I know. I was absent last week. I was caught up, and it’s what I was caught up in that will shock you considering I all but condemned this particular series just a few weeks ago. But nonetheless, I’m prepared to admit my faults, eat my words, and inform you that I am wholeheartedly in love with Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games.
Oh, what a genius work. A friend passed off the first book to me last week, and between her comments and what I’ve been reading all over the internet, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I cracked the cover and in less than 48 hours, I was done; and I can assure you, were it not for my little nine-month-old learning to pull herself up on things, I’d probably have finished it in less than a day!
First of all, the idea is purely original. It’s new, it’s unexpected, and it’s unlike anything else I’ve come across. From the setting to the protagonist to the plot itself, the first book kind of defies the traditional expectations for storyline. And the character development is so interesting. I really wrestled with myself, loving the characters one minute, hating them the next, right before cheering them on to victory.
If you’re not familiar with the idea, Hunger Games is set in the future, in a new era, in a new country. A girl, Katniss, from a poor district is chosen, among other young men and women, to participate in an annual event, the Hunger Games, put on by the capitol city. The Hunger Games are a matter of life and death, and for Katniss and her counterpart, they also become a matter of integrity, honor, and survival.
I’ll be honest. The book is shockingly gory. It’s not that it’s gruesome or explicit; it just is simply centered around a rather violent culture. I’m more of a pacifist in my literary choices, but I easily moved past the blood and was sucked into bigger picture of the story. And technically–technically–the books are young adult fiction. At times, I did catch a hint of a voice meant for a less mature audience; but never did this detract from the story or from my overall reading experience.
As soon as possible, I’m on to book two because I have got to know what happens. If you’re not caught up with me, pick up book one and get there! If you’re done already, I just apologize for not listening to you sooner. These books are fabulous.
Sarah Ann Noel is a freelance writer, blogger, and public relations professional. She blogs “Read Alert” every week and covers other Denver-related events and thoughts on writing and motherhood on her personal blog. Check back every week for reviews, literary events, and other bookish finds.