Monday, October 31, 2011

Scouring Books: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Originally published in 2008, this is the basis of next spring's hotly-anticipated film, and the start of a three-volume series that has come to succeed the Twilight Saga in the hearts of young adult readers. The only problem is, it's not really very good. It's readable, sure, and features a strong female protagonist, but not very flatteringly. Katniss Everdeen exists in an American that has been torn apart, and basically feeds on itself, forcing an annual reality show contest on the descendents of an unsuccessful rebellion. Katniss is a survivor, but Collins doesn't really distinguish her feelings about survival from her ability to survive, her conviction to rise above the system from being drawn into its most frivolous features. It's all the more horrifying that Katniss, and indeed everyone else, so willingly submits to a system where children are forced to fight to the death, and easily establish enemies within these scenarios...Anyway, I read this and its sequel, Catching Fire, as part of a theoretical reading group that never got off the ground. Part of the problem readers have is that the younger ones are actually encouraged to read this kind of material.

Bookshelf status: read.

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