Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hunger Games- REVIEW

Emily’s Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m sure a number of you out there have read the Shirley Jackson short story,
The Lottery. If you haven’t, in a nutshell, the story is about a little town with a very bizarre custom. Each year, all the townspeople write their names on little slips of paper and put them into a hat. One name is drawn and the rest stone the unlucky member of their community to death. It’s one of the most widely-read short stories in American high school English classes, and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

That’s a long-winded way of getting to my recommendation of Suzanne Collins’
The Hunger Games, which is probably one of the best books I’ve read all year – seriously. You may have heard of Suzanne from her series Gregor the Overlander, which is really popular with 4th, 5th and 6th graders. The Hunger Games is her young adult debut, and it’s a homerun.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives (barely) with her mother and little sister in District 12, the dirtiest and poorest of a dozen ghetto-states that surround The Capitol. The country is called Panem, all that’s left of the United States, after war, pestilence and destruction wiped out most of North America. The Capitol, the seat of a bloated and superficial dictatorship, keeps the districts and the impoverished people who live there subservient and obedient, by hosting The Hunger Games. Each year, the name of every child in Panem (except those living in The Capitol, of course) between the ages of 12 and 18 is entered into a lottery and a boy and a girl from each district is selected to compete in The Hunger Games. Think Survivor, only, the contestants kill each other. Last man, or in this case, boy or girl, standing, wins. The whole affair is televised throughout the country and people living in The Capitol bet on the kids. When Katniss’s little sister, Prim, is selected as the female “Tribute” from District 12, Katniss volunteers to go in her stead and immediately finds herself thrust into the strange and terrifying world of the Hunger Games.

There really is something for everyone in this novel, the first of a projected three-book series: Katniss’s complicated feelings for her fellow Tribute from District 12, Peeta Mellark, versus her affection for her hunting buddy Gale will slay
Twilight fans, and the horrifying depiction of such a dysfunctional dystopia will intrigue those of you out there more interested in A Brave New World, The Running Man, and/or gladiatorial combat.

READ THIS BOOK... Seriously. Then let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

I just finished this book today and yes, it is one of my favorites of the year. I didn't see any flaws in the well crafted story with lots of details to keep the reader highly engaged. I wanted the end to give me more but oh well, bring on #2. What are the issues? Race, poverty, homelessness?? or was this just a great adventure? Well anyway, I loved it and can't wait until the next one comes out.

Middle School Librarian

Shari said...

Just finished it -- what an excellent book. Wow!