The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, first things first: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is infinitely superior to anything in the Twilight series: I blazed through Meyers due to the quality of the writing (if I spent more than fifteen or twenty seconds per page I began to feel an overwhelming urge to find the nearest Mormon and incontrovertibly demonstrate to him the falsity of his personal views on eschatology in a way that would have made the baby Jesus cry). I'm going through Collins at the same pace for the same reason, but on the other end of the spectrum: the woman can write. She uses humour. And the humour is funny. There is suspense, and it's downright suspenseful. It's a book written for children, by a modern author, and I would honestly choose reading this book over asking a father who loathes the very essence of my being for permission to court his only daughter. In fact, though intended for an older audience, these were on par with the best of the Harry Potter books.
That said, these are "children's books" in the same way that Saw V: 3D is a romantic comedy.
The basic premise is--and here I should give some sort of spoiler alert, but I have no intention of doing so as I probably detest you for having the gall to breathe and can't be bothered to waste words that could be spent belittling your meager existence--but the basic premise is as follows: in a dystopian future, the North American Continent has been divvied up into thirteen "Districts" ruled by a "Capitol." Due to a failed rebellion some three quarters of a century before, the Capitol exacts a tribute in children from each of the twelve surviving Districts (District Thirteen is believed to have been nuked off the face of the planet, but I don't think I believe her), one boy and one girl from each district for a total of twenty-four children, who have to compete in an extended, televised, gladitorial death-match. The battle can go on for weeks, and the one child to survive wins. Our story takes place in District Twelve, where the sixteen-year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers for the "Hunger Games" in place of her twelve-year old sister, Prim, who had been selected. Other characters of interest are her alcoholic mentor, her mother, the boy going to fight with her, and her friend and hunting partner that she should end up marrying but probably won't.
The book, as I said, is very well written. It is a thriller, and I kept forgetting to breathe throughout the book (even though I knew she'd survive, or the next two in the trilogy would be very boring). I was surprised at the method of her survival, and the ending of the first book might as well have been ended the way Thucydides ends for all the closure it gives us. An easy four stars, an easy R rating whenever it's converted into film.
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