The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (US) - (Canada)
The Hunger Games Trilogy, book 1
Finished: Aug. 8, 2010
First Published: Sept. 14, 2008
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopia
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
Acquired: Purchased my own copy.
Reason for Reading: A bit of a story, actually. We went for a day trip and just as we hit the city limits I realized I had forgotten my book. The day promised lots of reading opportunities plus the long drive there and back. Needless to say I was quite upset but dh said we'd gone too far and he wasn't turning back. So ... when we saw a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of the next town along the highway we made a quick stop while I ran inside to grab a book to read. The whole book case of Harlequins was out, that left me with one case to find a book. It was slim pickings. Every book there I had either read, had a copy at home to read or had no interest in reading. I had some thriller in my hand by someone I'd never heard of that only barely sounded like it might be decent when down on the bottom row behind the newest "The Dork Diaries" book I saw a book tipped out a bit and noticed THE HU GA. My heart beat a little faster and I thought, oh could it be! a book I actually am dying to read. I reached down to grab it and YES! "The Hunger Games" it was. This has been on my must read list since it came out but I was slow to the starting gate and have just never got around to reading the series. Until now.
With the thousands of reviews already online I'm sure I have nothing new to add so I'll talk about how the book affected me. I absolutely loved this book! It grabs you at page one and doesn't let go until the last page. Everyone has imagined that someday in the future game shows/reality shows might turn into life and death games where the last man standing is the winner. This isn't just new either. There were Stephen King's 1979 book "The Longest Walk" and later his 1982 book "The Running Man" and I remember watching a movie in the '70s (set in the future) where contestants were sent off running and then they were hunted down and killed until they had the last survivor, the winner, though I can't remember the movie's name.
This book really makes you think if this type of game is a possibility in the future. Reality/game shows are getting wilder. The main purpose of some is to simply watch people trip, fall, hurt themselves. My son and husband love watching "Wipe-Out" which is one of these shows. I believe MTV in the UK is looking for contestants for an abortion reality TV Show, that is scarily close to getting entertainment from death. Today's death culture, if it continues on it's current course, may certainly be capable of these live or die "game" shows at some point, imho.
The book is both brutal and emotional as our main character is thrown into these games that she does not believe in, yet she must play along or be killed. I absolutely love Katniss as a character, though I do think she is somewhat of a dunce for not figuring out Peeta's real feelings for her. I'm quite interested in where things will go romantically as we never really got to know Gale very much before Katniss is thrown in the game. At this point, I'm hoping Katniss will recognize her own feelings for Peeta but I bet there's going to be some love triangle action going on first. I'm very excited to read the next book.