When I started reading The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, I realized that the only series I’ve finished is Harry Potter. It’s not that I disliked the other books I read that were part of a series. At one point or another, I did plan on it, but I never got around to it. Song of the Lioness. Shadow Children. Charlie Bone. Spiderwick Chronicles. Even A Series of Unfortunate Events. After finishing The Hunger Games, I hope I read the rest. I know better than to say I will.
But really, this is one of the best novels I have read this year. The basic idea is very similar to Battle Royale. Put some kids in an arena of sorts for a fight to the death. I enjoyed Battle Royale, but I had to admit that the reason the students are sent to the arena is far-fetched. The Japanese youth are rebelling, and Japan is crumbling. What adult lets it go this far? In The Hunger Games, the kids are put in the arena as a way to make sure the twelve districts of Panem do not rebel against the Capitol. I’m telling you it’s more believable. The story takes place in Panem, the ruins of North America, and the Capitol is their harsh form of government. The twelve districts each send two tributes–a boy and a girl, and the games are televised each year for the citizens to see. Ah, dystopia!
Suzanne Collins made the novel a joy to read. It was thrilling, and I could not wait to find out what happened next. Pretty much every chapter ended on a cliffhanger. Even the final one. It almost felt that the novel should have ended earlier and that part of the end should have been saved for the second novel. For now, I’ll just believe the author knows what she’s doing. I also love how she developed friendships between the tributes. It seems unlikely given that only one tribute can survive, but Collins does it quite realistically with her protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. She’s everything I could have asked for in a protagonist. Incredibly likeable and extremely realistic. I don’t ask for much, do I? 😉 The minor characters are also very interesting. I can’t really say lovely or nice with the viciousness of a few of them.
The Hunger Games will be published on September 14. It’s about a month away, and I know it will be met with glowing reviews and hopefully some awards. I can’t wait for the next two novels, and I hope you give The Hunger Games the chance it deserves!