So it’s been forever since I posted my last book review. I’ve been reading lots, but nothing that motivated me to hop on here and push a book down your throats. Which is what my book reviews tend to become–read this or I’ll challenge you to a duel. Read this or I’ll haunt your attic for the rest of your life. Okay, I haven’t pulled out the attic bit yet, but the point is that my book reviews tend to spiral into coercive threats.
I finally wrapped up a series that really put me in the mood to threaten you all again: I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins.
So here goes: read these books or I’ll never . . . um . . . never . . . seriously, I will never . . . right!
Wow. The holidays must have really sapped the aggression out of my nature. I need to get my violent side back up and running asap.
Anyway, let’s hop on topic. These books are fun. Vivacious. Original. And man is the plot ever surprising. If you had asked me to make 3 predictions about where the story would head after I finished the first book, I would have been wrong on every count.
It’s not great literature, but it’s fun in the same way that watching an action movie is fun. The writing is very visual, and very emotional. It would make a fantastic video game, and a fun movie as long as the director didn’t overdo the special effects. It’s good teen fiction, and great entertainment for adult-type people as well.
Let’s put it in a nutshell: imagine a dystopian world in which Harry Potter has to face down his opponents in the TriWizard tournament, except that they fight to the death. And there you have it. Are you with me?
No? Okay, I’ll expand. Here’s a little plot summary of the first book: the USA fell apart long ago. The center of power is now the Capitol, a city of decadence and riches which rules over and is supported by twelve districts. Plastic surgery is the norm in the Capitol, where people get their skin dyed pink or green, have jewels inserted into their skin, and decorate themselves differently with each new fad. The districts are another story: poor, overworked, dirty, and hungry. Our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, hails from District Twelve, which is a mining district. An electric fence surrounds her town, coal dust is in the air, and hunger is a daily part of life. In order to punish the districts for a rebellion that took place 75 years prior, the Capitol created a yearly event called the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is basically a televised tournament in which two teenagers from each of the twelve districts fight to the death. It’s the ultimate reality TV show, and it’s broadcasted all over the country. The Capitol goes wild for their favorite contestants, and greedily eats up the drama that for them is merely a diversion, but for the contestants is almost certain death.
Is it violent? Yes. But not hideously so. I think it depends on your level of sensitivity. Mine is unnaturally high, and I have come through unscathed.
By the end of the first book, your heart will be racing, your palms sweating, and your left eye will start twitching. The only way to correct these symptoms is to snatch up the second book and start reading. Since my library took for-e-ver to send me the second book, my eye twitched for approximately ten weeks. If you noticed it, please don’t bring it up–it’s still a sore spot for me.
As the Hunger Games become the launching pad for a revolution, Katniss becomes a symbol for the oppressed districts . . . and I can’t tell you anything more.
My lips are sealed.
But lemme tell you–if you think you already know the gist, you don’t. It’s surprising. If I were a movie producer, I would have snatched this up as soon as it was published.