The Hunger Games Era

Becoming wrapped up in a book series was a feeling I’d been sorely missing during the last few months. The emotional investment you develop in the characters of a great novel is definitely the best part – even better is when you find other people who have not only read the same book, but are willing to discuss it obsessively (and compulsively) with you until the excitement wears off.

Most of my generation found that experience of kindred obsession in Harry Potter; and even when the books ended, there was still the hope of the movies to cling on to, so saying goodbye to that world wasn’t abrupt. But now, after the premiere of the final movie I was convinced that the awe-inspiring feeling of being invested of series bigger than ones’ self would be near impossible to stumble upon again.

Lightening never strikes in the same place twice, right? What were the chances of finding another hit series so soon?

I meandered through series for a while hoping that devotion would return. It really was as melodramatic as it seems. Sometimes I felt a glimmer of it, but often I couldn’t make it past the first book of a series. The Great and Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray was one that held my interest for a while; the promise of a movie made sweetened the appeal, but after three years of waiting for the motion picture, and three years of re-reading, my attention waned. So much sorrow, so much book-withdrawal!

Its one thing to enjoy a book, and its another be engrossed by it. The difference was obvious when I picked up the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

This book blew.my.mind.

This series blew my mind. It shocked my cardiovascular system back into functioning. It was fast paced, but well developed. The characters were all so flawed, but I found myself both siding with them and against them all the time.

When I anticipate the second book of a series at least 3/4 of the way into the first one, I know I’ve found a gem.

To sweeten the deal, a movie version has been placed into production, with cast and sets all lined up and at the ready. Harry Potter was a phenomenal book series, but I always found the movies sub-par, with the actors disappointing me more and more as they grew older. But the cast of this movie … I would be hard pressed to imagine people more fitting. This just adds to the excitement.

So, here’s a short synopsis to entice of anyone who hasn’t been introduced to this series, and to anyone who has, let this refresh your memory:

Katniss Everdeen, 16, lives a society that is the futuristic version of our own. The world as we know it has undergone a dystopian reincarnation . North America has been divided into 13 Districts, all controlled by the Capitol. Every year, since the new regime was established, the Capitol has devised an event called the Hunger Games to remind all people of the Districts of the control the Capitol holds over them (to prevent them from rebelling). Two children from each district compete in these annual Hunger Games, and the victor can only be crowned as the last person left alive. When Katniss is sent to compete in the games, a hidden agenda emerges for which she acts as the catalyst, and a revolution begins unlike anything she could have imagined.

The supporting characters of Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne, Effie Trinket and Haymitch Abernathy are fantastic! No one is the stereotypical hero, everyone has flaws, and that is what is most endearing. The action is phenomenally written and the suspense is palpable. All in all, this series can be publically, privately and shamelessly obsessed over.

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