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The Hunger Games [Kindle Edition] review

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Starred Review. Reviewed by Megan Whalen Turner
If there really are only seven original plots inside the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the nice guy never is. Yet we've got Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, Your Home of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to some specific date, or weighted it down with a lot of finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers can be a gripping story set inside a postapocalyptic world when a replacement to the Usa demands a tribute from each of the territories: two children to become used as gladiators in the televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to adopt the host to her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, jane is entirely centered on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the significance of holding on one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a brand new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has got the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has got the grace to get a good loser.It's no accident these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. Hawaii of Panem—which needs to hold its tributaries subdued and its particular citizens complacent—may have come up with Games, but mindless television could be the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes people that don't conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, celebrate this the best book in the right time. What happens as we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be enthusiastic about grooming, we'll talk funny, and our sentences can finish with all the same rise as questions. When Katniss is distributed to stylists to become made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked before them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that we are you can forget self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order never to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It's not only the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is who watch. Katniss struggles to win not only the Games though the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this really is the first book inside a series, not things are resolved, and what exactly is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We understand what she's got given as much as survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to master more.
Megan Whalen Turner could be the author with the Newbery Honor book The Thief and its sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. The following book inside series will probably be published by Greenwillow in 2010.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Grade 7 Up -In a not-too-distant future, the Usa of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to become replaced by Panem, a country divided to the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to engage in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation in the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem since the 24 participants are made to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens needed to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to adopt her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son from the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of your lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives that have trained with this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will certainly resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator.' Book one of a planned trilogy.Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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