Sunday, October 4, 2009
Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Hunger Games, and its sequel, Catching Fire, are the most exciting adventure books that I know of right now for teens. They beg the question, what happens if we choose entertainment over humanity?
Hunger Games, which I read last April, is set in what is left of the United States. Twelve districts have survived the holocaust and the take-over of power by the "capitol". Every year each district must send two teens, one male and one female, to the Hunger Games where the twenty-four participants must fight to the death in a desperate attempt to be the sole survivor and thus the winner of the game. People in the districts watch the games like we might watch the Olympics and the sponsors of the games manipulate circumstance to make the games more interesting and exciting. Thrown in to spice up the plot are some romance and a little political intrigue.
Katniss, Peeta, and the other characters are all realistic and sympathetic. The plot is both brilliant and creepy at the same time. At times the plot moves at break-neck speed and other times it slows just enough to allow the reader to catch her breath before a plot twist occurs and more fast-paced action ensues.
I wondered if the sequel, Catching Fire, could possibly stand up to excitement of the first book. How could it even begin to match the action and surprises in the first book? Well, let's just say that I wasn't disappointed one bit. The second book, which definitely leaves the reader ready for the third installment in the series, is nearly as exciting and just as inventive as the first book.
Read them both. I highly recommend them. In fact, I'm not the only one. Hunger Games has been listed on at least 22 "Best Book" lists. With that many recommendations, how could you go wrong?
YA Science-Fiction; 5 out of 5 stars for both books.