Friday, April 13, 2012

A Fantastic Young Adult Novel

Film adaptations sometimes manage to ruin a book. The mediums differ vastly and most movies can never replicate what was contained within the book. Producers, writers and directors try to take the main plot, themes and characters and condense them into 90 minutes or two hours of film to portray the story. Some movies do the originating book justice while some just flop at attempting to render the best parts of the storyline.

Since its release in 2008, Suzanne Collins has had fans were raving about her popular work of fiction, “The Hunger Games,” but her story has been somewhat tarnished by the film adaptation. Those who haven’t watched the film or still have not read this young-adult novel will find it clever, sad and full of action. While the book may be geared more for an online high school course, it still manages to serve as a great work of fiction for any avid reader.


Set in Panem, a post-apocalyptic country formed out of North America, pits 24 individuals – 12 boys and 12 girls – to battle to the death. The city, divided into 12 districts and a capital, use the Hunger Games as a source of quelling rebellions by staging yearly tributes. These games help keep the peace as well as serve as a source of entertainment.

Each contestant of the 12 districts becomes the source of media attention. Participants will use the media to help sway audiences to send gifts, including medicine, food and equipment to survive. With Katniss narrating the story, readers will see the action unfold as the young, 16-year old fights for survival using her hunting skills to win her freedom and life.


Action, murder and suspense aside, “The Hunger Games” manages to include a bevy of themes that resonate today. From social class to love, Collins aims to show individuals how social unrest is easily quelled by a few hands working to keep the peace. A more prominent theme appears to be the idea of sacrifice. The theme of sacrifice is present in most chapters, showing how one individual, Katniss, has scarified her own life by taking her sister’s place as tribute for the games. More importantly, each contestant is sacrificing his or her life to keep the civil peace.

From a riveting plot to a bevy of themes, “The Hunger Games” is a must read for anyone. Although it would be useful, you don't need to have a librarian degree from an accredited school to understand that this novel is full of great themes and an amazing story.


Shmoop (2012)

Scholastic (2012)

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