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B&N.com Teen Must-Reads: Does Hunger Games Make the Grade?

B&N.com Teen Must-Reads: Does Hunger Games Make the Grade?

By Contributor

It's part 3 of dac's new series, and she's about to tackle a very familiar title...—Sparkitors

Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis: Do I really need to summarize it? Has one of y’all has been living under a rock for two years? The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss who lives in a dystopia called Panem, which rose from the ashes of a series of wars that destroyed North America and presumably the rest of the world along with it. Panem is made up of twelve districts ruled by the Capitol. To keep the districts in line, Panem forces the districts to send one boy and one girl (called “tributes”) to compete in the annual Hunger Games, a high-tech gladiator fight/camping trip from hell that’s broadcast on national TV. Katniss volunteers for the Games to save her younger sister. She doesn’t expect to survive at first (District 12 tributes rarely do) but the tides turn not only in the Games, but potentially for all of Panem as a result of Katniss’s actions in the arena.

Is this a “Must-Read”?: Third time reading it and I still say YES.

Why?: It’s tough to do this without spoilers, but here goes. THG is a super-fast read—and I mean super-fast. You’ll grow to really care about the characters, and even if you think Katniss whines too much, try to keep in mind her situation. Most teenagers can complain non-stop for up to an hour because they got a C in AP Calc or because their crush made out their bitter enemy. Now, imagine having actual, life-or-death problems and tell me a normal teenager wouldn’t be whining her head off.

Plus, it’s actually kind of brilliant how Collins takes everyday things, like reality TV or the fact that a lot of people’s first impression of you comes from what you wear (why else would they recommend you wear business attire to an interview in lieu of your Cookie Monster shirt?), and amps them up to 1000. So the reader is able to relate perfectly, even though this is a horrifying, unimaginable situation. Collins doesn’t tone down the violence that’s the center of the novel; if she did, her message probably would have lost some of its power. In short, go read The Hunger Games, not because it’s the next big thing, but because it’s a genuinely worth reading.

Next time: I’m actually going to let y’all decide. I could continue with the Hunger Games trilogy, since the list actually says “The Hunger Games trilogy” and not just the first book, or, if you’ve had enough THG to last you until Catching Fire comes out, I can move on to The Scorpio Races. Vote in the comments!

We knew dac would love THG! Do you want her to read the rest of the series, or would you rather her move on to something new?

Topics: Books, Life
Tags: the hunger games, ya novels, book reviews, suzanne collins, book recommendations, teen fiction, hunger games, blogging b&n.com's must-reads

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