Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kill or Be Killed - 1

The Hunger Games

Written by: Suzanne Collins

Released: September 13, 2008 by Scholastic Press

Summary: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

I admit that this was a book that I have heard so much about in recent months and yet I was still hesitant to read it but I am so glad that I did.

All I can really say about this book is “Oh my god”. Honestly, I haven’t read anything that has had me this upset that it ended in a long time. I think that that is partially because it’s a bit of a non-ending since the book is continued with Catching Fire (which I am completely going out to buy ASAP so that I can read it) and in a few months when Mockingjay comes out. I really don’t think that even Harry Potter has had me this impatient for a book.

Let’s start with the plot. While Panem reminds me of the region in the Uglies trilogy, North America decimated by itself (blah, blah, blah), that’s about where it stops. I suppose the best way to describe the Hunger Games is like a giant gladiator fight in a coliseum. There’s the fight against animalistic (read: human) foe where only one can emerge and the victor. It’s a complete killed or be killed scenario that had you on your toes from the time that Katniss steps foot into the arena; heck, it starts within the first few pages. The action is amazing, the anticipation mounting, and I think that if I were more of a nail biter mine would be down to the quick. Then there’s the romance… or semi lack thereof. I was rooting for Gale in the beginning – the best friend who turns out to be more – but Peeta captured my heart with his everlasting love for Katniss and I just couldn’t help but become his supporter. When thinking about it, Gale was more of a brother anyways.

The characters in this book were amazing too, though I did have a hard time keeping some of the tributes straight in my head. Then again, I think that that was the idea since it would have been hard for anyone to keep track of 23 other people anyways. The people that mattered were the ones that stuck out and that you remembered anyways so it was nice to not be bogged down with dozens of secondary characters that you absolutely needed to remember. The characters themselves were well-thought and were written so that you could relate to them, which only made them all the more real while you were reading the book.

The ending made me want to throw the book through something impenetrable, but then I remembered that there was a copy for sale of Catching Fire at word that had been there for a while and that I could buy as soon as I went there next (i.e. this afternoon). That was the only thing that held off the cries of frustration. Ok, that and my sleeping three year old cousin down the hall who I am babysitting. But I only barely contained myself.

What I really loved about this book was the fact that it was so easy to get lost in. I find that it’s hard to find a book that can truly make you forget the time and your surroundings. I also didn’t want to put it down but I had to. If I could have I would have done nothing but read this book until I was done.

As it stands, this book is a well earned 10/10+ and this is a set of books that I am buying them all of as soon as I can just so that I can have a copy of my own. This library copy that I read just isn’t going to cut it.

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