wMay 13, 2009

The Hunger Games

I read this book a few weeks ago and I would still like to reread it in a day or something. SO AMAZING.

Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games is a cross between the TV reality show "Survivor," the Theseus/Minotaur myth, and a dystopian future. In a future North America where the land is divided into districts and controlled by "the Capitol," Katniss lives in the poorest district with her mother and sister. Because there is no other choice, Katniss hunts illegally to provide for her family.

Every year, a boy and a girl from each of North America's 12 districts must compete in a televised death match. In richer districts, children train for this "honor" their entire lives. In districts like Katniss's, families can sign up to get more food from the government in return for increasing the likelihood that their children's names will get chosen.

When Katniss's sister is chosen despite the odds, Katniss volunteers to go in her 12-year-old sister's place. She has spent years hunting animals in the woods of her district, but now she will have to hunt people in a climate-simulated arena, where everyone is playing to the cameras, and she's not sure who's lying and who's not.

I really feel like a good chunk of this book is a deconstruction of the TV show "Survivor" and the people who watch it. In the book, it's disturbing that Katniss has spent her life hungry, and those well-off watch players suffer, die, and fight for their own titillation. This is similar to real life: there are real people in the world are dying and fighting to survive, and on TV, survival is simulated, made into a game, and recorded.

I loved Katniss, and I wish I could have read this book when I was younger. She's so smart! So bad-ass! Whoa. I also liked Gale and Rue.

Fanart! Katniss volunteering to take her sister's place. Also by Faith, Katniss, with her knife.

Katniss spent the book thinking Peeta was playing her, but it ends up that she was playing him. I kind of loved that moment of horror at the end, when she figured that out.

I thought it was too easy for Katniss's friends/people whom she didn't want to kill to be killed inadvertently, or by other people. She never directly killed anybody, and it just seemed a little too convenient for me. Yeah, it's YA, but if anyone has read Animorphs, I think you'll agree with me that you can get pretty violent and frank with the tough choices, and still be YA.

I love Katniss's hunting partner Gale, and I want book 2 to be him learning to trust her while she continues to play the media, and then they break down the Capitol together. I don't know. I really...didn't like Peeta very much at all. I fear this does not bode well for me. :[

Although it's not indicated anywhere in the book, really, The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of books. Catching Fire is due out on September 1, 2009.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 7:01 AM

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