Friday, January 20, 2012
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
After months of persuasion from many friends, I finally picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read it in five days which, for somebody who reads as slow as I do, is pretty fast. I made a point to learn absolutely nothing about the novel before reading it. Whenever my friends started talking about it, I'd find some excuse not to listen to them. In an unfortunate event, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie when I went to the theater to see Courageous. That partially ruined my experience reading the book, but I still loved it.
In a bizarre future where North America was long destroyed and replaced by the tyrannous country of Panem, two teenagers, between the ages twelve and eighteen, are annually taken from each of the twelve districts and set into an arena, miles wide, to fight to the death. This tradition was started over seventy years ago by the government as a reminder of a long-past failed rebellion, and each time the entire country was forced to watch. The Hunger Games, as they were called, could take weeks, and the victor of each would live out the rest of their live in luxury. The losers... wound up dead, because they needed to be for the victor to win.
Katniss Evendeen is shocked when her twelve-year-old sister, Primrose, is of the selected to participate in the games. Out of desperation, Katniss herself volunteers in her sister's place. About a week later she finds herself in the arena—the beginning of which is a bloodbath, by any definition—fighting for her life. But that's just a quick summary. If you want to know what really happened in those terrible Hunger Games, you will have to read the book yourself.
I was shocked by the emotion in this tale. Though I didn't like it at first, the author was able to bleed emotion like very few can by writing the entire story in first-person present from Katniss's point of view. The story throughout the entire book was amazing and there are several times when you just think, that is so cool! The futuristic world is intriguing, and sometimes it's a little weird, but it makes for a great setting.
The Hunger Games is a wonderful read. It was very well thought out, and a great story. It is the first book in a trilogy, but it concludes with virtually no loose ends. It works perfect as a standalone, and I have no idea what the sequel could possibly be about. That's a good thing, because I don't want that book spoiled as well.
Never before have I had so much, emotionally, in common with a female main character. Sometimes Katniss can remind me a little of myself, with the thoughts that run through her head, and sometimes she's completely different. Overall, she made for a perfect protagonist.
If you haven't read The Hunger Games already, I highly recommend you do.