I don’t read a lot of young adult literature, but I was given The Hunger Games trilogy for Christmas, and I couldn’t put the books down. The Hunger Games books are set in a post-apocalyptic future, in a totalitarian society where the capitol of the country forces the other districts to do all the blue collar work. The people in these districts rebelled a few decades ago, and they lost. As a reminder, the capitol forces these district to pay tribute each year by sending two of their children to “The Hunger Games.” Think of these games as being an amped up version of the Survivor reality show, with one big difference–the goal of the participants in The Hunger Games is to kill the other contestants.
The main character in these books is a young woman from the district where they mine coal. She volunteers to be the female tribute from her district in order to save her younger sister from having to compete in the games. She’s the hero of all three books. I’m not going to spoil any more of the plot here.
I am going to say that I was surprised at how moved I was by these books. Suzanne Collins, the author, isn’t Ernest Hemingway, but she does write a kind of emotional power that’s surprising. The plotline isn’t especially unique, as we’ve seen this kind of plot in multiple movies and books before. What counts here is the execution, and in this respect, The Hunger Games is a big winner.
A movie version of the first book in the trilogy is scheduled to premier in March of this year. The casting seems excellent, and I’ll be making the trip to the movie theater to see this one for sure. Here’s The Hunger Games movie trailer, for those who might be interested: