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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games has been on my radar for a while (so many people have read it and posted positive reviews about this trilogy), but I've only just gotten around to reading it.  I wasn't disappointed in this YA novel.

Set in a post-apocalyptic era, the annual Hunger Games are approaching, and everyone is nervous.  Two young people from each district are chosen to compete until only one survives, as both a means of government control and entertainment.  The Romans had nothing on this dystopian society. 

When Katniss' younger sister Prim is one of the two chosen by lottery, sixteen-year-old Katniss volunteers to take her place. The other lottery "winner" from her district is Peeta, a school mate who once did Katniss a good turn that helped her family survive.

However, since only one individual survives the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta will be pitted against one another as well as against the tributes from the other districts. Twenty-four young people will enter the arena with the intention of killing the other participants.

You do have to suspend disbelief, but once you accept Collins' world of Panem, it is easy to become involved with both Katniss and Peeta's attempts to survive as long as possible. 

I'll have to get the next two books in this trilogy because I do want to know what happens next.

There are some similarities to John Marsden's series Tomorrow When the War Began, but also some major differences.  Instead of having a group of teenagers working together against the invaders of their country, these young people are pitted against one another. I have to admit that I enjoyed Marsden's first novel more, his characters all jump off the page, and I loved the whole series.

However, I DID enjoy The Hunger Games and look forward to Catching Fire.

Fiction. Dystopian/YA. 2010.  384 pages.

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