My best friend's Mom is a school librarian and a couple months ago we were in a salon while my BF was trying wedding hairstyles and she told me about the Hunger Games. The series is a trilogy, the first being The Hunger Games, the second being Catching Fire, and the third being Mockingjay (which has yet to be released). She said that they were one of the best books she had read in a long time, which I have to assume is a solid recommendation since she is a librarian. Soon after my friend said the same thing- just raving about them.
So I wrote the name down in my planner and promptly forgot about it. To be honest, the description of the books sounded a bit odd to me. A fictional future world with 12 districts. An annual competition where they throw children from the ages of 12-18 into an arena and make them battle to the death while everybody watches on live television. I don't know...the concept sounded weird and I wasn't sure if these books would be for me.
It wasn't until I was talking to my Mom on the phone that I mentioned the books and she said "Your Dad and brothers read those books, they really liked them." At which point I asked her if she would send them to me. I received them in the mail last Friday and had both books completed by Wednesday. Reading these books truly was an amazing, page turning, heart racing experience. I cannot suggest them enough.
The Hunger Games begins in the Panem, a futuristic place in North America after the fall of civilization. There is the capital, and then 12 districts that each have different trade that makes them valuable. Katniss grows up in District 12 where they mine coal, a particularly poor district where everybody is struggling to survive. The book starts on the day of the reaping, where a boy and a girl from every district are picked to compete in The Hunger Games, a cruel "fight to the death" event that is meant to symbolize that the capital controls the districts and they should never rebel.
When Katniss's little sister Prim gets picked in the reaping, she bravely steps forward to take her place and is escorted to the capital with the boy tribute, Peta, to prepare for the games. The world that Suzanne Collins creates is magical. I hesitate to say this- but I have not fell in love with such a fictional world since Harry Potter. While this book ISN'T Harry Potter (so if you don't like Harry Potter, don't think you wont like Hunger Games), the experience (for me) was very similar. My pages turned constantly, I could not put it down, it was a magical experience.
I love all the characters dearly. I love that Katniss is strong and smart, but vulnerable at the same time. I feel in love with Peta for Katniss but I totally understand why she is torn between both Peta and Gail. The storyline with Rue had me in tears. The games were terrifying and horrific, but at the same time I understood why they were so captivating to the public. When I shut it I didn't know how the second book in the series would ever live up to the first.
But it did. Catching Fire was just as good, just as terrifying, just as well written. I can't say too much because I don't want to give anything away...but I will just say that I cannot WAIT for Mockingjay to come out on August 24, 2010.
Read it, read it, read it - you wont be disappointed.
...I am still trying to get through "The Other Woman" by Jane Green which I put on hold while reading these books. Anybody read anything good recently?
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