09 July 2010

REVIEW: The Hunger Games by S. Collins

Title:  The Hunger Games
Author:  S. Collins
Genre / Pages:  Fiction, Young Adult / 374
Publication: Scholastic, 2010
Rating:  4th shelf  
Source:  Chapters Indigo

lj's plot in one pot: In a post-apocalyptic/vanity-crazed/Mad Maxian world, the readers follow Katniss, a girl from one of the 12 sectors that must battle to the death against 1 boy and 1 girl from each sector in the aptly named, "Hunger Games".

As far as Young Adult (YA) books go, this one was pretty awesome.  The heroine in the novel, Katniss, is strong and bright and above all, a survivor.  The "Hunger Games" are a brutal way for the government (the Capitol) to maintain control over the people of Panem.  It is a bit science fictiony, but no more so than it's partners in the YA genre (i.e. Twilight).

The plot kept me guessing (more or less) and I was pleasantly surprised at the way Collins wraps up this novel - the first of the trilogy (which I can't wait to read the following books, "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay").  As far as reading this with Junior/Intermediate students...well, I'm still on the fence.  It is pretty graphically violent and there is definitely some questionable content.   But all in all I really enjoyed this book.  The writing wasn't 'dumbed down' like a lot of YA books I've read, nor was there a super obvious moral to learn.  I think this one is a YA classic in the making.  Enjoy!

"Whenever my father sang, all the birds in the area would fall silent and listen.  His voice was that beautiful, high and clear and so filled with life it made you want to laugh and cry at the same time.  I could never bring myself to continue the practice after he was gone." p.43

Click here for the Hunger Games website, and here for the author's website.

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