Monday, February 28, 2011

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book Jacket

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 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


You guys.  I just can't even talk about Hunger Games without flailing.  When I created this blog I decided not to review anything without reading it just before the review.  So even though the Hunger Games (and its sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay) is my favorite recent series, I couldn't review it until re-reading.  This makes my fifth time entering the world of The Hunger Games, and it's just as good as the first time.  What more do you need as proof that this book is awesome?

I'll start with the world Collins created.  This dystopian future is horrific and eerily remniscent of today.  The Capitol's obsession with reality TV, violence, beauty, fashion, and celebrity highlights and perverts our own cultural interests. 

Within the world of Panem, Katniss stands out as a super-cool girl heroine who has crazy survival skills (the result of sneaking out to hunt for food most of her life) and a reluctance to love (wouldn't you if every day might be your last, and marriage will only lead to children who might have to fight to the death in future Hunger Games?).  She is incredibly intuitive and clever about fighting and survival, but when it comes to relationships--familial or romantic--she is absolutely hopeless.  I love Katniss like whoa, and she is one of my top three literary female role models (along with Hermione Granger and Eowyn).

Besides Katniss, Peeta is just the most perfect boy in all of fiction.  I would marry him if he were real.  He is smart, charismatic, hilarious, and a hopeless romantic.  The character love doesn't stop with the two District 12 tributes; Rue, Haymitch, Cinna, and Thresh are also heartbreaking, brave, and wonderful.

This book kills me.  You know going in that only one person can survive the Hunger Games, so meeting and loving new characters is excruciating.  The action never stops in this book, and I would almost dare someone to put it down for more than fifteen minutes. 

The Hunger Games has action, satire, romance, fantasy, science fiction, and drama.  I know 12-year-olds who love this book.  I know 55-year-olds who love this book.  It hurts so good.

Five out of five nightlock berries.

Release Date:  September 2008
Reading Level:  Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL COL

No comments:

Post a Comment