( #HungerGames )
Image Credit: Jayme Rose
Last week my wife and I ripped through the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The books are set in a future where society has collapsed and rebuilt itself. The remaining people of the North American Continent have been split into 13 districts and run by a centralized capital. The Capital is cruel and forces two children from each district to participate in a deadly competition where only one survives.
The main character named Katniss Everdeen is (of course) selected to play in the games and over three books, is subjected to physical and emotional turmoil. I was told after I read the books that they were classified as “young adult” fiction which makes sense since the drama factor was high. Overall the story was much better than what little I have read of Twilight (which I found to be terrible) and similar to the final Harry Potter books: high death tools, lots of action, and petulant internal dialog. I don’t understand why every author writing teenagers has to make them all so sulky.
Teenage angst aside, the story was solid. Collins created an rich and interesting world in each district and I enjoyed reading the history of her universe. For a book aimed at teens, the characters were fleshed out and the story was not sugar-coated (although how can a book about kids killing each other be sugar-coated?). Collins falters with the romantic triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta: Katniss comes off unlikeable because of her interactions with both, Peeta is a wide-eyed puppy dog (even after all the crap that happens to him), and Gale is kinda like Fonzie from Happy Days, except Katniss is a bitch to him. I thought the final epilogue could have been a little more upbeat considering there is a “happy ending”, but I guess Collins had to keep it angst-y until the end.