After several pleading conversations from my friend, Annie, I went out and bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It sat on my bookshelf for awhile, not out of apathy, but let’s face it, there are always lots of books to read! If I’m being honest, it only made the “next in line” list because it was a smaller paperback and I was traveling, not adding a lot of weight is good when you’ll be carrying this backpack around an airport for a couple hours. And I have yet to purchase an e-reader; don’t hate me. I started reading The Hunger Games on the plane ride home. I was hooked by page four.
I’m not usually one to ignore the driver on a long ride home, but I did. Joe and I had just come back from a fabulous week long vacation in Toronto, and instead of regaling each other with stories about our favorite visits and dishes, I was reading. (I did put the book away when I saw him doing the droopy eye thing; I don’t want to die to get to the next chapter.)
The Hunger Games put me right back in excitement mode. The story of a post-apocalyptic North America where only 12 districts remain intact, all ruled by one Capital. To ensure no further outbursts or rebellion, the Capital created the Hunger Games. Twenty-four must go, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district. They will compete to be the last one standing, and the Capital will do whatever is necessary to see it’s a good show.
Suzanne Collins did an amazing job with the pacing of this book, the story gives you normal world in the beginning, quickly sets up the problems for the people, shows you how the lead character, Katniss Everdeen, is a little rebellious, even in the beginning. The games are quickly introduced and once she’s in the game, there’s no putting the book down. I commend Collins for her writing; she reminded me of the Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley books I used to love reading as a teen. And while many things occurred to terrorize the survival of Katniss, I never thought it was unbelievable in the world Collins created. Her plot points and actions are well mapped together.
Collins found her niche writing for children television shows, including Nickelodeon. Her biography is a bit outdated, but you can glimpse into how her mind thinks when she’s world building. Her first series, The Underland Chronicles, tells the story of an 11 year old boy and his sister who fall through a grate in their apartment and end up in the Underland below the streets of New York City. There, the boy is considered a warrior and his sister is worshiped by cockroaches. Together they must win the battle against the rats to save their lost father. See what I mean? She’s a hoot!
The Hunger Games is set to be released on film in March 2012, but you’ll definitely want to read this book. The next two in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, have been purchased and sit by my bedside. I’m pacing myself, reading another book in between the series. Although, if any of you read the blog review Ellie Ann Soderstrom did, you may second guess continuing the series. While she too raved about the first book, she thought the next two were lacking in character growth for our leading lady, Katniss. Don’t read Ellie Ann’s post unless you’re ok with spoilers!!! I’m still planning to finish the series, and hoping I’m able to to see Katniss evolve as the battle takes on new levels.
“May the odds be ever in your favor!” –Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games
Have you read The Hunger Games? What do you think of Suzanne Collins world building? Are you prepared to have dreams that YOU are in the Hunger Games? It is the leading side effect of reading this book. Proceed with caution, and don’t sleep with your archery kit.
P.S. Don’t miss the just released trailer for The Hunger Games!