Thursday, August 12, 2010

Should you be Hungry for more?

I figured I would do this post for multiple reasons. A) I thought I'd give you an idea of my literary tastes, and B) Review the first book in a series that will release its final chapter in a short while: The Hunger Games series

Elizabeth lent me her copy to read after she and my buddy Tori (look for her blog in the "Links and Resources page") had sang its praises as one of the best novels of late. To say the least, I did nothing but read for the three days it took to read this. The story is very compelling and definetly a good thriller novel as well, on top of being very compelling in the fact that it puts us in a reality not too hard to imagine, and makes your really think about what you would do in Katniss's situation.

This book (and the two following, Catching Fire and Mockingjay) are centered around and narrated by a girl named Katniss Everdeen,aliving about a hundred years into the future. North America is now a piece of history long forgotten. Rebellions, fammons and starvation ravaged and eventually obliterated the country's existence. Out of its ashes rose Panem ( ironically very close to the latin word for bread), a country made up of 12 (technically 13) districts and ruled by one supreme Capitol. Katniss lost her Father in a mine explosion at a young age, and took on the job of risking her neck to illegally hunt for food in the wilderness outside the impoverished District 12 she calls home. Her only true friend besides her little sister is a boy named Gale who hunts with her. Every year, the Capitol assembles what is known as the Hunger Games. Established after a now-decimated District 13 waged a sizeable rebellion on the Capitol, the games consist of taking two kids (one of each gender) ages 12-18 from each district and pitting them all against each other in an arena. The objectives? For the kids, it's to be the last one standing, thus winning food and riches for your district. For the Capitol though, its a public example of what they will and can do to the districts in order ot keep peace. When Katniss's little sister gets picked out of thousands of names from their district, Katniss steps forward to save her timid sister from certain death in the arena. But the catch comes when the male tribute, a boy named Peeta, is chosen. Katniss remembers Peeta's kindness to her years ago in a time of need. Now she will have to not only survive, but possibly kill him and other teenagers to survive and win. will Katniss make it out alive? Will she have to kill someone she finds herself increasingly attracted to?

   As stated before, the compelling story, twist on the future, and the "what would you do?" aspects of the story make this thing stick in your hands like crazy glue and really learn to care for the characters and their plights. On the other hand, some people may not agree with some of the choices our protagonists make. While it's clear in the arena who's more adverse to killing and who's not, other moral lines get blurred a little bit. (Spoiler Warning!) While it is noble that Katniss pretends to be in love with Peeta to keep them both alive (and is, in truth unsure how much she's just acting), she only reveals to him much later that she does not return Peeta's feelings towards her. While it is meant to be for survival purposes, the two do share a sleeping bag to combine body warmth on a couple occasions when it gets cold. So while it may be for survival, in an age where so many moral lines are blurred about such topics, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable putting that in my book.

     In the end, I very much enjoyed the Hunger Games. Being set in such a unique storyline as well as reading this girl's every thought as she experiences hunger, pain, love, and loss makes it all the more compelling. But I can only hope that by then end of Cathching Fire, and certainly by the end of Mockingjay, Katniss has a better idea of the difference between survival and morals.

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