Monday, April 13, 2009

The Hunger Games The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is not a new story - we've seen this type of dystopia before. In fact it's like Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" combined with Stephen King's The Running Man, except that you have a strong, likable 16 year old girl as the protagonist (Katniss), who even at her most ruthless, is still a sympathetic character, as well as a small little love story amidst the violence of the Hunger Games - where 24 teens enter the arena and gladiator style, only one can exit alive. The hidden cameras follow the teens as they hide, try to survive and even kill each other off for the ultimate prize of returning home to a life of luxury and ease.

Katniss lives in a postapocalyptic world where the Capitol, now the rulers of what once was the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death. Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, volunteers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games. Her teammate, and fellow competitor, Peeta, is the character that brings humanity to this book, whereas Katniss, as a poacher and sole food provider for her family, possesses the cold, calculating skill to survive. It's a credit to the author that although Katniss manipulates the game to her advantage, she is still the kind of character that we want to root for and support. Although she doesn't always know her heart, I had faith that she would do the humane thing for Peeta, and for the most part, she did.

The sequel, Catching Fire, will be out in September.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Not surprised that it is being made into a movie. I am surprised at how popular apocalyptic books (along with the vampire romances) are becoming in YA lit. I think I likened it to The Running Man too.


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