Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? 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.

So I’m late with the whole Hunger Games obsession, I realize that, but I have to agree with the majority of people out there and say this is one fun book. It was a highly addictive read that had me turning pages at full speed.

Katniss is a great protagonist. She’s someone I really felt at ease with, someone I understood, which is one of the huge issues I usually have with YA books: I pretty much always dislike the female protagonist. But Katniss is a force of nature, with cunning and strength that makes her one of my favorites of the genre. Peeta is also fun, although he can get a little frustrating, and Haymitch, since he resembles Katniss in personality so much, is another that loved.

But of course, the plot here is king. The whole idea of the book, although not wholly original (Stephen King’s The Long Walk is a predecessor with an even more compelling cast of characters), is clever enough to keep us all guessing and wanting more. Some things, like the muttations at the very end, felt a bit contrived and the book would have been better without it, but on the whole, this is a fascinating book.

Now I’m off to start the second one!

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