Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Hunger Games


As I've mentioned, in some earlier posts, I love books about future dystopian societies. I also happen to love watching that ever popular (and frequently repeating) tv show Survivor. How about a mash-up? Survivor set in a future dystopian society? Ah yes, the ultimate mash-up!

That, in a nutshell, is what The Hunger Games are. Just an extreme version of reality tv survival show where instead of getting voted off you are killed off. This kind of storyline could be taken in many directions. There is high potential for some coat tail riding on the reality tv wave (is it still popular?). However, Collins has not taken the easy ride, instead she has created a literary masterpiece. She has the perfect blend of action, mystery, imagination, even (ugh) a half decent love story.

There are so many level to this book. The action is there, the complex complicated love triangle, then all the symbolic names & sayings & mutated animals (which I'm sure all mean something much deeper that will hopefully be revealed as the trilogy goes on...either that or just leave us all guessing). In other words, this book makes you think, even as you are caught up in all of the fast paced action. If there was foreshadowing I missed it, which made me attempt to predict what was going to happen...and to my delight, time after time I was wrong! The unexpected keeps you moving through the book - you want to hurry along to find that next shocking moment where the unpredictable (yet logical) thing happens. The sense of anticipation in this book is great. Collins does a superb job of keep us readers on our toes.

I'm still pondering the deeper meanings and the symbolisms in this book. I'm attempting to work through the names - Katniss, HAYmitch, Thresh, Clove, Rue...all food related. Cinna (singe? cinder?), coal, fire...seems to me a lot of basic surival references - the basics; FIRE, FOOD, WATER? Ah, I'm lost, but in a good way...I feel like I need some Coles notes. Remember those? Now, don't get me started on my mockingjay theories.

The best part of this is only the first in a trilogy. I have two more books to continue on with. I hope they are just as good (b/c I actually bought these books...NEW!). This book left us with a great base to build off of. We have a handful of strong, deep characters that must have some interesting back stories.

If it is any indication of how good the book was - I read it in about 4 days!


Note - Funny, the last three books I've read (The Book Thief, The Wishsong of Shannara, & The Hunger Games) have all had strong heroines?!

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