Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I’m a little late to the party on this one, but Suzanne Collin’s book, The Hunger Games is truly an awesome read.  I knew it from the first five pages that this one was good, and by page 100, it was obvious that this was the book that I would measure my writing progress by.  It’s easily one of the top five books I’ve ever read for sheer enjoyment, and I found myself wondering, over and over again, if I would ever be able to write like this.

It’s a young adult book, set in a post-apocalyptic world where the United States has degraded into 13 districts called Panem, and all report to the Capitol, which is isolated in both geography and ideals.  The Capitol rules with an iron fist covered in the velvet glove of propaganda.  We see the world through the eyes of 16 year-old Katniss Evergreen, who survives in District 12, a hard and cold place filled with coal dust and danger.  I can’t go a step further than this in discussing the book without giving away any of the wonderful plot twists and turns.

I can’t say I found a single fault with this book.  It sets an impossibly high standard for writers of YA Fiction and after reading it, I was a little depressed while I continued to edit my current novel.  The good news is that I don’t think 90% of the novels out there today measure up to Collins’ ridiculously high bar, and that gives a little bit of comfort to hacks like me.

The Hunger Games is the first of three books in a trilogy, and if I wasn’t so danged busy right now, I would be hidden away in some chair somewhere reading the next two, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  My wife read The Hunger Games in a single day.  It took me two… but only because I started late in the day on the first day and had guests over on the second.

Go get this book, block out a day, and read it.  You won’t regret it.

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