The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I have been meaning to do a Hunger Games post for a long long long time. I read the book earlier this year at the urging of my 13 year old sister. What the heck does she know? I had my doubts, but The Hunger Games series definitely goes down as one of my all time favorites. Action, adventure, a tyrannical government, a battle royale, a love triangle, mutant animals, a dystopian society… This book has it all.

Now it’s getting all this buzz and blowing up because of the new moving coming out next year–just like when the Twilight movie was made. However, before you watch the movie, you’ve got to read the books! It’s the cardinal rule. Deal with it.

Read them.

All of them.

NOW.

(And you have no excuse not to. We’re talking about a book written for teenagers, not Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And you’re smarter than a teenager, right? … Right??)

THG takes place in North America after the world has been destroyed by a series of devastating wars. Only 13 colonies or “districts” are left and all are ruled over by a central, tyrannical government. Each district is responsible for the production of a certain good: electronics, textiles, coal, etc… The “Capital” controls the distribution of all these goods, and all but the richest in society are starving to death.

Enter: the Hunger Games.

Each year, there is a drawing of names and two contestants–a boy and a girl–are chosen for a battle royale-style reality show that pits children and teens against each other until only one is left standing. The winner is awarded fame and fortune, and most importantly, food for their family.

Katniss Everdeen, of District 12, has been the sole supporter of her mother and little sister since her father died in a mining accident. Her superior (and illegal) hunting skills, along with her best friend Gale, have helped keep them alive for years.

So it’s just natural instinct for Katniss when her sister’s name is drawn for the  Games, to step in and take her place. Saving her life, yet risking her own. Will she make it out alive?

Enough of the plot synopsis, let’s get to the juicy stuff. I just want you to know that if you don’t read this book soon, you will be making a grave mistake. This is the stuff that all authors hope to produce. THG is a edge-of-your-seat, up-all-night-biting-your-nails page-turner. Guys read it, girls read it, moms, and boyfriends. Everyone. Collins achieves the perfect mix of action and storyline, leaving frustrating cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter to keep you reading more.

I really can’t critique this series to tell you the truth. I was sad to see some of the characters get killed off, but that’s the way of The Games, I suppose. I dare you to not get attached.

Thankfully, I read these on the Kindle and once I finished I was able to order Catching Fire while in bed, during the middle of the night. This books makes you wonder what you would do in a situation like Katniss’ and whether you’d survive. Would you be willing to kill others to save yourself?

The saga continues in Catching Fire and Mockingjay–both of which are also a must-read. THG is my favorite of the three, but you won’t be able to stop there, I guarantee it. This is THE book of the year.

5 of 5 stars

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About Chelsea McDonald

As an avid reader since I was big enough to hold a book, I continue to enjoy losing myself in the thrall of a good story on a daily basis. Since many of my cohorts do not share the same passion, Cracking Spines will be the perfect outlet to express my adulation or frustration concerning the books that cross my path. In this way, my loyal followers will be able to enjoy the stories that are worthwhile and avoid the duds altogether. I also have a Shelfari account at http://www.shelfari.com/chelseamcdonald15 View all posts by Chelsea McDonald

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