The sudden spark of popularity that’s struck The Hunger Games isn’t unexpected. With all the approach of the movie on the horizon, a good number of people are flocking to their local bookstores to deliver copies of The Hunger Games flying off of the shelves, whether to get a desire to know what you may anticipate when they see the movie, or be caught up on their best seller reads. Either way, those who are picking up The Hunger Games before seeing the film may choose to prepare themselves for any plunge into a darker world than say, the magical grounds of Hogwarts or even the pensive, cloudy world of Forks, Washington. The Hunger Games is really a surprisingly pessimistic read given its intended audience; though that isn’t to say readers defintely won’t be taken for a thrill ride through a world teemed with violence that you need all around just to survive.
We are taken to a disastrous future scenario where America has been eroded into what exactly is now known as the nation of Panem; a rustic constructed of twelve poor districts as well as their flourishing Capitol. Every year, the districts have by the government to deliver in a pair of kids to compete in the Hunger Games, a contest that forces all their young competitors to turn on and kill the other person until only one victor remains standing. Katniss Everdeen, at sixteen years of age, steps up to replace her twelve yr old sister when she’s selected to take part in the games.
From there, the narrative is wrought with twists and turns that wrench Katniss from her coal mining district where starvation is commonplace with a world of voyeuristic onlookers, who expect only entertainment as they watch her die alongside her fellow tributes. She has next to no one to consider, save for the drunken past victor of the games, Haymitch Abernathy. It also does not help that for sponsors, she’s having to uphold the act of a tragic romance alongside a kindhearted boy named Peeta Mellark. And it’s an act that surely more and more compelling for her, as she’s instructed to weigh human emotions against a necessity to survive, and layers with the heart against a controlled, cruel reality.
The Hunger Games is very an unfeasible story, most would think. But then some of the things that we solve in society today are unthinkable. The ebook makes a blunt statement about the voyeuristic inclinations of human nature; we view it all the time, people want to see violence, people need to see other people on reality shows be miserable, people need to see other people fail as a whole. Humans are wrought with nasty competitive streaks which are, oftentimes, only fulfilled by dehumanizing others to any extent to feel complete.
Given this, and the fact that we once used violence for entertainment (as history will show you), somewhere in the back of my mind is the cynical believed that The Hunger Games could possibly happen at some point in the long run. It’s a depressing notion, but as ridiculous since many people think it is, as a possible extensive metaphor it fits right in with the perverse way of human thought. That’s the surprisingly dark part concerning this book that drew me in and kept me reading. While a great number of people will be roped in by the weapon slinging violence, the sci-fi concepts, maybe even the romance, not many of us are willing to admit that metaphorically, the Capitol is us. Not literally, but in some ways, to a very real extent we are capable of being just as sadistic since the onlookers within these pages.
I believe that’s what makes The Hunger Games stick out, even despite a number of its logical flaws along with instances of vague worldbuilding that leave the field of Panem, at best, to the imagination of the readers. This sort of foggy writing works well enough for the intended demographic however, and its fast pace that makes it hard to put down renders this stuff mostly forgivable. The character of Katniss Everdeen, who has already been forced into survival situations someone so young shouldn’t are presented with, has to develop a line between her emotional reserves and the cruel fact that she was sent into an arena to die. She’s a likable heroine on her behalf situation and flaws.
Suzanne Collins brings us a dreary world that cries for death and blood within the first book of a promising trilogy. An action packed read built of suspense and substantial thought on what it is to see right and wrong in man’s instinct, one that I couldn’t put down until I hit the past page. Sure, may possibly not be perfect, but how’s that for a book you’ll want to get before the movie arrives. The action and effects may play out well enough on a big screen, it won’t quite generate the center of the action as the actual book itself.