Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book of the Week: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I love this disturbing best-selling book by Suzanne Collins. Hunger Games is the story of a teenage girl, Katniss, growing up in a futuristic version of America after a terrible war. The winners of the war have divided America up into districts and the winners of the war live in the luxurious Capitol, while Katniss lives in poverty in District 12. To remind everyone of their victory, the members of the Capitol stage the Hunger Games, where teenagers from all over the country have to fight to the death until the last one survives-on a reality TV-like show.

Though the story is so heartwrenching, it also has many touching moments. Katniss's friendship with her best friend Peeta and her closeness to her family is heartwarming. There are also some oddly funny moments, too. Katniss makes fun of the cheerful hosts and stylists of such a gruesome show. They're there to make the ''tributes'' seem more likable so they'll be sponsored by rich people and hopefully survive, but Katniss knows that by just using her intelligence and knowledge of hunting, she stands a chance of surviving the Games. Collins makes great subtle points throughout the book about the gap between rich and poor and the "reality'' of reality shows where's people's misery is entertainment. To me, though, the story is ultimately about a girl trying to maintain her humanity in such a cruel world. We just ordered Hunger Games so it should be on the YA Fiction shelves soon or we can order it for you anytime from another library.

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