Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

I love love love this book. Too bad I waited until the movie and all the hype started to get on board. But it's excellent; I sped through the whole thing in less than two days. This truly is the definition of a book that's too good to put down.

Now, ok, it's "young adult lit," sure. Yes the teenage romance is a little tedious. I'm tired of teenage girls who are amazing and talented and beautiful, but don't realize they're amazing and talented and beautiful until she has two equally amazing, talented, and beautiful men fighting over her. Plus, the book being young adult lit, the reader is lead by the hand to certain, small epiphanies, whether plot or character related. As the reader, you have to do very little work. But what is great about Katniss is how strong she is. My hope is that The Hunger Games franchise can eclipse (ha ha) the whole Twilight phenomenon, and girls will aspire to be Katnisses rather than Bellas.

The Hunger Games is like nothing I've read. However, it does read a little like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with children fighting in these incredible, demanding challenges, mixed with Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery." But The Hunger Games is in a league of it's own. It's violent and fast-paced, and I cried much more than I expected. These characters are easy to become attached to and a generally admirable. The lines between good and evil are fairly clear-cut, as you would expect, but not to a comical degree.

Now, I know what's coming next, Katniss is going to fight the Capitol, and I'm not sure I want that. Part of me wishes this were the only book and not a trilogy. I want to believe people inhabit this insane, brutal world and that's it. But that wouldn't be very redeeming and not quite as "young adult lit" appropriate. So I'll press on with Catching Fire. But my feeling is that The Hunger Games will end up being my favorite of the three.

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