The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Sometimes I have to take a break from reading new books. After a series of disappointing reads from the library, I felt it was time to stop searching and just enjoy reading one of my favorites: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

Of course, The Hunger Games┬áhas become very popular of late, what with the upcoming release of the film in March 2012. I won’t lie, I’m super excited for the movie. I fully approve of (almost) all of the casting choices and I think it’s going to be great.

But I digress. The trilogy, consisting of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, take place in a future society that lives on what used to be the United States. This country is made up of 13 Districts that surround the ruling Capitol. The Districts rebel against the Capitol, causing the Capitol to destroy District 13 and devise a punishment for the remaining 12 Districts. This punishment: The Hunger Games. Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are “reaped” from each District to become “tributes”. The 24 tributes are sent to a vast arena, which could be anything from a desert to a windswept, icy mountain. In the arena, the tributes compete to stay alive; the last living tribute is the victor. At the opening of The Hunger Games, we meet Katniss Everdeen, a young woman of District 12 who cares for her mother and younger sister.

I won’t continue, since from this point on in the plot, spoilers abound. Just read it. It’s young adult fiction, but it has an edge to it. (Clearly, as the premise is pretty barbaric.) The trilogy is breathless and exciting, emotional and complicated. It was great to once again be swept up by a story; that’s what I look for in books.

Up next: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods