The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the new “it book” going around reading circles. This is a book that I think can appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds – like any good postapocalyptic or dystopian novel, it just might be able to stand the test of time and go down as a classic novel to be loved by all. I know that’s a pretty big statement to make about a book, but I’m pretty confident in my opinion.
Here’s the description of the book as written on goodreads.com: “Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Katniss’ sister is chosen by lottery, she steps up to go in her place.”
I found this book very difficult to put down. Collins is very good at keeping the reader hooked and seems to know exactly where to end each chapter so that you will want to continue onto the next. Her story is believable and absurd at the same time in just the right way. Although I often found myself upset with the main character, Katniss, I still wanted her to succeed, i.e. not die.
But like all sixteen year olds she is “blessed” with the ability to frequently think she knows everything when she doesn’t, especially where other people’s perceptions of her are concerned. But she’s had a hard life and things aren’t getting any easier and I definitely wished, while reading the book, that things would just get better!
I read some where (man, I wish I remembered where because they say this perfectly and I know I’m about to butcher it) that one of the keys to good writing is to hurt your characters. You have to constantly make things harder for them, put them through trying times and gradually dig them out of it – and then hurt them again! It sounds sadistic, but it really does make for good story telling and Suzanne Collins, unfortunately for Katniss, does a very good job of utilizing this writing technique.
In short, yes, if you have read that this book is amazing – you read right. It definitely lived up to it’s hype in my eyes and I am already knee-deep in the second book in this series, Catching Fire.