For over a year I have had friends tell me I just had to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. One friend even bought the series for me. I agreed I would read it, but I just hadn't gotten to it yet. Finally last week, I decided I would read just the first one before I had to move on to my book club book for this month. I was right when I thought it wouldn't take me very long to read. I was wrong when I thought I wouldn't mind waiting to read the other two books in the series.
I wasn't very far into the book before I began to question my ability to stomach the storyline. Since I am quite possibly the last person to get into this series, I won't worry too much about spoilers, but be forewarned. Children forced to fight to the death? That is horrific! And this is considered a Young Adult novel? Well I suppose a teenager is likely to have a slightly different perspective than a mother might have, so perhaps it sits differently with them. For me, all I could think was "Who lets this happen?" And don't try to tell me it was the only way to avoid total destruction. Someone would have to totally destroy me before I would stand by and let someone take away my child and make a game of his or her death. Did you ever read "The Lottery"? It is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948 and is considered classic American literature. The Hunger Games felt oddly similar, yet much more gruesome.
Once I was able to continue with my reading, I was able to enjoy the adventure aspects of Katniss' ordeal, but I am still disturbed. I know- it's a book, it's not real. As I've mentioned before, I become very involved in what I read. Could this ever really happen? In what kind of world? What events could possibly lead up to such a thing? It is my understanding that some of these questions will be addressed in the rest of the series. While I am thoroughly sickened, I am also very interested in knowing what will happen next. I will read the rest of the series, mostly because I can't stop now.
What did you think? Were you as distressed as I was?