Friday, October 21, 2011

The Hunger Games ~ Suzanne Collins

You can find this book online or at any major bookstore, Target, or wherever you find books.  Seriously.  I’ve seen it at the grocery store for heaven’s sake.

thehungergamesbookcover

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

This book has interested me since I first saw it sitting in the bookstore one day.  After so many of my friends simply raved about how wonderful it was, I had to try it out for myself as well.  When I discovered Amazon.com had the trilogy for the Kindle priced at $4.38, I jumped on it, figuring that if I only read the first of the three novels, I’d still come out ahead (the first book alone was priced over that for Kindle).

There is a lot to love about this book.  The characters are refreshing and encouraging.  Despite living in poverty, they take matters into their own hands and find a way to survive and even, possibly be happy.  They don’t dwell too much on how awful their life is, although their hatred for the Capitol is vivid and understandable.  The characters also evolve quite a bit during the span of the novel, which is a huge plus in my book. 

However, there are a few issues as well.  The resolution of several plot points was overly predictable and while not a wholly awful thing, sometimes that ending you expected is what you needed, in this situation, I think there could have been better resolution.  Despite a bit of a shock at the ending, the ending itself left me a little wanting.  My biggest issue, and this might just have been me and not the author’s writing, but I found two or three places where I was lost and wasn’t sure if Katniss was talking to the reader, or talking aloud to whomever she was with at the time.  I found myself having to backtrack on a couple occasions and re-read a page or two to clear things up.

All in all, this was still a very good book and was well worth the time I spent reading it.  It’s the kind of novel that makes you think and that can only lead to good things, right?  I’m looking forward to reading the next in this series as well and have it waiting on my Kindle at home.   

Warnings: If you are giving this to your teen to read, I’d definitely recommend it for older teens, fifteen and older maybe, because of the level and amount of violence involved. 

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