Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Posted by Bryce at 11:30 PM |
The Hunger Games is a novel by award winning author Suzanne Collins. This book was recommended to me by the dude at my local Waldenbooks store, and since he's practically my twin in terms of what we enjoy, I assumed this would no doubt be another excellent recommendation.
I know that it seems a bit fanboy, but I can honestly say that I was blown away by this book. I was in no way prepared for the story inside. Well, maybe a little prepared. The guy at the Waldenbooks did tell me that it was like Thunderdome for kids. I guess that should have tipped me off.
Katniss lives in District 12, a coal mining district in what was once known as the Appalachian Mountains. Each year, one boy and one girl from each district compete in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death that the Capitol uses to show its dominance over the Districts. Only one person can emerge victorious, and that person is then set for life. Katniss always worries about being chosen, about what will happen to her family if she is. District 12 doesn't have a reputation for winning the games, and Katniss, though just 16, is the main bread winner for her family. Things take a turn for the worst, however, when Katniss' twelve year old sister is given the "privilege" of competing.
Collins weaves an incredible post-apocalyptic young adult tale that had me spellbound from the first few pages. The vocabulary is at an appropriate level for younger readers, and yet the story doesn't feel like it's being watered down in any way. This makes for a quick and suspenseful read. Collins chose to use the first person present tense to tell the story, which I thought was quite interesting. At first, this bothered me, but eventually I think it led me deeper into the story, closer to Katniss' tale.
Katniss is fantastic as a narrator. Humble to a fault, and unable to trust others, her logic and thought process is interesting and slightly disturbing for a person her age.
I've never read another story by Collins, but if they're anything like this one I'll have to get the whole library. I highly recommend this book. It was my favorite book of 2008, and as soon as my local library gets a copy of the recently released sequel, Catching Fire you can bet I'll be all over it.
Final Score: 9.5/10 An quick read with an overarching story line that will easily span the three volumes of the planned trilogy, but with the kind of satisfying ending that rarely accompanies the first volume of a trilogy.