The Next Biggish Thing – The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
**editor’s note: It has come to my attention that I may be.. *ahem*…a little late in my prediction, and many folk are already well aware of the trilogy. But they’re still great, and still a big thing! So for those of you NOT aware, read on and enjoy**
I’m a grown woman. I should know better than to stay up far past my bed time reading, by this age. The book will still be there tomorrow, and I don’t want to be exhausted. Really, it’s just a matter of discipline and common sense.
Which promptly goes out the window sometimes, like last night, when I finally allowed my slack-jawed, almost-already-snoring head to hit the pillow at 2:30 a.m. or so.
A friend lent me a book called The Hunger Games by a woman named Suzanne Collins. She told me it was the first in the Hunger Games Trilogy. She basically just thrust it into my hands and said “read it”.
After finishing the book I was partway through (Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip – liked it, didn’t love it), I started The Hunger Games on Monday night. And finished it on Tuesday night (last night).
If I were a betting woman, my money would be on these books being a Very Big Thing. Maybe not Harry Potter big, or Twilight big, but they might be Stieg Larsson big. Regardless, we’re starting to see the names creep up the lists and show up in more places. I’ve only heard a moderate amount of buzz around them so far, and I expect that to grow, given how un-put-downable the book was.
Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s disturbing and macabre short story The Lottery and of Richard Bachman (Stephen King)’s novel The Running Man, The Hunger Games tells the story of a practical and independent teenaged girl named Katniss who lives in District 12, the least wealthy and respected of all the districts.
And each year, the Capital holds the annual hunger games, in which one girl and one boy from each district are selected by random draw to compete for their lives in an arena with landscape and terrain unknown until the games begin. Some years it’s desert, some years ice, some years forest. The contestants are well fed and trained in the weeks leading up to the games. Their personalities and skills can earn them sponsors who can choose to send helpful items throughout the game, but at the end of the game, of the 24 contestants, only one can survive.
The book’s writing is not sophisticated or complex, but it’s solid. The story is creative and detailed enough to be fascinating. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, and the pacing of the story is spot-on. I was hooked from the get-go and have definitely found another two-sitting read to add to my list.
I am on my way to beg, borrow or steal (or buy, I suppose) the remaining two books of the trilogy – Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and am looking forward to exhausting myself again. If you haven’t read them already, and you like an exciting, fast-paced, creative story, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy is definitely worth picking up.
Signed copies are already fetching a pretty penny, particularly of the first book, and are likely to go up. A signed copy would make a fantastic gift, but make sure you know what you’re getting, as some are stamped by the author, rather than signed. Still special, but not as valuable.