Thursday, July 09, 2009
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is the first book in a planned trilogy. Book two is due out in Sept. 2009. And I've heard rumors of a movie! I really liked this book, I had a hard time putting it down! It reminded me of others in the genre- Unwind, House of the Scorpion and The Giver. The United States in a post-apocalyptic time, a very scary time- a great cautionary tale.
I thought the book was very well drawn out, I was at times anxious to read to see what would happen next, but then again nervous about what would happen next. It was tense and filled with constant suspense. Under all the action and adventure there was still the age old plot of the love triangle...almost hidden between trying to avoid being killed by the other contestants and surviving in the wilds.
I came to like the character of Katniss- again I am drawn to the strong females in a novel. She saves her family, provides for them and takes her sister's place in the games. And, as one reviewer said, what teenage girls wouldn't love a story whereas the heroine gets to choose between two hunky guys- Peeta and Gale??!! Hmmm! I have to say, towards the end I couldn't believe she didn't realize that Peeta really cared for her! Did she really think the kid was faking it? I felt terrible that she didn't feel the same. Come on, he gave her that loaf of bread!!!
One of the things that bother me about the novel were the devices the author used to help move the plot along- they were unrealistic, as if she was taking an easy way out- for example, when Katniss needs burn cream or medicine for Peeta, and the stuff floats down from the sky on silver parachutes. I also thought the scene at the end with the berries and the aftermath of that situation was a bit contrived.
I really think that our students, who have been raised in the reality TV/Survivor era will love this book. I think it speaks right to them. It has adventure, action survival, competition, a love story, strong characters...a sure fire hit with the YA crowd. It would be a great book to pair with other dystopian novels- 1984 etc...
Looking forward to seeing what you all thought.