My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am so confused by the modern definition of “young adult.” Growing up, I always read books that were allegedly ahead of my maturity level (READ: I finished all of Vonnegut’s works before I was 14 years old.) As a result, I assumed that books we were offered to read at the correct age level were supposed to be safe from disturbing things like, oh, teenagers stabbing each other with spears in a post-apocalyptic future for the entertainment of others.
Living in states (Tennessee and Georgia) that still enjoyed banning books didn’t help much, either.
Today, though, it seems that [SPOILER ALERT] teenage guys killing twelve year old girls is fair game for kid’s reading. Who knew?
The Hunger Games is a clever mix of other familiar stories to me: one part Twilight (one girl who might be in love with two boys); one part The Running Man (futuristic gladiator sport for television entertainment); one part Robin Hood (character with great bow and arrow skills helping feed the poor.)
Is it good? Yes. The problem(?) is that it is good for a very disturbing reason: you can’t stop reading because you are constantly worried about who is going to die. Even more disturbing? You find yourself rooting for a sixteen year old girl to slaughter other teenagers.
Yet it is so much fun.
The Hunger Games has my attention. As I write this, I am already 1/3 through the next book and it’s keeping my interest. Suzanne Collins has a very keen insight into how to convey the point of view of a teenage girl while letting on to the reader the elements that she (the teenage girl’s) is missing out on: the feelings of those around her; their reason for acting certain ways; etc.
ADDED NOTE: Yes, I have heard about the movie. The cast I have read about (and thoughts):
-Jennifer Lawrence… sure, as long as she’s not as chubby as she was in X-Men: First Class
-Elizabeth Banks… for some reason, I pictured her character as older.
-Woody Harrelson… flawless choice. He’s perfect.
-Donald Sutherland… another good choice. He’s a solid evil intellectual (political) type.
-Lenny Kravitz… NOT who I pictured, but he’s so odd that I can see it working.