We have exactly three weeks to go before the much-anticipated Hunger Games takes over cinemas everywhere. This means only one thing- you have exactly 3 WEEKS to read The Hunger Games (the first book in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling 3-part series). And if you are on the fence about it, I’m here to make the decision easy…
To those of you that are thinking “reading the book will just spoil the movie – and the movie looks so cool,” or, even worse, “The Hunger Games is for children and I won’t be bothered with it,” those are unfortunate thoughts and this is for you. So read on and see the light…
To those of you that did read it and loved it as much as I did, and to those of you who are also counting down the days until it’s theatrical release – this is for you too. So read on, my friends, and get that Hungry fire back in your life.
But before we truly begin, I have one final note for all you skeptics: I was one too.
I consider myself a fairly rational person- and by person I mean girl and by rational I mean not crazy. Hopeless romantic? Check. Girly-girl? Check. Tomboy? Absolutely. But a sucker for teeny-bopper dramas and fads? Count me out. I put Twilight down after barely making it through ten pages, and Harry Potter never struck much of a chord. The Traveling Pants, anyone? Puh-Leeze. So rest assured, all of this Hunger Games lovin’ comes from a well-tested and highly reputable source. And now we get on with it…
The general premise of The Hunger Games is this: In a post-apocalyptic America, Katniss Everdeen, and her family live in a world just a hop, skip, and jump away from our country as we know it today. However, her world is a place where survival is the name of the game- a game of work and no play, a game of rules and rations, and a bloody game of ultimate sacrifice. In this world, the 48 continental states have been replaced by a land of 12 districts. 12 districts that are ruled and watched by the most judgmental and ruthless of eyes; 12 districts that are each known for a particular trade- which all members are expected to use towards the greater good of the community’s survival and prosperity; 12 districts which must rely on the downfall of others in order to gain power, money, and honor.
In order for this type of structure to work, the citizens must live in fear and concern that at any moment, that which they love most dearly, person or thing, may be plucked from their hands and they will be left without the means or desire to survive. This daily struggle is brought to a head once a year during the time of The Hunger Games – a time in which the ultimate sport of bloodshed, tears, and, yes, survival is “played” by two randomly selected children from each district. And once selected, these children are forced to fight to the death- with the sole victor earning honor, respect, and financial stability for his or her community. Now, the ins and outs of the competition is slightly more complex, and you really must read to believe – but I can tell you this:
If you were suddenly taken from your home at the tender yet formidable age of sixteen, and dropped in a domed, forested arena, with no way out until you win or die, to what lengths would you go in order to walk out on your own two feet? What if your life and your future depended on a lottery each year between the ages of 12 and 18? And what if all you had to rely on was your district trade, your cunning, and your (hopefully reliable) survivalist instinct? How far would you make it?
These are the things on the minds of every young person of every district in Katniss’s world. And if that’s not compelling enough – throw in a strong willed girl whose intentions are true and whose emotions run hot, along with a couple handsome love interests and intense competition, and you are left with a story that is beyond any teeny-bopper’s greatest fantasy. This is a story that tugs at your bad-ass survivalist-chic heartstrings; it gives life to that part of you that longs to be mean and gritty yet sweet and vulnerable. And in our star, Katniss Everdeen, we see the picture perfect combination of a young woman that any girl would dream to be and any guy would dream to know.
So use your time wisely during the next 3 weeks- read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. You’ll never see a bow and arrow the same way again.