Recommended Reading: The Hunger Games

In honor of Talaria Press’ appearance at Geek Girl Con this weekend, this month’s Recommended Reading is Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

I don’t ordinarily like most novels that are written in the first person. I think that this is because they tend to be written in the past tense which leeches any sense of peril or immediacy seeing the story through a single character’s eyes might possess. I mean, if they’re telling the story in the past tense, clearly they’ve survived their travails so there’s no real sense of them being in danger! Collins gets around this problem rather eloquently by writing in first person present tense so it’s as though you’re experiencing the events of the story at the same time that Katniss is.

If you’ve seen the movie (and based on the box office numbers, most of you have!), you pretty much know the story. In a post-apocalyptic future, the United States no longer exists having been replaced by the nation of Panem. This new nation is split up into districts, each of which provides specific resources to The Capitol. Our heroine of the tale, Katniss Everdeen is a young woman living in the impoverished District 12 which is located in what used to be Appalachia, and provides coal to the Capitol. Katniss’ family lives in the poorest part of an already poor district, an area known as The Seam, which is where the miners and their families live.

I won’t go into a recap of the action here (I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for anyone). I will say, however, that the movie is much more flattering to Katniss than the movie. To me, being inside Katniss’ head is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to her being likable. To put it bluntly, most of the time, she’s a flat-out bitch and I really don’t see why Peeta’s willing to put up with her being mean to him all the time.

That said, Katniss is the quintessential survivor. She’s willing to do whatever it takes for her to survive the games and I feel like her behavior at the end is simply the result of her feeling guilty for using Peeta rather than any genuine emotion toward him.

The book presents some challenging concepts and definitely provokes a lot of deeper thought on what we’re willing to do in the face of danger, the people we choose to ally with, and how we treat others. I devoured the book over the course of a few days and definitely plan on picking up the remaining volumes of the trilogy.

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