When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
Last year when I was really starting to find my feet in the book blogosphere, this book was starting to get some serious coverage, and very complimentary comments, and these only gained momentum, for it’s US release date last October.
Well here in the UK, we’ve had to wait until this year to get our hands on it, and see for ourselves if it could live up to the hype.
The premise initially seems to be a mix of Battle Royale, Lord of the Flies and Big Brother, and yes it is a mix of those things, but it has it’s own very clear identity as well.
Set during an unspecified time in the future, the world is a very different place, and when North America collapsed, the state of Panem rose in it’s place. Life wasn’t easy, and when the original 13 ‘districts’ attempted to rebel, and were defeated with District 13 completely destroyed part of the surrender terms, required each of the remaining 12 districts to send two of they young people to the Capitol each year. To take part in the Hunger Games, a brutal (and televised) fight to the death, where only one person can survive and return home, with much needed food for their district.
Sixteen year old, Katniss Everdeen, has had to look after her family ever since her father died in a mining accident, some years previous, and when the unthinkable happens and her twelve year old sister’s name is drawn out of the hat, at the Reeping ceremony as the female representative for her district, Katniss, immediately volunteers to go in her place, and she is joined by the bakers son, Peeta Melark.
Before she knows it, she is being whisked off to the Capitol, where she and Peeta are styled, coached, tested and trained, before being dropped into the gaming arena, and the seventy-fourth Hunger Games begins.
I could go into the plot much deeper than that, as really you could learn that from reading the cover, but, this is one of those books where it is much better discover the plot and the frighteningly ‘real’ dystopian world, Suzanne Collins has created.
In his cover blurb, Stephen King, states:
“Constant suspense… I couldn’t stop reading.”
And he couldn’t be more right, if this book doesn’t make my top books of the year list, then I have some bloody good books to read between now and December, this is a powerful page-turning adventure story that will linger long after the last page is turned.