I had been aware of The Hunger Games for a couple of years but was reluctant to read it for two reasons: "Popular," hyped books tend to not be as appealing to me as they seem to be to many adoring fans (Just for the record, I fell in love with Harry and his plight long before he became a household name!), and I did not like the premise. The idea of children killing children as a national sport, televised, as an entire nation watches, disgusts and appalls me. I could not imagine a scenario where that would be a possibility, and definitely couldn't see myself reading about it. But something about the book captured my attention and kept drawing me back to it until I finally purchased it when it was on sale. However, it still took me another six months to find the time and desire to read it.
I'm glad I did. I'm also glad I waited until a break from school, because once I started, the book was hard to put down. Katniss captivated me from the start, as did some other characters I met along the way. Most of the main characters were realistic and real, fleshed out in ways that allowed me to see them, to participate with them, to become them at times. When Katniss was in the arena, I was there with her, feeling her pain, her loneliness, her confusion, her fears. Suzanne Collins had the skills to convince me that not only were the Hunger Games possible, they were an actuality, a yearly event in post-America Panem.
I knew going in that this was the first of a trilogy, but hoped that this book was a stand-alone novel. In a sense it is, especially if you have no concern for any of the characters outside the arena, but there are many unanswered questions, many issues yet to be settled. I'm off to purchase the second book in the series, and will probably end up buying the third shortly after that. Thank God for summer vacation...
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