Monday, November 30, 2009

Radiant as the sun

I have loved distopian fiction ever since my dad stuck 1984 in my hands when I was twelve. I've heard things about the Hunger Games for a long time, but for whatever reason did not feel compelled to pick it up. However, after hearing for numerous people how great the sequel, Catching Fire, was, I check this one out from B&N.

The Hunger Games takes place in a futuristic country that was once America, where the land is divided into districts. These districts work for the Capital and are pretty destitute. Katniss is our main character and narrator, a young girl who breaks the law hunting to feed herself and her mother and sister. Every year two children (between the ages of 12-18) are chosen to compete in the Hunger Games, where they fight all of the other kids to the death. The winner is the only one to live and gets extra food for their district. Katniss takes her sister's place in the hunger games along with a boy named Peeta from district 12.

We follow Katniss from her district to the Capital where she is pampered and prepped before the games. The tributes are paraded in front of everyone in order to secure support from people donating. The tributes also have to sit through interviews and events that make the whole situation comparable to our current reality tv show "stars."

This book is amazing. I have been talking it up at work and all but shoved it into my brother's hands. I think that this book and The Book Thief are two of the best young adult fiction books I have read in a very, very long time. The book is smart, funny at times and heartbreaking at others. It seems like I'm one of the last people to jump on this book, but if you haven't read it then I would highly suggest it. This is a chilling look at what we currently think of entertainment and how easily that could progress, or regress, to a entertainment system that resembles Rome's hay-day.

Two quotes:

"I realize, for the first time, how very lonely I've been in the arena. How comforting the presence of another human being can be."

"You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope."

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