Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Review (Lite): "The Hunger Games" Trilogy

First of all, I should begin by saying that these books are technically classified in the science fiction genre.  And I read them.

And the kicker?  I loved them.

I thought I should read them, as I had heard so much buzz about them.  The name had come up again and again.  There is a movie in the works.  And since I got Katarina the Kindle, I've definitely picked up the pace with my reading.  I mean, how convenient is it to be able to carry an entire trilogy around in my purse??

Anywho, I thought to myself, "Self, maybe this will be like Harry Potter.  You know, those fantasy books that you decided to read due to all of the hype?  Those fantasy books that you will forever adore?"  (In case you haven't picked up on it, I am typically a hater of all things science fiction and/or fantasy.  Just not my style.)

So, since Katarina was in desperate need of some new material, I downloaded the first book.

I finished reading "The Hunger Games" in record time, and immediately downloaded its two companions, "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay."  You really must read all three, and it is truly one continuing story. 

Although yes, this story is technically science fiction (as it does contain technology that has not yet been invented, as J pointed out to me was the definition of the genre), it is really so much more than that.  The science plays such a minor role in the story.  The characters make the story.  The story makes the story.  Suzanne Collins can tell a story.

Katniss Everdeen, our protagonist, is a hero.  Standing up for and protecting her family, no matter the personal cost.  Peeta, her friend, such a loving, good-to-the-core boy.  Haymitch, their mentor, made a bitter drunk by the ghosts of his past.  These three are forced to make their respective ways through a terrible contest called "The Hunger Games," where 24 children are sent into an arena to fight to the death, last survivor takes all.

I call this a Book Review (Lite) because I don't want to say too much.  This may be the first time that I've finished a book and asked J to read it.  I just knew he'd like it.  This is a rarity, as those science fiction and/or fantasy books that I so dislike?  Well, he's a fan. 

What I can say is that the story enthralled me.  Unsettled me in the way that only good literature can.  It has stuck with me.  My advice?  Read it

In other book news, I have decided to give Oprah's Book Club books another shot, as I inadvertently read a  couple and loved them while in a book club a couple of years ago.  But since making a conscious effort to choose these books, I have been wildly disappointed.  "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" I literally stopped reading midway through, as I couldn't handle all of the sad Sawtelle dog stuff.  I am currently about halfway through "She's Come Undone," and not enjoying it at all.  Even though terrible things have happened in her life, I cannot get over the terrible things that Dolores Price does, and I find her a completely unsympathetic character.  And who can forget the Anna Karenina debacle of last year?

And in other book news still, just so you know I'm not a secret fantasy and/or science fiction lover in the closet- I also tried to read a couple other wildly hyped about vampire series.  And for the record, I found Twilight to be sheer and utter crap, and the first Sookie Stackhouse novel to be slightly less crappy, but still not good by any stretch of the imagination.  Hate me if you will.

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