Friday, January 21, 2011

The Hunger Games

Kind of like Twilight, I really didn't know what The Hunger Games trilogy was until I read in my Entertainment Weekly about the movie being made about the books. Then the third book was listed on several Best Of 2010 lists, so I thought maybe I'd give it a try. The first book was $5 on Kindle, and I needed to try that out, too (more on my first Kindle experience in another post), so I decided The Hunger Games would be my first Kindle book.

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, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival.
When I first read the synopsis, I wasn't sure. Seemed a little too Sci-Fi for me... however, I've enjoyed Sci-Fi a bit more lately, plus this was a young-adult novel, so I knew it wasn't going to get too complicated or out there for my liking. The premise is obviously depressing and I couldn't imagine actually enjoying a book that kills off teenagers one by one - for sport. But the author does a decent job of making several of Katniss' competitors, and the residents of the Capitol, unlikable while at the same time making our heroine our primary concern.

The Hunger Games are kind of like the Olympics because there's training, an opening ceremonies, costumes, interviews and performance. A good portion of the book is devoted to all these elements leading up to the actual Games. While it was interesting and you meet some important characters during this part of the book, I was anxious for the action to start. And, I have to say that while reading about kids killing each other (sick, right?) was hard, the Games were the most interesting, fast-moving part of the novel. You learn about strategy, survival, greed, alliances, trust and love.

When you go into book knowing there are sequels, you lose part of the mystery, but then The Hunger Games ends on a loose end and definitely makes you want more. I really liked the book, it was written very well and was very engaging. I read for two hours straight last Saturday night and I haven't done that in a long, long time. So, I'm very excited for the next two books.


Ellie said...

Glad you liked. A friend recommend the trilogy because of its strong female lead and I really liked the series. And like you, I'm not too into sci-fi. Another series I picked up at the same time (recommended by the same person for the same reason) was Graceling (sequel Fire, final book out this year Bitterblue), a fantasy story I'd recommend. My friend partially recommended the two so I'd see the difference between sci-fi and fantasy, a distinction she finds important.

Maega said...

Can't wait :)

jan_shaw said...

i am addicted to the hunger games! <3 i stayed up all night to read it a second time lol i dunno it is just that good. i am so excited to see the movie when it comes out!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, A! It's Amy L (Manda's friend, from bookclub). I'm new to the commenting on blogs thing, but felt compelled to respond because I've been reading your blog, and I love it. :) I really am enjoying "The Hunger Games," and am on "Mockingjay." The books kept being brought to my attention in late '10 and early this month, so I decided to dive in, and am so glad I did. I ended up buying them because they seem like classics in the making I'll want to read again and share. Thanks for covering them!

A. said...

Two new commenters - welcome!

Thanks for the comment, Jan. I'm excited about the movies, too.

Amy, so glad to hear you like the Hunger Games too! That means we'll have to convince our other book club friends to read them and then all go to the movies together - woo!

CMS said...

I'm on the fence about Hunger Games ... then again, I was on the fence about Twilight and grew to love that series (through you, A!)
Have you read Room? I just finished and WOW. Blew my mind.