An old friend from college recommended The Hunger Games to me. I have to admit, I was a little reluctant to try it, especially considering, when I read the back of the book, the basis of the story is centered on a sort of futuristic reality TV. <Ugh.>
I had the same reaction months ago when my younger brother suggested reading it; I totally pooh-poohed the idea. I am apparently a complete book snob and now it’s obvious I’m going to have to apologize to my younger brother! <Ugh again.>
I have a tendency to read a couple of books at a time (I call it “Book A.D.D. – as in the attention disorder) and I had been working on a pretty hefty tome for a school report for a while when, as it tends to do, the part of my brain that craves fiction started wandering. I knew this book was classified as “Young Adult” so I assumed it would be easy reading; a nice break from the thought process of a scholarly Biography…
…easy reading it might have been but I’ll tell you, it was very difficult to put down! I read the thing in a matter of hours flipping the pages feverishly well into the night…
If you’re looking for a complete synopsis of the book, you can read that here - I won’t bore you with mine. I will tell you that I was amazed at the author’s ability to create the depth of emotions I felt for the characters after just a few sentences. This was especially true for the main character, Katniss, who quickly became very believable to me; I believed in her strength, her integrity, and her determination. Though she was surely vulnerable, I never pitied her (I don't think she would have liked that.) I quietly, sometimes breathlessly, traveled with her through every page of the book.
Another friend of mine commented once that she had read a new book “like she used to do when she was younger”…immersed, engulfed, impatient for the resolution and therefore all else was put aside until the story was done. That is the perfect explanation of how reading this story went for me. Perhaps instead of labeling these good books “Young Adult” which seems to take something away from them for older audiences, they should say, “Will make you feel like a Young Adult again.” And I am truly thankful to the author for doing just that for me.
In the end…is this book Pulitzer material? No.
Is this the book to read if you’re looking for a life-altering story? Probably not.