If you have not read it already, I urge you, for the sake of your sanity, don’t read it.
I don’t think that I had a favourite young adult book in a very long time. Whatever it used to be, I’d forgotten what it was. That is until recently, when I was told to pick up The Hunger Games. I suppose right now it’s EVERYONE’s favourite book. It’s certainly getting a lot of hype since the movie is on its way out, but it’s the first book in a long time that utterly gripped me. I would have literally eaten the book, chewed and swallowed the pages, if I thought it would get me any closer to the story.
Why do I love it? All the conventions it broke for me was a big start. Katniss was strong and independent, and knew next to nothing about romance. In fact, she’s completely inept at even recognizing it, much to the face-palming of the reader. The world Katniss understands; its people she doesn’t get.
What else sold me? The tension. Collins does an amazing job of bringing home just how dangerous Panem is, both inside and outside the Games. You are never safe, and the levels that your enemies will stoop to are mind blowing. The technology, the people, the muttations. Oh God, the muttations. They’re sadistic, but so cool. Nothing situates the world in the future more than the muttations and their media technology. It seems like Collins built a world just booby-trapped with tension and it never lets up.
Besides Katniss you have Peeta. Dear, sweet, heartbreaking Peeta. I believe it was Francis Bacon that said any man with a wife and kids has given hostages to fate. Peeta is Collins’ hostage. He is good. That is his characterization and for once, it works. It works because Collins holds him hostage and tortures him (and therefore us) with extreme malice. It’s not that Collins holds back on the torturing of anyone in the book, but Peeta is so good that what happens to the boy comes close to breaking you.
The Hunger Games could be classified as self-inflicted emotional torture, making masochists out of the world, and yet it is only the first book in the series. We are treated to 2 more emotionally breaking, intense books that are impossible to unglue from your hands. All you can ask yourself is “What kinds of torture is Collins going to put me through next?” But for all the horrible emotions this has become my favourite young adult book.
If you have not read it already, I urge you, for the sake of your sanity, don’t read it. That’s what I want to say. What I will say is make sure you have some free time. It doesn`t matter if your wife is about to have your first born son that second, if you`re even a few pages into The Hunger Games, she`ll be driving herself to the hospital.