Entering Panem, a couple of years later.

Posted: September 21, 2010 in books
Tags: ,

“The Hunger Games” was brought to my attention by Blooey, during last year’s Manila International Book Fair. She had been raving about the books and already began a countdown until the release of “Mockingjay”, which at that time, happened 11 months later—or about a month or so ago, as of this writing.

Trust me to get on the bandwagon about a month after the series ended. On a whim (and largely because I can be a cheapskate when it comes to new books), I decided to pick up a copy of “The Hunger Games” last week. Needless to say, when I got around to starting the book, I lost more than a few hours of sleep.

(This is the part where you’ll have to stop reading, in case I reveal some possible spoilers

I don’t want to get into the details of explaining post-apocalyptic created worlds, but in a nutshell, consider the first book to be a futuristic version of Battle Royale, coupled with a Big Brother-ish authoritarian government. Figuring at the center of all these is a girl (Katniss) coming from one of the poorest districts of this created world—independent, resourceful, and oftentimes, stubborn, in a hugely endearing way. Throw in two possible romantic entanglements in the form of very likable boys (Gale and Peeta), and you have the perfect formula for another hugely successful young adult series.

OK, OK. Let me take a few steps back. I have yet to read “Catching Fire” (ah, when to get a copy?) and “Mockingjay” (Bloo, please give me na lang your extra copy), so whatever thoughts I have of the series to date are largely formed by the first book.

In any case, I liked the first book of the series—it’s fast-paced and action-packed—to the point it makes me think it might have actually been better written as a screenplay. I say this because there’s something about Suzanne Collins’ writing that when she breaks off the time in the novel, it just feels a bit out of sync in the novel (but would probably work otherwise in a screenplay—but that’s just me). I thought the concept of having a government that took “ruthless” to a whole new level for the antagonist was genius (though the thought of having this in real life is quite a scary, scary thing). I loved Katniss as the story’s central character—tougher than any 16-year-old girl I know, but a bumbling fool when it comes to the throws of young love. I rooted for Peeta, in his affections, in how he tries hard to win the girl (yes, Team Peeta all the way). And even though the thought of spears and arrows piercing through a body scares and disgusts me to no end, I turned every single page until a winner was declared.

I see a movie forming in my head, and now I can’t wait to devour the second and third books.


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