I recently purchased, and finished, the first of Suzanne Collin's young adult trilogy "The Hunger Games." I've heard raves about the series, and I've been waiting to finish the other books I bought over the summer before I got my hands on this one.
Well, the time came that I finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards (it took me longer than I anticipated, because quite frankly, I didn't like it that much) and I got myself over to the nearest Barnes and Noble stat.
Once I got the book in my hands, it was very difficult to put down.
Here's the Scholastic Summary:
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator.' Book one of a planned trilogy.
Katniss is one of my all time favorite protagonists. She isn't wondrously humbled by the experience, because she was so humble to begin with. She didn't come out of the games with a new profound view of life, because that's not real. Collins created a character who is not only lovable, but believable and real. She is incredibly strong, unselfish, nobly maternal, amazingly smart, gallant, and dangerously vulnerable. Everything I'd like to see in myself.
I love a book that can invoke a multitude of emotions, and between fear, anxiety, giggles, surprise, and tears, this book did just that. It's also a very easy read. Yes, it is a Young Adult novel (although I'd be very nervous for an adult any younger than 15 to read it) and yes, I was a little embarrassed going over to the "Teen" section to find it, but it presents a lot of thought provoking societal themes and moral concerns. The post-American setting has you internally debating our society today and wondering what ways are lives are parallel to the barbaric civilization of Collin's suggested future. Hmm. If you were my sixth graders, I'd start lecturing right about now.
I'm not a Harry Potter reader, I am a moderate Twilight fan, but I am officially now a Hunger Games devotee.
"May the odds ever be in your favor."
Now go read. And if you want to link up, go visit Blonde...Undercover Blonde and share your most recent reads.