my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

December 20th, 2011

#88 – The Hunger Games

I might be the last person on the planet to read The Hunger Games. The story of Katniss, who volunteers in place of her younger sister, to fight to the death as a tribute from her area in The Hunger Games of the book’s title. A fight to the death where teenagers from every district in Panem engage in the bloody, terrifying televised war, only one person survives to win — and, in this case, Katniss will do anything not only to survive but to do her family, and her district, proud. They choose two people from each district, and Katniss’s partner is Peeta, the son of a baker who simply doesn’t have the survival skills that she has been honing her entire life.

Ever since the death of her father, Katniss has been honing her hunting skills. Creeping out from the fence that surrounds her district, she heads into the woods, her second home, with Gale, her friend, confidant and hunting partner. They shoot, kill, and trade what they scavenge from the woods for the things they need to survive in this post-apocalyptic world. It’s a hard living but Katniss does what she does to keep her family afloat, her sister, Primrose, and her mother whose depression since the death of their father has left her almost unable to cope.

The games are violent, intense and utterly captivating. Televised for the entire country to watch, the tributes are helped along by mysterious packages dropped into the games by sponsors who see and support their performance. An under current of a love story drives through the book as both Gale and Katniss learn that to survive means to play up their alleged (is it really?) romance. I loved the Katniss character — she’s a survivor who’s strong, smart and quick thinking. Such a better role model for young girls than the soppy, sodden Bella from that other series. The description “page-turner” was meant for this book — once I started I really couldn’t put it down, and I was consistently engaged by Collins’s descriptions of not only the world she created but of the violence that drove the games. The best science / speculative fiction, in my opinion, is the kind that’s just so-close to the world that we are familiar with to make it feel utterly real. Collins does an exceptional job — her world reminds me of the one that Atwood created in her latest novels, it’s stark, and the people who have survived have done so simply because they both play inside and outside of the rules. In The Hunger Games, it’s a fight to the death, and while we know from the outcome that Katniss is the hero of this story, how she survives is almost as interesting (SPOILER) as the fact that she does. I can’t wait to see the movie. I think it’ll be spectacular on the big screen.

4 Responses to “#88 – The Hunger Games”

  • Kailana says:

    I think the movie will be pretty good, too. The posters and previews show some great stuff to look forward to!

  • Kara says:

    I’ve skipped the review content because I actually am behind you – I haven’t read it either yet (nor, apparently, have any of the 25 people on the Library hold list ahead of me. Maybe they’re rereading, in which case, they should get the hell out of my way).

    But I shall return to read this review once I’m finally caught up!

  • Marg says:

    I am really looking forward to the movie of this one! The books were fabulous!

  • Molly says:

    Wow. I was barely able to put this book down for a second after the first few pages got me completely hooked. Normally it takes a week to read a book, but now I read this in 24 hours. Suzanne Collins here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It’s entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once. They say great art leaves you changed after you experience it… and this book definitely did that. Suzanne Collins has, with one amazing work, propelled herself onto my top shelf.

    Have a nice day,

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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