Cut to the huge wave of readers of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Young adult science fiction? I'm not so sure about this. But I couldn't get past the plot - it did sound interesting, different, provocative.
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before -and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.My sister had downloaded all three of the audiobooks (it's the first of a trilogy), so I had it easily available in our shared Audible.com account and I decided to give it a try.
I was not disappointed. From the first words I was hooked. Told in first person, having the book read to me by a lovely voiced narrator made it seem as if I were being told her story. It was engrossing, from the post-apocalyptic (sort of) world, to the concept of the games, to the actual games. The characters were well-written - full people, fully fleshed out. The dialogue was good, realistic. The plot was detailed, solid, moved forward well and grew the tension at a steady pace.
I so enjoyed the book that on Friday when I got home from work I had only 45 minutes left to listen to, so after the kids were in bed, I went to bed and finished it. And I promptly started the second book, Catching Fire (I listened to that some last night, so I'm already 90 minutes into it and loving that one, too).
This is supposed to be young adult fiction. This is something I would have read and enjoyed as early as 6th or 7th grade. I can recommend it for mature kids that age, but if your young adolescent is sensitive to death and violence, then they may need to wait until they're a bit older to read it.
The Hunger Games gets 5 stars out of 5 from me.