Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I ask you to run, not walk, to your library and check out The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The author was inspired to write this book first out of a childhood love for Greek myths, especially Theseus and the Minotaur, and second after spending some time channel surfing between Survivor, The Amazing Race and news coverage of the war. From these dramatic and fatalistic inspirations comes a trilogy that you CAN NOT STOP READING.

Katniss Everdeen (our hero) lives in an America way in the future that has been divided into 12 different oppressed Districts that all serve the wealthy elite living in the Capitol. There used to be 13 Districts, but the 13th was supposedly crushed and devastated in a failed attempt by the Districts to overthrow the Capitol.

Now, to celebrate the Districts’ defeat and remind them of what they have to lose by rebelling, every year there is a “Reaping” in each district and one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 are drawn by lottery to participate in the Hunger Games. These games are a true contest of survival, televised for the amusement of the Capitol and the horror of the kids’ home districts, in which all the chosen ones must battle to the death. Each year there is only one survivor.

Katniss is NOT chosen to participate in these games, but….her beloved younger sister is. Katniss takes her place and is off to the Capitol for training and wardrobe fittings and interviews and soon, probable death.

Because in the Hunger Games she faces 23 other kids fighting to survive, some who may be potential allies, including the boy from her District who claims to be in love with her. But can she trust him? After all, there will only be ONE survivor, so any potential ally will inevitably become your enemy…

Katniss is unlike any other character I’ve read – she annoyed me with her stubbornness and surprised me with her strength of character. And Peeta, the guy who says he’s in love with her, is a true mystery – surely NO guy is that good a person! But they are characters you can’t stop wanting to read about, and I hated finishing the book and saying good-bye to them…luckily, The Hunger Games is just book one in a three book series (and it's being made into a movie)!