Friday, September 10, 2010

Bookshelf: Suzanne Collins



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Addicted. I am addicted to Katniss Everdeen. Holy moly. Listen, I know "The Hunger Games" is considered YA but it's some serious stuff. Like bloody, political, gruesome stuff. And amazing. Absolutely amazing. So obviously I will be heading up to Borders after work to get the second book in the trilogy, "Catching Fire" (and I'll probably get "Mockingjay" too because what's the point of reading part two and not reading part three?)
I've always been totally in awe of authors that create entire worlds. For example, Tolkien and Rowling and now I must add Suzanne Collins to the list. It's one thing for a writer to create characters and scenarios in this reality but it's an entirely different thing when an author creates a whole new world. New places, new creatures, new rules, new languages. It just shows the scope of their imagination and also shows me just how stunted my own is. Although, if you knew the extent of my dreams then we'd have something else entirely to discuss. But back to "The Hunger Games"...
Our heroine, sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, has grown up in District 12 of Panem (the post-apocalyptic North America which has since been divided into 12 districts - well there were 13 but the 13th was destroyed when they tried to rise up against the Capitol) which was once known as Apalacchia. A loooong time ago.
Suffering and poverty are rampant in the districts while The Capitol rules in luxury from high in the mountains once known as the Rockies. To show their power over everyone else, each year the Capitol holds The Hunger Games in which a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are picked from each District. Those 24 kids are then thrust into an arena which spans miles and all differet sorts of terrain and are let loose to kill one another until there is one victor, who will then go off and live the life of luxury for the rest of his/her life. The entire thing is filmed for all of Panem to watch and often the games are altered by the Gamemakers to affect those fighting for survival in the arena, to give someone an edge or to force those in hiding to face their opponents. It's gruesome, it's disgusting, but it's their reality.
When Katniss steps into District 12's town square for "the reaping" (picking the two who will be sent off to the games) she is worried about her best friend Gale, whose name has been entered nearly 80 times this year. So it's beyond shocking when her little sister Prim, a mere twelve, is picked. Katniss steps in to take her sister's place without hesitation and it's when her District silently salutes her that she realizes she is headed for a death sentence. She can't, however, fight the decision or even speak out against the games because everything is watched and overheard in Panem. The Capitol controls everything and doesn't miss a thing. It's how they keep control over the masses.
I think that's what scared me the most. Not the kids killing each other, or the suffering, or the trying to survive through awful conditions. It was that The Capitol was always watching, always listening, always waiting to take control and keep everyone down. And that's a scary thought, having no real say in one's own life.
So I'm excited to see where the second and third books take Katniss. I'm praying for an uprising because what would be the point of a trilogy if at the end everyone was still miserable and the bad guys won? I mean, what would LOTR have been like if Tolkien had let Sauron get a hold of the ring? Same with if Voldemort had killed Harry, like really killed Harry beyond that being naked in King's Cross business. I won't review those, the second and third Collins books, because what can I really say about them without ruining it for people who haven't yet picked them up. So instead, my next review will be... actually I don't know. Because I had planned to read Diana Gabaldon's 6th book but I can't review that either without giving everything away in the first five books of the Outlander series. Sigh. So I guess no reviews for a while. Boo.
And on a personal note, I am avoiding editing my third manuscript (no surprise there) and so I've begun writing my fourth book. It's back in the YA vein and I'm OBSESSED. That's really the best way to be when writing. For "Summer At Nineteen" I wasn't obsessed at all so it took me on and off four years to get through. "Loving Maribel" however, I was wholeheartedly obsessed with and that only took a year (could have taken less if I wasn't the queen of procrastination). My third, which I won't yet tell you the title of just yet, took three months. The fourth, I'd like to be done with by the holidays if at all possible. We'll see how I fare. Unfortunately, I'll be kept away from my computer next week for a wedding so I won't be able to write. At all. It's tres sad, I know.
Anywho, happy reading to you all and go pick up "The Hunger Games"!
~Stephanie
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2 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVED this too, far more than I ever expected! I'm reading Catching Fire right now and it seems even better than HG so far! Can't wait to see how it all ends!

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  2. Well I went up to Borders and bought both Catching Fire and Mockingjay so I feel like this weekend I'll not sleep at all because I'll have to know what happens!

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