Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well-Spoken Wednesday--Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Book Review

Summary from goodreadsWinning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The Hunger Games have begun... 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen 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 rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was hesitant about reading this book for well over a year because I was so certain I would not like it.  It did not seem like "my kind" of book.  But I read a number of reviews by book reviewers that I trusted, and I figured the time had come to read it when I happened to win a copy of it.  And with the upcoming film, I knew it was now or never.

From the very beginning, I was drawn into this book like I very rarely am drawn into books.  The writing style was impeccable, and the characters were incredibly well-crafted. It was also frightening when I realized that what was being spoken of could actually happen some time in the future.

I found that I repeatedly forgot where I was as I read (even when I was subbing in a classroom of students), and all I wanted to do was read this book and nothing else.  I found myself thinking about the main characters and wanting to know what would happen in the story.  I wanted to believe that the author would not allow the unthinkable to happen, but I wasn't sure.  And I will tell you that the book does not end how you would like it to end, but it ends the way it should.  If the author had chosen to end it differently, I don't think I would even be considering reading another book in the series.  I wouldn't even think about it being part of a series.

I am absolutely "taken" with Suzanne Collins. She is one of the best authors I have read in recent times.  I appreciate the fact that there was almost no profanity of any kind (only one word that I recall, and it was not even that bad).  There is no sex (go figure--a YA book with no sex!).  And she knows exactly how to keep you guessing.  Although the science fiction, futuristic elements are there, everything makes sense. You aren't left wondering why thus and such happened--you know why!  The action was mesmerizing, and the unexpected love story was absolute genius!  She even has a sense of humor that comes out at exactly the right time.

This is a book that I can unequivocally recommend to anyone who enjoys reading fiction.  It makes no difference if you like historical fiction, romance, science fiction, action, or an genre!  This should be at the top of your TBR list if you have not read it!

One other thing I would like to add is to thank the author for such a positive message for young people (and everyone)even when dealing with such a dark topic.  And the message is resonating with young people.  As I read the book, I was asked by so many teenagers about the book.  Many had read it and said how much they liked it.  It is good to see an author write about a character who stayed true to what she believed and did not forsake her morals.  She didn't let anyone change her!  Thank you, Katniss!

About the Author 

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear andOswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/​Bass Christmas special,Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part fantasy/​war series,The Underland Chronicles.

At present, Suzanne is hard at work on the third book in her sci-fi series, The Hunger Games. (she's finished, actually!)

She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

Most of you know that a movie will be coming out soon based on the movie--the author herself adapted the novel for film.  

All I can say is that if you have not read the book and you plan to see the movie, please read the book first!  The trailer is very accurate.  It was something to see scenes from the book come to life!  And to think I nearly did not read this book.  What must I have been thinking?


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