Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Length: ~360 pages
Where Word Nerd's copy came from: Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Katniss Everdeen has grown up in District 12, one of the poorest parts of the new Panem country. She hunts and forages for food to keep her mother and younger sister fed, a Robin Hood-type for her struggling town. But the political powers of the day are again holding the Hunger Games, a reality-TV show-slash-Olympics-slash-execution, in which 24 teenagers from across the country are forced to compete for their very survival. Each year, there can only be one winner.
Banter Points: Hunger Games came recommended to Word Nerd highly from the high school freshmen that she mentors and it was a recommendation worth listening to. Even though Word Nerd knew there was a sequel to this book out already, she found herself worrying whether Kat would be OK throughout the story. The story is a page-turner for sure!
Collins writing is evocative and compelling and violent. She puts her characters through their paces -- so much so at times, it's shocking and uncomfortable. Only the coldest of hearts would be undisturbed by the very premise of the Hunger Games. But like all the really good sci-fi, it's not that hard to imagine our society crumbling into this dystopia.
Bummer Points: Readers beware -- this book is so unputdownable that if you start reading it before bed... watch out! Word Nerd lost sleep over this one... even after she closed the book, she wondered what would happen to Kat. Give yourself the time to read this gem in one sitting or you'll be sorry!Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like dystopian stories and/or heart-pounding reads, Hunger Games is a must. Also, if you know a teenager, get on their coolness radar by reading this one.