8 July 2012

Let the Battle Begin: A Review of The Hunger Games

“I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can't own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I.”

I'm at a lose for words to adequately describe my overwhelming obsession with The Hunger Games.  Numerous paragraphs have been written, edited and then deleted all because of an obsession block.  Ever have the problem of not being able describe why you like something?  Having to answer why I like a book is probably the question I have the most difficulty with.  The irony does not escape me.  Thank the Maker is basically a medium to review books.  That being said, sitting down and working on a post for an hour or in this frustrating case, six days is easier for me than having to describe my likeness of book during conversation.  Books are personal.  Having to justify why I  like a book can disguise the bigger question of "Who am I  and what is wrong with me."  For example if I sat down with group of colleagues during lunch and proceeded to tell them that I spent the weekend speed reading through a book about  teenagers killing the shit out of each other I most likely will have; a. killed the casual conversation about puppies; b. verified to some that I am nuts and/or c.  confirmed my awesomeness to others. With this in mind let me confirm I am in fact, nuts and awesome as I dissect my obsession with The Hunger Games.

And obsessed I am.  I am this close (one room away, that is how close) from getting up and reading the book again.  Rather a statement since I just read the dam thing last weekend and have yet to read the other two books in the trilogy.  Idiot that I am, I did not buy the set.  I have never contemplated rereading a book so quickly.  Ever, not even Dune ever.  Why do I like it so much?  It's not because I like violence or blood or any combination of the two.  I had to stop watching Game of Thrones for that very reason.  The reason why I like this book so much is because it is a quick, fast read that is full of suspense with well-developed characters that you quickly love, hate or better still have mixed emotions over. But what really makes this book so likable is Susan Collins ability to capture awkward blossoming feelings of teenage love and then place those emotions within the amphitheater of survival and murder.

The Hunger Games is a book for young adults.  The premise is basically what I already alluded to:  A group of teenagers are put into a game (The Hunger Games, you are so smart) and expected to kill the living shit out of each other until one is left to claim victory. There is more going on here though. The world has recovered from Armageddon.  What is left of North America is the Capital, a prosperous ruling district that keeps 12 others isolated and controlled with an iron grip.  Each year one girl and one boy from each district is chosen to pay tribute to past crimes (the districts attempted to revolt) by participating in The Hunger Games.

You are right if you think this premise sounds familiar.  The theme of locking people up to battle it out is quite popular.   With this in mind, here are four similar themed books (movies if you prefer) that you may enjoy.

1.  And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie or The movie