I waited what felt like FOREVER to read this book. One of the girls in our book club mentioned early on that she was choosing it as her book, but I totally forgot she was sooo late in the year. The waiting was horrendous.
But when I finally did pick up the first book in this series by Suzanne Collins, it was all over. As I expected, I could NOT put it down. And although some people may consider this a teen or tween read, I’m not 100% sold. First of all, I’m not entirely sure about young kids reading a book that focuses solely on the annihilation of other human beings. And before you get all up in arms, I completely understand the underlying political and humanitarian theme of the book–I realize that it is not being condoned. Just saying that if I had a kid, I’d think twice before letting him/her read a book all about killing other kids for sport.
But I digress. Back to my point – this book is thrilling. I am a huge John Irving fan. And what, might you ask, does he have to do with this book? After hearing Irving speak in person twice, he extolled the long-lost virtues of PLOT in a book. To many reader’s today, plot is seen as a negative word – one that diminishes the poignancy and message of the novel, making it simply an easy, mindless read.
Not so! I completely agree with Irving’s point of view that plot is essential in a story, maybe even more so today than ever before. A good plot can help get across your message in many ways. And in today’s world where attention spans are miniscule, a gripping plot is a savvy device to use.
The Hunger Games is ALL plot. And that’s probably why it’s such a page-turner, has been so successful, and completely wraps you into the book. The plot is highly developed and strategic. You know what is going on almost from the first few pages and continue to expect the worst. This plot-induced dread and, yes even fear, force you to tear through the pages at light speed to find out what will happen next.
I started this book on a Tuesday and finished it late on Thursday night. I skipped running, turned off the T.V., sped through meals and stayed up all hours of the night to finish this book.
So maybe you think these are kid books, or just easy reading, but I really enjoyed this book and think it deserves appropriate props. It was really good, well-written, and so utterly engaging. And at the end of the day, scrap all my concerns about it being inappropriate because of the violence. If it can tear kids away from their video games and DS’s for a while, then that is a win in my eyes.
All in all – I suggest you run, don’t walk, to buy these books and “devour” them.