Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In honor of the release of Mockingjay on August 24, I have decided to do a post for the first two books before I review the final installment. In a lot of ways, I came late to the Hunger Games party. I remember hearing about the first book from a librarian when it first came out and it interested me enough that I filed it away in my “to read” section of my brain. But I didn’t actually get around to reading it until this spring. I finally had the time to sit down and read the book after so many people raved about it and told me I had to read it.

In The Hunger Games we are introduced to a dystopic world in which the land and all of its resources are divided into 12 districts. The people and everything produced by these districts are controlled by the government of The Capitol. Every year, in order to demonstrate their control over the districts, The Capitol selects two children from each district to participate in the nationally televised Hunger Games. In these games, the tributes are forced to fight to the death, and the last one standing wins glory and riches for his district.

In Katniss Everdeen we are given a hero who is both vulnerable and vicious all at once. Katniss is an incredibly complicated character that I think readers will both relate to and learn a lot from. She is passionate and a fierce fighter, but still loving and kind. Katniss has to struggle with maintaining her humanity in some of the most savage situations. I love what the book has to say about the world, about government, survival, freedom, love, and most importantly about what people view as "entertainment". The idea that the entire country watches these children kill each other on television is a staggering thought. It makes you reconsider the idea of “reality” television. The characters are well crafted and the reader can truly connect with Katniss and those she loves.

What were your thoughts on The Hunger Games? What made this book so special?

Stay Tuned for Catching Fire and Mockingjay!!

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