Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hungry for THE HUNGER GAMES...

Welcome to the first edition of the Tweeters' e-Book Club! This month's selection is none other than Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAMES!! Before we get to my thoughts on the matter, let's meet the other members of our group.

Abby Mumford
Alyson Peterson
Cynthia Reese
Elizabeth Ryann
Kelly Breakey
Patty Blount


And, now for my thoughts on the subject!!


“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Who said that? I know we’ve all heard the saying. I know we’ve all said it at one time or another throughout our lives. But, who said it first? No one? Beuller? Well, that doesn’t really matter now. The important thing is that it is true.

Especially when it comes to actual books.

So, I will admit, right here and now, that I DO judge books by their covers. I always have, and if you’re honest, dear reader, you will come clean as well. It’s the first thing we see when we pass the book by on the shelf. That first glimpse of the spine—whether in glaring orange (CANDOR) or jet black (GO ASK ALICE)—is what either draws us in or pushes us away.

This was the case with THE HUNGER GAMES. For months, I’d heard such great things about it. I have yet to find one person who has read Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel and not loved it, myself included. But, every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME, I happened upon this novel in the store, its stark cover art turned me off. And, even when I would open up the book to skim over the blurb, I would think to myself, “Self, this book is just not for you.”

Boy was I wrong!

Set in a distant (I hope) future upon the ruins of a place once known as North America, the nation of Panem now stands. Panem is comprised of twelve districts all ruled by the Capitol. Think Stalin and post-WWII communist Russia. The Capitol runs EVERYTHING with an iron fist and a cold heart. If you’re thinking that this type of climate is the perfect setting for a revolution, you’d be right, but the Capitol is as smart as it is ruthless. In fact, the Hunger Games were set up for the sole purpose of keeping the citizens of Panem in a constant state of fear.

What are the Hunger Games? They are a yearly event in which two tributes—one male, one female—are selected in a lottery-type setting from each district. Upon selection, the tributes are remanded into the Capitol’s custody and forced to compete against each other in the Games until there is only one left standing.

Our story starts with Primrose Everdeen being selected as the female tribute from District 12. Her older sister, Katniss, steps in immediately, volunteering to take Prim’s place as tribute.

Katniss is a perfectly flawed protagonist. First, she is a survivor. When her father died years before sending her mother into a downward spiral of depression, it was Katniss who kept the family from starving to death. Secondly, she is selfless, as evidenced by her volunteering to take Prim’s place.

But the thing I love most about Katniss is that she is a bitch. There. I said it. She is impulsive and headstrong and often spiteful. The Games are nothing more than a death sentence, and she refuses to play the part of the honored and humble tribute that the Capitol expects of her, which lands her in a heap of trouble when she enters the arena.

Now, onto the love story part of it all. Am I Team Peeta or Team Gale?

Well, in HUNGER GAMES, I was neither. I was Team Geeta…or Team Pale, whatever floats your boat. J I loved both boys for completely different reasons. Although not seen very much in THE HUNGER GAMES (the first of the trilogy), Gale is the perfect boy. He’s hot. He’s strong. He’s a fierce protector of those he loves most, and Katniss is one of his beloved. That’s for sure. Peeta, on the other hand, is…well, Peeta. He’s kind and good and selfless. And, he, too, loves Katniss. However, our MC is a little too pre-occupied with more important things…like surviving the Hunger Games.

And, that is all I’m going to tell you fun friends. Have you read this fantabulous book yet? How did you like it? Please share in the comments below and then head over to the other Tweeters’ blogs to read their thoughts on this month’s pick.

If you haven’t read THE HUNGER GAMES, you must go out and buy it right now. RIGHT NOW! And, while you’re at it, pick up the second book in this trilogy CATCHING FIRE. For those of you who have read both books, don’t worry! MOCKINGJAY hits stands next week, Tuesday August 24th! Yay!