I'm always game for an after-the-apocalypse book about the future. Two of my favorites for adults are by Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake and The Handmaid's Tale), & then there seems to be a plethora of books for kids about the ominous future (The Missing series & The Shadow Children, both by Margaret Peterson Haddix for example). So I was pretty excited about reading The Hunger Games anyway, but add to that a friend at work loaning me her copy & the movie coming out soon & I was ready to jump in!
My first impressions of the book were good. The background of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, is very full & helps the reader feel like they've really gotten to know her. And the whole concept of taking children as tribute reminds me a great deal of Greek mythology, the legend of Theseus to be exact. It was going in a great direction, as far as I was concerned!
But then the games began. And man, I gotta say it's very frightening & gory! Yes, I've read scary books before, but I've never read one this graphic that was meant for kids between the ages of 12-17. The terror that the characters are in is horrible, plus the fact that these kids are killing each other! These characters are between the ages of 12-18 & they're in some cases slaughtering each other with abandon! Wow! It was enough to give me the heebie-jeebies when I went for a run today at the park--there was no one else there & the wind was blowing & I kept expecting some starving deranged teen to come running out of the woods with a spear or just a big rock & do me in!
I think Suzanne Collins did an excellent job of invoking the terror, horror, & overall desperation that a kid would feel in those circumstances. Obviously it worked on me! But I just knew that everything would be wrapped up in the end & there would be some kind of answer to all this...
But there wasn't. It just left me hanging. And I know this is a series of books & she wants to leave me hanging so I'll read the next one, but I was annoyed. Because this was more like a first part of a novel rather than book one of a trilogy to me.
Between the graphic violence & the sudden ending, I gave this book just 3 stars.
But that's not gonna stop me from reading the next one.