I had resisted reading this book for a long time. Why would I want to read about kids who were forced to kill each other to survive? It sure didn’t sound like pleasure reading to me. But then one of the librarians where I am doing my internship told me I HAD to read it. She even added me to the hold list for the book (the library has quite a few copies but also quite a long list of people waiting to read it). When it became available on the 26th, I picked it up and brought it home. I started reading it on the 27th and finished it this morning. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. And once I turned the last page, I went to the library’s website and got on the list for the second book, Catching Fire. I have to admit I am tempted to download it to my Kindle right now to start reading it.
Yes, it is the story of the Hunger Games, where young contestants from each of the twelve districts of what used to be North America compete for survival, and do have to kill each other to be the victor. But it is also a very well-written, well-paced story told from the perspective of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen. We learn about her life before the games, about her love for her sister that leads her to take her place in the games, and about what a survivor she is. The story pulls you in; it even brought me to tears on a couple of occasions. Since it is the first book in the series, there is resolution at the end, but enough left unresolved about what will happen to Katniss to have readers looking forward to the next book. I am afraid to write too much about the book because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s reading experience, think of the games as Survivor or Big Brother with much worse consequences than getting voted off. But it is not just the story of the games themselves, it is also about romance and personal choices and being true to who you are. I will just say this: “You HAVE to read it.”