 teens are randomly chosen from each district to fight it out in a vast landscape live on TV. The last person alive gets glory and food for their district. Katniss and Peeta (biggest complaint: lame names) are the representatives from district 12, the poorest and most looked down upon district. They recognize what winning can mean to their family and friends back home but they also recognize that in order to win they will have to kill the other. The complexity of their relationship is an interesting side story.

The central idea is pretty gruesome but the writing is not. There are some horrible things that happen but the writing is so sparse that it's almost like reading about it in a newspaper. This actually was a huge bonus for me. It allowed the story to be the star. I can not tell you how exhausted I am of books dripping with adjectives and metaphors and foreshadowing. A story should be able to stand up on it's own. I don't like to be tricked into reading by hints as to what will happen in the future. I should keep reading because I legitimately care about the characters and their story. This book makes you care. The characters are strong and well written and the pacing is dead on. I didn't want to put it down.

Thanks for the recommendaition, Everyone!

1 comment:

The Cahoons! said...

I just read it as well. Sooo good. Phil couldn't believe I was reading about teenagers killing each other. I read it in two days and sadly I don't remember playing with Porter once while I was reading it...