Posts Tagged ‘The Hunger Games’

I finally did it. I broke down and bought a pair of reading glasses. Actually, I bought two pairs. It had gotten to the point where I could no longer deny that I was morphing into my owly-looking parents who depended on their big, black spectacles to read  medicine labels, recipes, and the Sunday paper.  I had become them.

I knew it was probably time I got glasses when a string of my unintelligible, accidentally profane texts to my friends and family resulted in a couple of severed relationships. And there were also the unfortunate dinner mishaps because it was nearly impossible for me to discern the difference between “teaspoons,” “tablespoons,” and “cups” on the pages of a recipe book.  But perhaps the most difficult thing for me as I faced this vision issue was that I had abandoned reading because unfortunately my favorite genre, juvenile fiction, isn’t readily available in a “colossal print version.”

(Sigh). So off to the pharmacy I went. Since I have an inclination to lose things, I decided to pick up two pairs  of high quality glasses – a snazzy brown and black giraffe print and a blue and green stripe, both equally attractive.  And once I put them on, texts became clearer, dinners were tastier, and there was a whole world of juvenile fiction out there waiting to be read.

On Sunday, eager to dive into some reading, I rifled through Noah’s bedroom library and ran across a number of enticing titles but settled on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins since the movie is due to be released on March 23rd.  Noah’s teacher had recommended the series for him and I recalled how quickly he sped through each of the three books. I figured they had to at least be okay.

Before opening the book, I checked Amazon’s description of The Hunger Games so I would know a little bit more about it. Amazon said:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

When I sat down on my cozy green sofa with the book that morning, I became glued. Completely, one hundred percent adhered to this young adult novel —  to the extent that I think I only got up three times all day. Twice to use the bathroom and once to drop kick a meager dinner onto the kitchen table for Ron and Noah (there were a few chocolate breaks in there for me too, but those don’t really count).

From the first page, the book reeled me in,  pinned me down, and tied me up in a tight square knot. It was packed  with everything from horrific violence to a bit of romance (awwwww).  As I gripped the book reading, I noticed my knuckles were turning white and I’m also pretty sure I was holding my breath between page-turns. And I hate to say it, but I think I was so entranced in the story I might have drooled a little (reminder to self: purchase a reading bib). I read all day long and finally at 10:25 p.m on Sunday night, I finished the book…and did so with a real, live tear in my eye.

This post is by no means a “book review” but I do recommend reading the The Hunger Games, especially since the movie is due out in a few weeks. After reading it, I’m particularly curious how the makers of the movie will broach the story in light of the characters’ ages in the book (ages 12 to 18) and the level of violence. Honestly, as I read the book and the plot unfolded, I thought I would be personally appalled. But I wasn’t.  I just kept turning the pages — and I was utterly and completely sucked in (and feeling pretty happy that I could  read actual words again with my fancy new reading glasses on).

So, for those of you who have read the book, what did you think?  Do you have misgivings about allowing your child to read it or see the movie or do you think it’s no big deal? Do you have a favorite young adult book that you’d recommend for others? Please comment!

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