The Hunger Games: Hunger Games (2008)
Hunger Games (2008)
I think what it comes down to is that I don’t like dystopias. And The Hunger Games is a tremendous dystopia. Despite that, I couldn’t put it down, because I had to know what happened. (Thus imagine my frustration when I discovered this was book one of three, and although most of the story arc was completed, there was plenty left hanging. Grr…)
What are The Hunger Games? Imagine “The Lottery” crossed with the Roman Arena and you’ll have a good idea of “The Hunger Games.” 24 enter, only one exits.
The United States had suffered a brutal war, and as a result has been divided into thirteen districts and the Capital (located in the Rocky Mountains). The thirteenth district was annihilated during a rebellion, so now there are only twelve districts to take part in The Hunger Games. Katniss is from the 12th District, which is in Appalachia (so you can image that caught my attention right away). Despite this being a brutal, ugly future, somehow, the people of Appalachia remain in many ways unchanged from who they are now–and this is a good thing for Kantiss who ends up being the female tribute for the 12th district. She knows how to hunt and handle herself in the wilderness, from years of needing to feed her family.
The book is amazingly well written and engrossing and the characters are fantastic and I didn’t enjoy reading it in the slightest. Not because of any of those things–those things are what kept me reading when I would have said, “this isn’t for me” and put the book down. No, those things are what kept me reading despite the story making me feel miserable.
So what does that say about this book? It’s amazing. It truly is. But it also exists in a dark world that I do not ever want to exist. And as much as I want to know what happens to Kantiss, I just cannot spend any more time in such a dark and depressing world. Maybe later I’ll be up for finishing the series, but not now.