Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Grade: A+

I honestly was prepared not to like this book. It's out of my norm, but I couldn't put it down!!! It consumed me for 3 days!!!! Yes, a first! I read a book DURING THE SCHOOL WEEK in 3 days! Why? Because this book makes you want to take off work, so you can just stay home and read it! I can't wait to get to Barnes and Noble to buy book #2 and 3 in the trilogy!! It's been fun to share with my kids at school too. One of my students is almost finished with book 2 right now, and daily we check in to see where we are & others have caught the excitement!

Here's a summary from online. If you haven't read it, check it out!! (even if you don't think you'll like it from the summary, because I didn't think I would but I tried it anyway)

The Hunger Games (2008) is the first book of the wildly popular trilogy of young adult novels from author Suzanne Collins. The series is set in the country of Panem, a post-apocalyptic version of North America. Every year the government in the Capitol organizes an event known as the Hunger Games: a bloody, gladiator-style fight-to-the-death battle between 24 randomly-selected teenagers from the oppressed Districts of Panem. To top it all off, the carnage is broadcast live on television – as entertainment for the residents of the Capitol and a reminder to the residents of the Districts of the totalitarian government’s ultimate power.

With all the violence and gore and killing of people on live television, these books have been nothing less than a best-selling sensation. The second novel of the trilogy, Catching Fire, was published in 2009, while Mockingjay, the final installment of the series, was released in August of 2010. The books read like a fast-paced movie, and from all the hype we’ve heard about them, this series might just be the next Twilight (but with better fight scenes).

In the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games, we meet our heroine and protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. An experienced hunter, Katniss is a killer with a bow and arrow from District 12, a poor coal-mining region in the country of Panem. Katniss is a tough-as-nails survivor with a rebellious streak a mile wide (assets in the Hunger Games, needless to say.)

The other lead character we meet in the first book is Katniss’s co-tribute from District 12: the charming baker’s son, Peeta Mellark. Unlike Katniss, Peeta is a bit of a softy, is great at decorating cakes, and is very much infatuated with his co-tribute, Katniss. That’s, of course, where things get complicated: Katniss and Peeta begin to play up an on-camera romance between the two of them in order to win over the audiences at home and gain sponsors. While playing star-crossed lovers for the camera proves to be a powerful and effective strategy – what exactly happens when those cameras stop rolling? When the stakes are high as they are in The Hunger Games, it’s difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not.

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