Did I tell you that because I haven’t been able to actually finish a book for six months, I went to the bookstore and only bought young adult novels? Yummy, yummy cupcake teen fiction. Holy Crap! It might be all I read from now on.
Here’s a little tidbit about your little darling here. I am always late to the party. Always. I still have not read all those Steig Larsson books, and I’ve never read James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks. So when all this hype about Mockingjay came out, I was completely in the dark. Then I picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as part of my cupcake bookstore run.
I have to say that I tore through The Hunger Games in a day and was amazed at the complexity and the politics. Calling this a YA novel or set of novels – because really it’s a trilogy – might be a disservice. Just because a book is about kids, doesn’t mean it’s for kids. But man, fantastic.
I don’t feel that a review is in order here. Just because I read all three books in a matter of five days and to just review one would be full of spoilers to the next one. And, again, I’m late to the party. These books have been around for awhile and I’ve only just discovered them. However, I’m pretty sure that the first book, The Hunger Games, is going to be my number one book of the year.
Let me just say that the story is well crafted, well paced, and full of heartbreak for the reader. We want strong and sassy characters to be okay. It was a dicey move to have Harry Potter survive all kinds of physical and emotional abuse, be stalked by a vicious killer, be the cause of death and destruction on a constant basis and come out squeaky clean with no nightmares or post traumatic stress disorder. The same cannot be said for Katniss Everdeen and Co. I’m so glad that we get to see the long term effects of treating our youth as entertainment, having their lives depend on pleasing the adults around them, vying for corporate sponsorship in order not to starve, and forcing them to kill each other for ratings. I can’t help thinking that if certain cable television shows didn’t promote teen pregnancy with a fucking reality show, girls wouldn’t be screwing assholes to get pregnant and then exploiting that pregnancy to get on TV. But that’s been going on for since TV was invented – girls fucking assholes to be a star.
Katniss constantly raises a middle finger to such manipulation, but also plays such a huge role in all of it that it takes your breath away. Suzanne Collins hinges “The Hunger Games” world on a emotionally damaged sixteen-year-old girl and it proves to be just as dramatic and emotionally charged as a sixteen-year-old girl can get. A sixteen-year-old girl who can put an arrow in your eye from fifty yards away.
There is a point in the book, where relating the feeling of not eating for a few days, Katniss describes a hollow day. A day where, no matter how much or how often you eat, you’ll always be hungry for more. I’m mad at myself for devouring these books so quickly. There is nowhere to go now, except wait for a movie that can in no way put on screen what Collins so deftly put before us on the page. But I now feel hollow and am desperately waiting my next yummy morsel.