Book of the Moment – The Hunger Games

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years everyone. Glad you made it through the year and are still alive. 2011 was a bit of a weird year. I had an amazing time from start to finish but it felt like I was standing still. We had a great summer, albeit a late one that didn’t really start until August and ended in mid-October. Mr. Sunshine pressed snooze 3 times too many and slept in. He needs one of those natural-light-sunrise alarms. Have you seen those?? There’s a light on it that gradually increases in brightness to replicate the natural circadian sleep awakening instead of the BREEEP BREEEP BREEEP BREEEP that jolts my heart awake every fucking morning and makes me feel like my bed and I have been air dropped into a war zone. Anyway, (rambling, sorry, short attention span; the gift to our generation by marketing executives) they said this winter was supposed to be a really cold one in Vancouver, but so far it’s just rained a lot. Tamara Taggerts job must be pretty easy 9 months of the year. This past weekend, I went home to my parents place in Coquitlam. Every Christmas, I trek home for dinner and to spend a night in my old room. It’s a lot smaller than I always remembered it to be. At home (my place in Vancouver), I have a plethora of toys to keep me entertained til..forever, but in Coquitlam there wasn’t much to do past 11pm. Luckily, my sister lent me her books, and one of them was The Hunger Games, the first book of a trilogy. I read this book in less than 24 hours and I seriously couldn’t put it down. My PVR’d episodes of Big Bang, Family Guy, and 2 Broke Girls could wait. Xbox and Skyrim was on hold. Breaking Bad was a tough one to keep at bay, but I could always stream Netflix tomorrow. The Hunger Games wouldn’t let me out of its grasp like a vengeful stalking ex-girlfriend.

A Synopsis I didn’t write:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV.

One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor to his or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games.

But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life.

Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

My 2 cents:

The best part is that the movie is coming out in March. The story is current and entertaining and mixes reality tv and a fight for literal survival. Literally. You think the contestants on Survivor has it bad? These kids have to kill each other in a huge arena for the entertainment of the viewers, constantly battling thirst, hunger, fire, wild animals, and 23 other teens for survival. They make friends and lose friends and had one of the most enthralling plots of any book I’d ever read. It drives the story in a simple forward moving arc but the environment and futuristic post-apocalyptical world created by Suzanne Collins is impressive. I particularily liked how she switched from the glamourous world of Panem to the brutality and violence in the Games. It makes you realize that if humainty continues to move forward with so much war, fighting, entertainment, games and the constant need for more more more, our rambling attention defecit disordered society might one day come full circle back to the Gladiator era with death as entertainment and be numb to the morality of it all.

My 10 thumb rating: 8.5/10

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