Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hunger Games

I'm generally not that into fantasy literature.  [I make exceptions for disgusting amounts of talent like JR Tolkien].  If you didn't spend a lifetime crafting that fantasy world you're writing about, I'm probably going to see all the holes in it and get irritated with it, pretty fast.  [Not that I could write anything better.  I'm just saying].
I'm also generally not that into young adult fiction.  Now, this is NOT across the board; one of my all time favourite books is YA fiction [The Book Thief], I grew up on Anne of Green Gables, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is pretty dang fantastic.  The Twilight series can kiss my ass in all its stupid vampire overwrought soap opera gag-me-ness, Harry Potter is totally MEH, but PEOPLE.  The Hunger Games ate me.  I would not even have picked one of these books up except that (1) someone gave it to me for my birthday, and (2) we were required to read the first book for my book club.  If we had only been required for book club, I would have skipped it.  Same with the gift.  But the two together nudged me to open it and I was caught, hook, line, sinker, in the very first chapter.  [Not the first page.  It was no Glass Castle as far as opening lines go, but definitely partway through the first chapter I was all, "Kids?  What kids?  Shut up I'm reading."]

This book stole my mind and ate it for three whole days until I finished the book, and then it stole it again for the second book, and again for the third.  I was so scarred by some of the violence in it, I thought I cannot see this movie.  But the story is so compelling that I was destroyed when it was finished so I went to see the movie just so I could engage with the story again.  And I loved the movie; it was made carefully with little actual gore despite the violent premise of the book.  And then you know what I did?  I went home, picked up the first book, and read the entire series, AGAIN.  And actually it was BETTER the second time around, because I wasn't in a constant panic to find out what happens, so I was able to engage with the non plot driven parts of the books, too.  Like, wow.  Fifty thumbs up, dudes.

Oh, and it's not really true fantasy lit, since there are not fantastical characters in it, except maybe the capitol humans with their freaky plastic surgery and tattoos.  But it is set in the future, after a huge war disaster--kind of like The Road but with surviving societal infrastructure.  Lots of imaginative projection going on, and a lot of construction with regards to setting and culture and etc.  I would describe the setting as a cross between The Gladiator, Schindler's List, and The Lord of the Flies.  I think it does qualify as fantasy lit, but just a heads up that it's no Lord of the Rings.  Regardless, it grabbed me and ate me and I think it might do that to you, too.

[I used to do book and movie reviews more often; you know I'm resurfacing after pregnancy and birth and babyland when I start doing reviews again.  Hello!  It's nice to be back =) ]


Tania Grim said...

Haha I was so there 2 months ago lol .

Louise Chapman said...

Uh oh, now I might have to read it again!!! Loved the series too. I remember I read the first book and then someone told me it was a trilogy (I had no idea!) and i was SO EXCITED to read the other two books:)

nancy said...

well, you got me reading these, which I loved and now Patsy got me into the "Girl with the dragon tatto and I am so hooked! Am finished the 2nd book. Won't let myself get #3 or I won't get anything done around here. Saving it for August.