'The Hunger Games'

Hungry for a Good Book?You might want to give in to the hype; 'The Hunger Games' is an incredible read. 

I finally gave in last weekend after weeks of my daughter begging me to let her read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Have you heard of it? Or have you been living under a rock?

Maybe you saw the movie this weekend. I’m waiting for the crowds to die down and to finish all three books. Then I will head to the big screen to see the film.

Initially, I thought the premise of the book was too violent for my daughter or me to read. I usually cannot stomach violence in movies or books, especially if children are involved.

My daughter’s incessant pleading finally got to me, so, I downloaded the sample to my Nook, just to get a feel for what it was all about. I read the first page and was hooked. I finished it in two days. I would have finished it quicker than that but life kept interrupting my reading.

I haven’t devoured a book like that in years, probably since before I had kids. There’s just never enough time to get lost in a book but this trilogy is so engaging, I made the time. I’ve stayed up late to read and found ways to sneak in a chapter or two during the day.

My 11-year-old is caught up in The Hunger Games as well. She has always been somewhat of an advanced reader and mature for her age so she's able to comprehend the complexities of life in post war Panem, the fictional world of The Hunger Games.

There are definitely adult themes in the books but nothing graphic or too adult in nature.

Her twin sister, my other 11-year-old, read the same sample and didn’t quite get it. She decided not to read the book. It is definitely not a children’s book but may appeal to the more avid and seasoned young readers. I would suggest reading it first if your child is asking about it. From what I have heard, it is not recommended for children under 6th grade but I know of many who have read it.

While the premise of the books is barbaric, I find myself able to look beyond the gory details of the so called “Hunger Games” and get caught up in the higher dynamics of the book. Family, love, friendship, justice, freedom, and the value of life resonate throughout the story. Katniss, the main character, pulls you into this bizarre war torn world and you root for her to make it through the bloody battles that the children of Panem are doomed to participate in.

I give two thumbs up for all three books—The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I am halfway through the last book and am trying to drag it out as long as I can. I don’t want it to end.

If you’re looking for a book or books to get swept away with, give in to the hype and read it. I bet you will devour it like I did.

By Janet Tumelty