Friday, August 15, 2008
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Game by Suzanne Collins is a dystopian novel, set in a not too distant future, with elements of steam punk and reality television. Katniss Edreen is a survivor who, out of love for her little sister, volunteers for a deadly game in which she will have to literally fight for her life against twenty-three other competitors. The winner will win glory, wealth, and benefit their entire community. And live. The truth is, as much as I love dystopian novels, I resisted this young adult novel because it sounded derivative of Battle Royale and I didn't trust Collins to write something that wouldn't constantly remind me of that movie. While there are parts that are similar, they are hardly worth mentioning because this book had me hooked from the second chapter. I knew I was hooked because I started to get tears in my eyes. How many sci-fi novels have I read and found banal with their predictability? How many young adult novels have I accused of being insulting to readers? I can't even begin to count. Collins has managed to create dynamic characters who continuously surprise as the plot twists and turns until the reader is bound to return to read again, to pick up on the more subtle points that may have been overlooked on the first compulsive reading. I could not put this book down! However, about halfway through part three of the novel it hit me--this book has to be part one of a series. I tried to slow down my progress because there is nothing I find more frustrating than finishing the first in a series of books that hasn't been completely published. As the novel wrapped up the major threads of the story, there were some obvious plot points that were not being explored to conclusion. And sure enough, when I reached the last page, there were the dreaded words: End of Book One. ARGH! Why why why? I want to know what happens next to Katniss. I want to know more about the implications of what was revealed in chapter 25. I want to know more now! But the second book is still out there in not-yet-published limbo. I can only appease my own hunger for more by reading her other books, the Underland Chronicles. I had never heard of them or Collins before and now all I can say is directed at the author herself. If you need anyone to proofread the manuscript for book two, please feel free to email me; I would be more than happy to do so.