Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Hunger Games Trilogy (part 1 & 2)

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place.

My Thoughts:
Wow! This book hooked me with the first line. It took every effort for me not to skim ahead, I was constantly dying to know what was coming or how the characters were going to get out of the situations they found themselves in.

I experienced a full range of emotion while reading. Dread, sorrow, doom, elation, wonder...I could go on and on Collins' has a firm grip on delivering high tension to her readers. This was better written, more imaginative, more gripping and just more of everything and anything than any other YA I have read (and yes, I have read H.P and Twilight).

The minute I finished this book I drove to the bookstore and waited till it opened to get the sequel.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

My Thoughts:
Another gripping roller coaster ride of a book. A great, no let down follow to The Hunger Games. I was not sure which direction Collins' would go. I did not even read the jacket cover when I carefully selected my copy from the bookstore, know it would be a keeper for me.

Collins' spends a lot of time developing her characters in this book, really getting you attached to them. Not that you weren't attached to them (some) in the first book. But when I finished this book (very reluctantly since the final instalment does not come out until the end of next month) I felt like I knew the characters a lot better and selected which "team" I am on.

I recommended this series to a friend of mine who has a daughter that is either going into 8th grade or 9th. To me this series is a lot "healthier" than the twilight series. Katniss is a strong do things for myself don't need a guy kind of girl. With the surge in teen romances where the female character is all gaga over the boy, this is truly refreshing and I think something that young girls need to be aware of. You can do things all by yourself!

However, my friend viewed the premise of children fighting to the death as "sick" and will not let her daughter read this series (at least not yet). This really surprised me. But upon further evaluation I think I can see her point, kind of. I have always been able to separate fiction from reality and the game portion of this book is fiction, not the real lesson, just what cushions it.

My children are not anywhere near the age that they can read this book, since neither of them can read. But I have thought long and hard at how I would approach this, if my children wanted to read it. First, I would evaluate my children, can they differentiate between fiction and reality. If I thought they would have any trouble with it I would probably turn it into a family affair, reading a chapter a night so I could see their reactions, answer any questions and make sure they understood that it is not real. To me a child that wants to read is priceless (I hated reading, didn't start until I graduated from College) and I hope that my children find the joy and value in reading young. And I think this is a series that will teach strong moral values to a young woman along with the importance of fighting for what you think is right, even if it is not popular.

No comments: