In a dystopian future, Katniss Everdeen takes her younger sister's place as District 12's representative in the Hunger Games, a 24 person free-for-all broadcast on live TV. Will she walk out of the Games alive?
So, I've been avoiding the Hunger Games for years. It has several strikes against it:
1. It's a young adult book
2. The enormous amount of hype
3. The fact that it appears on the surface to be a combination of two Stephen King books, [b:The Long Walk|9014|The Long Walk|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309212400s/9014.jpg|522169] and [b:The Running Man|11607|The Running Man|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333160557s/11607.jpg|3652165]
The other night, I was talking about the Robert Crais book I just finished and my lovely girlfriend asked when I was going to start reading the Hunger Games. Monday, I said. She was making country fried steak that night. What else could I do? Lucky for me, the country fried steak and the Hunger Games were both great.
Suzanne Collins crafted quite a tale in the Hunger Games. From the start, I was impressed with her lead characters. Katniss's personality reflected her background nicely. She wasn't cutesy or even particularly charismatic when the story started and was definitely rough around the edges. Peeta's questionable motivations kept the story moving for much of the book.
The Hunger Games themselves reminded me of the Stephen King books I mentioned earlier and also [b:Lord of the Flies|7624|Lord of the Flies|William Golding|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327869409s/7624.jpg|2766512]. I never had the safety net feeling that I had while reading other YA fare like Harry Potter. The way the story was told in the present tense gave it an urgent feel that kept me turning pages until my bedtime had come and gone.
Any gripes? Just the usual curmudgeonly ones about it being the first in the series with a lot of dangling threads left to be resolved in the two subsequent books. It was an easy four star read.