Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t put down?
I mean, you're sitting in your bed at two in the morning, angry at yourself for weeping incosolably over a characters death. Mourning the death of a fictional character may or may not be pointless but definately slows down your reading.
Yea, I did that last Thursday.
It is one of the best books I have ever read. My one complaint about it is that I have to wait until September for the next one and I really need to know what happens next.
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, in what used to be known as North America. The land has been divided up into twelve districts which are all ruled by The Capitol, a wealthy city with technology and weapons. The Capitol stands in contrast to most of the other districts, which are poor and ruled with an iron fist. As part of the Capitol’s control once a year, two youths, a boy and a girl are chosen, mostly, at random from each district to participate in the Hunger Games. A “tournament” between twenty four people, a fight to death. The winner gets fame and fortune—the losers die to entertain the masses.
The main girl, Katniss, hates the Capitol. She hates the Games, and yet she volunteers to go to the Games in the place of a loved one despite all that they represent. The boy from her district is someone she barely knows but was present for an important turning point in her life. And as he joins her in their journey towards the Capitol (where the Games are held), Katniss has to work to imagine herself killing him (“Kind people have a way of working themselves inside me and rooting there. And I can’t let Peeta do this. Not where we’re going.” Pg 49) as well as the other twenty- two people between the ages of twelve and eighteen that will be participating in this year’s Games.
Katniss struggles with her anger and disappointment in the world throughout the book, but also has a deep love for her family and a snarky sense of humour which keep her grounded. Her humour is such that even in the midst of all the gruesome killing, there are believable light moments—even laughter. Katniss relies on her resourcefulness and small stature to make it out of many sticky situations. The author does a fantastic job of having Katniss participate in the games in such a way that keep her a sympathetic character while still keeping her a main player in the game. She doesn’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for the others to be picked off.
Yes, we see our main character kill other people, and she is not overburdened with guilt about it.
The future world in which the story unfolds has places like District 12 where people mine coal by hand and hunt for food with a bow and arrows contrasted with places like the capitol that has silent helicopters, invisible television cameras, and other technologies far beyond that of today. This contrast and the general feeling of the games sends a very clear message about the Capitol: they are in control, and there is nothing the people of the districts can do about it.
Each moment in The Games is a struggle, and although I knew the main character would make until the end of the game, as one always does when reading these types of books, it always felt as if she was truly in danger. And, as gruesome as this sounds, all the deaths that the reader is witness to are different and interesting. They have their own reasons and repercussions. My favourite is definitely the mutant wasps. That was creepy and disgusting and... kind of cool.
Somehow, in the midst of all this killing, the author manages to write a love triangle. I’m still not quite sure how she did, it but there is one, and I have definitely chosen a side. I really can’t say anymore without spoiling some very important things but I was very intrigued, and am really looking forward to how this plays out in Catching Fire, the sequel.
I need to know.
So read this book, then talk to me on chat or twitter, and help me stand the wait. We can theorize about what’s going to happen and argue about who is better for Katniss.
Accio Catching Fire! (nerdfighter joke.)
ALSO! I'm still accepting (begging) for blurbs from people who have read GOOD books featuring vampires or werewolves. Especially werewolves, no one seems to have read any of those. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Moon.witche is biting her nails, tapping her foot, and desperately trying to win an ARC copy of Catching Fire. That is, when she isn't being attacked by insane crows.