Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games

Move over Animal Farm. Just a minute there Poisonwood Bible. Not so fast Count of Monte Cristo. Maybe next time Harry Potter. That’s right; there’s a new favorite book of all time in the house and it is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Trust me, I absolutely hate jumping on bandwagons and usually resist doing so at all costs, but this is seriously worth the hype.

I started reading The Hunger Games last week and was unable to put it down. It took all the self-control I have to stop reading at night and just go to sleep, knowing that I had to wake up at 5 AM. I wish I was the kind of person who didn’t feel completely unethical about playing hooky from work, because this is a book I could have happily finished in one sitting.

I finished reading the book Friday night and by Saturday, Jonathan was hooked. As we read in bed Saturday night, I found myself feeling jealous that he was reading The Hunger Games and I was not. I woke several times Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning to find Jonathan still reading, and it turns out he finished it around 2:30 in the morning. In one delicious sitting.

So I’m sure by now, you’ve already had a bazillion people tell you how good The Hunger Games is and you probably already know the premise of the story, but just in case: The Hunger Games is a sci-fi young adult novel set in post-apocalyptic America, in a nation known as Panem. Each year, the Twelve Districts that comprise Panem each send two children to fight to the death for fame and fortune. The story follows Katniss Everdeen in her ambivalent quest for survival.

Suzanne Collins deserves a Standing Ovation. Her writing style is simple and effective and her plot and character development are truly magnificent. As a writer, I could definitely learn a lot from her about the pacing of a novel. Reading The Hunger Games, I never felt rushed. In fact, I wanted to savor every chapter in order to hold on for a little bit longer and truly experience the story. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

In fact, I’m thinking they would perfect books to read in one sitting. On a beach. In Hawaii. In January. Holla!

And it turns out, though the book that I am reading may not be at the best-book-ever level, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is pretty amazing, especially if you like that whole spooky, paranormal, vampire, historically accurate mystery novel type of thing. And really, what’s not to like about that?

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