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Archive for January, 2010

Publisher’s Synopsis: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place 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 ther mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games.  But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature.  Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.  But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

About the Author: Suzanne Collins is the author of the best selling Underland Chronicles, which started with Gregor the Overlander.  In The Hunger Games, she continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age.  Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Quills

Review: I still remember first hearing about The Hunger Games. I didn’t read many direct reviews of the novel because when I started blogging, most of the blogs I followed had already read and fallen in love with the book.  So instead of talking about the book that started it all, they were eagerly anticipating and beginning to review its long-awaited sequel: Catching Fire.  Needless to say, I avoided many of these reviews because I didn’t want to risk “ruining it.”  And let me just say, I’m so glad that I made that decision.

Delving into The Hunger Games without knowing much background knowledge about what I was about to encounter made the experience amazingly suspenseful.  At first, I felt a little distant.  I wasn’t sure what to think of the strange world that I was entering.  It vaguely reminded me of some of what I had read in Atwood’s terrifying speculative fiction: oppressive government regime system, strange technical advancements, and weird mutated creatures.  However, this novel was much more character driven than I expected.  Katniss is a very relatable character.  Despite the horrors of the world that she lives in, she’s still a normal girl.  She cares about her family first and foremost.  And that is what gets her into trouble: her ability to sacrifice her own life and security for those she loves.

When she’s plunged into the dangerous and quite terrifying arena of the games, I couldn’t put the book down.  Collins writes with precise detail that really puts the reader into the situation.  Even though I know nothing about survival or fighting for my life, I felt like the action was playing out right in front of me.  Collins is definitely a master when it comes to creating vivid scenes, remarkable characters, and enthralling action scenes.  This book really has it all.

And that includes a love triangle of sorts.  While Katniss is a tough survivor style girl, she is not one-dimensional.  She feels.  She thinks.  She deals with the consequences of her actions whatever they might be.  And that is what really makes her a memorable character.  She doesn’t have all the answers.  In fact, she frequently finds herself in situations where she doesn’t know anything, but she has a will to fight for those she cares about and for what she believes in.

This book has definitely left a lasting impression on me.  I will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of Catching Fire, which I ordered earlier today.  I very highly recommend this to any other stragglers who haven’t gotten around to reading this modern masterpiece yet.

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