Tag Archive: Suzanne Collins

It is time to tell you about my final giveaway. And I’ve saved the best for last: The Hunger Games.

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 districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death 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 against love. (Scholastic)

I still get chills thinking about this series.

I didn’t know it was possible for a book to affect me like these books did. This book is intense. With a capital ‘I’. I was shaking when I finished the series.

Now Hunger Games allows you a little control. It makes you think that you can put it down and that you are still a functioning human being and then you read the next book. You are not in control. Suzanne Collins is in control. And you had better be ready for the ride.

Another thing that I didn’t know was that it was possible to write like she writes. I lived, I breathed that world. It was me, I was it. And that book was glued to my hand. Someday, I will have the time to reread this series, without the desperate need to know what happens, and I will be able to figure out how she did it, but I have never experienced the sensation of being unable to breath while reading a book (well, not when my asthma is under control).

You know the hype. You know it’s going to be a movie. And it is going to take the world by storm…even more so than it already has. Experience it now. Be one of those people that read the book before they saw the movie. You will experience something incredible.

To win, just comment on this blog post. Tell me about an author that took your breath away or affected you in a way that you did not expect.

Also, you can get extra entries if you do any of the three following things:

  1. Follow me on Twitter. Just make sure you leave your Twitter handle in your comment so I know to credit you.
  2. You can also comment and repost any of my blog posts for another entry. Make sure you tag me on Twitter so I know you did it, or send me the link if you choose another method.
  3. Subscribe to my blog. I will give you two entries.

Do all of this by 9 p.m. E.S.T. on September 30th. I will announce the winner on October 1st as well as draw names for any of the books that I have left.

Also, if you haven’t been convinced by my rabid fan ravings, you can check out the review here.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Ages 15 and up

This is a series that I had been looking forward to reading for months. It was recommended by a friend who has impeccable taste in books. However, said friend also mentioned that the second book, Catching Fire, happens to have a doozy of a cliffhanger ending. So I thought, that knowing how well I don’t handle cliffhangers–it might be wise for me to wait until the final book was in stores. All of that to give my excuse for taking this long to finally read the series. That said–there is no excuse for not reading this series. None at all. Ever. You get the point.

From start to finish, Collins leads the reader (which will hopefully be you) through an intense journey–one of the most intense journeys I have ever been through as a reader. I was literally shaking when I finished Mockingjay. Collins kept me wanting to turn to the next page a little sooner, yet she was so in control that when I had to put the book down and carry on with my life I could. I wasn’t worried about what would happen next (except with the last 100 hundred pages, but that was excitement rather than wory). It was sort of riveted detachment. That’s not a contradiction I’ve experienced before.

Granted, it is a violent series. the premise introduced in Hunger Games–a sadistic Olympics where 24 teens fight until only one is left standing–guarantees some blood and violence. But I’ve read gorier (The Illiad anyone?) and some of that is considered classic literature (see previous aside) with the gore only there for shock value (see again).  Here it helps define the struggle of the main character to hold on to her humanity–or at least have some remaining when the games are over. It also provides an interesting glimpse of where mindless entertainment can lead. For the parents of young teens I would suggest reading this book before you let them, if only to know what the heck they are talking about when they want to discuss it.

And while we are on the subject of character: Collins has created some beautiful characters. Her mastery of the first-person narrative had Katniss commenting on aspects on my own life long after the books were finished. Her thought process felt as complicated and conflicted as my own can feel in times of stress. Plus, Collins creates a legitimate love triangle. I’m not talking about a childhood acquaintance thrown in just to stir up drama when the guy you know the heroine will end up with skips town. I’m talking two guys, each with equally strong (but different) ties to her heart. Even though I had an idea of who Collins was setting her up with (and I agree with her choice), I spent the majority of books two and three quite content with her ending with either guy. Partly, because romance wasn’t really what this story was about–it’s merely a piece of the big picture (If that isn’t a lot like life, I don’t know what is.)

This is obviously not a light, fluffy read. It was fun in places, but also hard. After all that Katniss goes through though, happily ever after is not an ending that she can immediately reach. She’s been through too much to be completely okay by the end of Mockingjay’s 27 chapters, but she (well, they) is on her way there and still fighting like she has from page one. This series is real, it’s not a happy-go-lucky fairytale–but it’s also not entirely a tragedy. It is well-written and thought provoking and surprising (yes, it’s not something I experience very often so it should count for double). And quite possibly among one of the best series you will ever read.

I take that back–There is no possibly about it.

Who Should read This: Any one who enjoys future fics with post-Apocalypse premises.

This is a Good Example of:

  • First person narrative
  • Relationships between characters (both friends and enemies)
  • Character development
  • Plot and story twists
  • Balance of overall big picture with character’s romantic life
  • How to have you readers banging at the bookstore door begging for the next book (See specifically, Catching Fire)

This book is one my recommended reading list.

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