The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have had this book gathering dust on my shelf for an obscene amount of time. In truth, I put off reading it because there are so many other books on my "To Read" list & when a push back happens, it's the YA novels that take it for the team. I'm glad to say that this was very much worth the read.
I know that everything to be said about this book & the entire series has likely been said, but I cannot let it go without saying that what struck me most & I find I am most interested in is, the Capitol, its inhabitants & how this entire society has devolved into this place we're transported too. Katniss as the narrator, took my breath away sometimes because she had a way of relating the matter-of-factness of some things & a seeming complacency for others. She could see inherent unfairness in the way things were set up to the advantage of the Capitol but didn't seem to bear any in her own district for not being the sorts to band together & offer assistance to one another in dire situations (her family almost starved to death when her father died & she knows that others have met that same fate). It struck me as an interesting study in "Us vs. Them". The same is touched on with the Avox girl, that Katniss recognizes.
Panem is a rough place all around. The feeling of helplessness is used as a weapon to wear people down & fear is used to keep people in their own district & not inclined to venture out to others for information or banding together. The Capitol must have great intimidation PR because the fences aren't electrified 24/7 but people haven't crossed in masses to meet.
As to the games themselves, I admit to feeling uneasy as I read this because I felt like a spectator (& of course that's the point). But, I am not a watcher of reality television. I haven't the fortitude for it. It makes me nervous, uncomfortable & I have a tendency to feel embarrassed for others & like I'm seeing something I shouldn't. Simply put, I'm an atrocious gawker. I don't want to see humanity at its worst & the idea of the Hunger Games or Flesh Fair (from the film A.I.) all playing out while people sit and watch, placing bets & having parties nags at my psyche. That said, I will read the remainder of the series because I need to know how this society resolves & characters reconcile.
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