Tuesday Book Review: The Hunger Games

Well, I didn’t get any recommendations after my last book review.

Although Mom did inform me that she wrote her high school senior thesis on East of Eden.

I’m thinking that no one writes their senior thesis on The Hunger Games. Actually, I take that back – I’m sure that in my old high school alone, dozens of kids have written their thesis on The Hunger Games in the past few years. I hope their teachers are trying to make them write about John Steinbeck instead.

But let me back up, because I’m making it sound like I hated this book. Quite the opposite: I can’t wait to read Catching Fire.

I know that I’m late to the party. I was late to the vampire party, too. And the quidditch party. And I’m holding out on that shades of grey party for as long as I possibly can.

And that’s exactly why it’s 2012 and I’m reading The Hunger Games for the first time: I’ve been holding out. It’s very similar to what I did with the Twilight books, except that I never intended to read Twilight. But then I was driven to distraction alone in Nate’s apartment during my first week in Utah, having already finished every other book on his roommate’s shelf, and finally picked up Twilight. Oh well, I thought, it will keep me entertained. And did it EVER. I spent the next few weeks plowing through all four books, wondering why I had looked down my nose at them for so long.

I read The Hunger Games in exactly 5 elliptical sessions plus one session of eating 3 pieces of cake. Typical.

If you’re one of the last people on earth to read this book, let me tell you the premise: It is set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic America, call Panem, where every year a boy and a girl from each district are chosen by lottery to fight to the death with teenagers from the other districts. Katniss Everdeen, the main character, volunteers for the Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, whose number is drawn. Being a small and underfed girl, she is at a disadvantage against better-fed teenagers from other districts who have trained for the Games their whole lives. The book chronicles her fight, with many nail-biting moments, a love triangle, cliff-hanging chapter endings, and everything else you would expect from this type of preteen drama.

I once heard this type of fantasy novel described as a world that makes you want to buy real estate. And that’s exactly how The Hunger Games is. Suzanne Collins builds a world that hooks you in and keeps you turning the page. It’s the literary equivalent of “Call Me Maybe” – it may not be a masterpiece in the traditional sense of the word, but you can’t help but love it, and you have to admire the talent that could come up with something so catchy.

So that’s my deep reflection on The Hunger Games. It’s a guilty pleasure read that I  thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re like I was and think it’s not worth reading, think again. Serve yourself 3 pieces of cake and get into it!

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  1. says

    I wish I had thought of cake while I was reading “The Hunger Games”. As I just finished all three, it’s a good thing I didn’t or I wouldn’t have room for the pumpkin pie coming my way. I, too, came to the books late in the game. Once I got started, I couldn’t put them down, I encourage you to keep with the series. I think you will find all three books cake-worthy.

    • Erica says

      I know, I might have to lay off the cake for the rest of the series. I’m hoping I’ll have ample time this weekend to start #2!

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