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Musings of a hopeful wanderer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games"

This was my first foray into young adult literature and I'm totally hooked. I LOVED this book (along with anyone who read it, ever). 

The first book in an eponymous trilogy, The Hunger Games tells the story of a horrifying future in which the former United States (now Panem) is forced to "sacrifice" one 12-18 year old boy and girl from each of the 12 districts of Panem.  Once chosen, the 24 young adults must compete in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death competition in which only one may survive. 

For me, the real reason to get behind this book is Katniss Everdeen. The first-person protagonist, Katniss, is a refreshingly complex female character. Rarely does a young woman get portrayed with such complexity--void of cliches or stereotypes, Katniss is exactly the kind of heroine I would've loved as a young adult. She is easy to identify with because she's complicated--not quite strong, certainly not weak; not girly, sexy, innocent, or tough; indeed, she's all of these things throughout the course of the novel, at times simultaneously.

Collins writes with little gusto--as a first-person novel, Katniss' thoughts are brief and to the point.  Yet the story she weaves is poetic and once you start, you cannot put it down.   This book is recommended for everyone! Specifically, though, any woman who is craving a female character who is as conflicted and complex as themselves.

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