Friday, September 11, 2009

Book Review - The Hunger Games

My sweet daughter has begged me for weeks to read this book. She had told me the premise, and quite frankly, the concept repulsed me. I didn't want to think about it, let alone experience it, even vicariously.

The premise is that, annually, in the land of Panem, the Hunger Games are held. Each of 12 Districts contributes two 12 to 18 year old, lottery-chosen children, a boy and a girl, to enter an arena and fight to the death. The winner is the one left standing.

I had read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, in my youth and found it so unsettling I didn't get over the experience for years. I could see no useful purpose in subjecting myself to a story so similar, yet in so many ways, much worse.

The Lottery was about grim resignation and oppression. The inventors of the Hunger Games have the same intention, but Suzanne Collin's book about them is not. It is about courage, integrity and triumph!

The triumph in our lives is never about the outcome. Bad things happen to good people. The triumph lies in our response to what happens to us. Will we do the right thing regardless of the outcome? Will we remain loyal, honest, true - regardless of what might happen? If, while reading this remarkable story, you are not asking yourself what you'd do if facing these obstacles and challenges, you are wasting a marvelous opportunity to understand your own character, to develop and strengthen your own integrity.

I read this masterpiece through the night. It just wasn't possible to put it down. I discovered, just now that the sequel is presently in the house. I'd better wait to read that one until I a few night's sleep under my belt.

I recommend it highly! If you liked Ender's Game, you'll love The Hunger Games. Collins has given Card a serious run for his money. Ender Wiggins is a favorite character of mine, but Katniss Everdeen could certainly teach him a thing or two.

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