It seemed like a crazy idea to go from reading The House of Mirth, a classic novel about gossip and drama in New York's high society in the 1900s, to a young adult dystopian novel in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- I was so afraid because I don't normally read Young Adult novels (well, I mean, other than Twilight) and I was worried that the hype would be better than the book. But, my good friends, I must admit it was even better than all the hoopla that has swirled around this series! It was absolutely fantastic!
Katniss is sixteen-years-old and lives in District 12, the poorest of the twelve total districts that was born out of "a place once known as North America." The Capitol is a rich and wealthy thriving city that controls the districts and runs The Hunger Games every year, which is televised through every district. It's a requirement to enter your children into the Reaping, a raffle that randomly selects one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of twelve and eighteen to fight to the death in The Hunger Games. And every year along with all of the other districts, District 12 will see two families close their windows in sadness and fear after the Reaping, fearing for the survival of their child who was selected to fight. The winner of the games receives wealth and food beyond all imagination for the rest of their lives, but the losers -- the losers are killed by each other's young hands in the "arena," which changes every year. It's designed by the Gamemakers and one year could be a desert, or another year the 24 participants could be dropped in the middle of mountains and woods. It's then up to these kids to survive in the wilderness and literally take each other out. And it's also required television viewing for all districts to watch this awful "sport" live, to effectively remind them that the Capitol has that much control over their lives.
Seriously, how twisted does all that sound? I don't normally read Young Adult or dystopia (though my book reading schedule is changing a bit with The Handmaid's Tale read along with Hey Lady over at Classic Reads Book Club), but I literally got so caught up in Katniss and Peeta and their moral and physical battles, not to mention love, that I literally did nothing all evening and finished this story last night, annoyed that all the bookstores were closed and I couldn't get book two in the series, Catching Fire, until this morning. I mean, I had to wait twelve whole hours!! What?? Noooo!! I can't wait! I watched terrible TV last night, tossed and turned, then got up bright and early to be at the store literally 5 minutes after it opened so I could dive right into book two. Suzanne Collins' writing is easy to read and was thoroughly full of action, rebellion, love, and ethics amidst the bizarre Capitol propaganda and laws.
Tuesday is the big day for the final book in the series Mockingjay to be released, and I cannot wait!
Coffee and a Book Chick