Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

So, the blog Persnickity Snark recently compiled a list of the Top 100 YA Titles, as voted on by readers, authors, teachers, and more. I count 33 that I've read (oh, now 34), which I guess means I have another book list to dig into!*

The number one book on the list was The Hunger Games, and my Twitter friends assured me that I had to read it immediately. So I stopped by the bookstore near campus and bought it, so I'd have something to read while I had lunch. And holy crap, I could not put it down until I'd finished it.

It's the first book of a trilogy about this dystopian future where kids are selected from different districts to get in an arena and fight to the death. And it's all televised. I won't say any more about the plot except that it's almost unbearably tense, and gets slowly more horrifying as you realize (and I will spoiler code just in case) there isn't going to be some "nevermind! only kidding about all the death and killing!" deus ex machina at the end.

I love the fact that the heroine of this book is a girl, and one of the most kickass girls probably ever in literature. I would actually be tempted to teach this book. It would certainly get students' attention!

Anyway, obviously, I will now be reading the next two books in the series immediately. Because I have to know what happens next.

[*I would love some input about this list; do you think it's a good overview of the best YA books? And why the hell is Pride and Prejudice listed as YA? Elizabeth Bennet is 20, and in those days, that was practically middle aged! I'm just suspicious that it's like, oh, it's a lady book, let's call it YA.]



Blogger MB said...

I've only read about 20 on this list so I have some catching up to do. The best YA book I've read recently is No. 7 on the list, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Did you read it yet? If not, put that on your list stat! It's totally worth it.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Hey Mo!

Just a heads-up, the trilogy is by Suzanne Collins, though the Shirley may have stuck in your head because of the Shirley-Jackson-ish plot. Collins is a freaking genius. Her first series is oriented more toward tweens, but is fantastic as well; it is the Gregor the Overlander Chronicles.

7:51 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Ack! Blogger ate my comment. I don't have time to recreate it as I am busy reading Mockingjay as quickly as possible! But @MB will definitely put Book Thief on the list and, Kristin, thanks for the heads up, I fixed it! You're right about the Shirley Jackson connection too... :)

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I ran to the bookstore when it opened yesterday, bought Mockingjay and finished it last night. The joys of being unemployed! I love this trilogy, and the first book, Hunger Games, had me enthralled at the first page. Can't wait to hear what you think about the rest of the series.

12:34 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Maureen, what did you think of Mockingjay??! I must know!

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Yikes-I didn't check back to see your comment Mo-sorry I didn't respond sooner.

Spoilers Ahead-I don't know how to make them invisible-Spoilers Ahead!!

I wasn't sure to comment on this or your other post-but I agreed with everything you said about Mockingjay. I didn't necessarily feel it was a let down, but it just didn't feel quite as satisfactory an ending as maybe it could have been.

One issue I had with the book, I wished it were more character driven, I was getting tired of technical descriptions of the surroundings, especially in the tunnels at the end. I felt like she had set the scene in her other books so splendidly, I almost felt myself drifting when I was reading the descriptive stuff. Unusual for me, I love when authors set the scene. I just wanted to know more about the people and what was happening between them. I also felt the Gale, Peeta thing was wrapped up too quickly, almost like an afterthought.

That being said, I read it straight through, but I do feel like it is the least interesting of the trilogy. The first book-I was blown away, so well written and different. Katniss is such a kick ass heroine, the anti-Bella.

4:58 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Yeah, the Gale/Peeta thing definitely felt like an afterthought. And I too was more interested in the characters than the descriptions at the end! I think I'll read it again and see how I feel about it the second time. The first time I read it was more I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, so maybe I can appreciate it more the second time!

6:35 PM  

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