With only three days to go until the release of The Hunger Games DVD, I wanted to share my review of the novel.
Author: Suzanne Collins Website | Goodreads
Publication Date: September 14, 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Press
My Interest: Hype Turned love
Age Group | Genre: YA | science fiction/dystopian
Series: Yes, 1st in a trilogy
Originally published as a young adult, science fiction/dystopian novel, The Hunger Games is what the market likes to call a “crossover” book: appealing to all ages of readers, not just teens.
The Hunger Games tells the story of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen and her fight for survival. She lives in what is known as District 12 in the country of Panem : a post-apocalyptic world very reminiscent of North America. Every year, the powerful, central city of Panem, the Capitol, hosts the Hunger Games, a televised survival contest between twenty-four tributes–two children, one boy one girl, from each of the twelve districts– who are forced to fight to the death for the entertainment of the people. The Games themselves are a reminder of when the districts faced their own survival, and as the tributes fight to the death, a show of how even children cannot escape the jurisdiction of the Capitol.
As a warning, The Hunger Games is visually violent, and a violence I would normally want to shield children from. Yet, I challenge you to let your teens devour this book, as well as the rest of the trilogy, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. As readers, we are invited to watch along with the people of Panem and we are kept guessing at how the games will play out. Normally, I have a hard time appreciating violent reads, especially when those reads are specifically written for teens. But the violence here is more hypnotic less blood and guts, and an integral part of the story. I feel we are being drawn in to condemn the games and hate the Capitol, yet at the same time, invited to enjoy the action, kill by kill. Collins’ writing itself is also hypnotic. She does not fill the storyline with cheap, useless killing or drawn out, bloody violence, but instead, purposely and carefully crafts each new advance in the Games, bringing clarity through Katniss’s inner struggle and challenging us to catch the deeper symbolism within The Hunger Games.
This is one of those books that would be great to read alongside your teen so that you can discuss not only the issues within the story’s plotline, but the current social conditions the novel speaks too.
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