The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Let me start by saying that it's been a long while since I've picked up a book that I couldn't put down...and that includes my own! That being said, I started reading The Hunger Games yesterday morning while my husband was having hernia surgery, and I was annoyed every time I had to put it down. When we got home from the hospital, I sat down and read it straight through.
The Hunger Games take place in a future world where the US is divided into 12 districts that are ruled by the Capitol. Food is scarce, people are poor, and most are hungry. As a punishment for rebellion ages before, every year the Capitol forces each district to select 2 kids between the ages of 12 and 18 (one boy and one girl) to participate in the Hunger Games. This is not an olympic style event...this is a game to the death...winner take all. In The Hunger Games, 16 year-old Katniss is the 12th district's female tribute to the games. Peeta is the male tribute, and while they share a somewhat distant but life-changing past together, only one of them can leave the games alive.
This story tightens its fist from the first page and never loosens its grip. The world is so realistically pathetic in its poverty, yet you find goodness beneath the grit and grime. Katniss presents a tough exterior to the world, though inwardly she's still a 16 year-old girl who misses her mom, loves her sister, and fears for her future, yet she yearns for more than she can ever have. The depth of the characters is so well drawn, you can easily picture them. This author knows how to draw vivid scenery and characterization. I'm not usually an emotional reader, but I can count two scenes that had me wiping my eyes.
I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the next book from Suzanne!