14 December 2010

Christmas reading has begun!

So, I just whizzed through The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. For one, I read ridiculously fast and another, it's a young adult book so the font is super huge. Most importantly, it was actually a really good story! I've realized this is my favorite type of book, not young adult, but the kind that takes me to another world and sucks me in for hours. These books definitely did that and I haven't been able to stop thinking about them since I finished the third book this afternoon.

I first read about The Hunger Games in The Daily Texan earlier this semester but of course, there was no time for pleasure reading until Christmas. Now that the break has officially begun, I've already devoured this series and a few other randoms like Night in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (which wasn't that good because I kept picturing Diane Lane, who I dislike for no particular reason).

The Hunger Games revolves around 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen who lives in District 12 of Panem, which is what North America has become. The author never really hints at how far in the future the story takes place but it's been 74 years since the Capitol, the harsh central government, took back control of all 12 districts from the rebels. The Hunger Games is an annual televised event that requires each district to send one boy and one girl between 12 and 18 to fight to the death in a Capitol-built arena until only one is left alive: the victor. The Games serves as a way for the Capitol to continue punishing the districts for rebelling in the past, sort of keeping them in line and afraid.

Before I actually read the book, I was reminded of the Japanese movie Battle Royale. I wonder if Suzanne Collins has ever seen it. In the movie, one class is chosen to participate in the annual Battle but unlike the Hunger Games, where the participants know ahead of time they will be going in to fight and even undergo training, the students in Battle Royale have no idea until they wake up with explosive collars attached to their neck. Similar to the books, they must kill each other until only one is left. If after three days, there still isn't a winner, those left will all be killed with the collars.

I don't really want to get into how the books and that movie compare because I'm more interested, fascinated really, in the idea that our world could ever turn into something like the one Collins created in her book. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. And now I can't stop thinking about it!

I decided to start another book as soon as I finished the third Hunger Games book because I wanted to distract myself. It's called Shopgirl by Steve Martin, who I had no idea had written anything (but strangely did know that he plays the banjo). At the rate I've been reading so far this break, it looks like a trip to Half-Price Books is in order. I need to stock up for the winter!

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