Unless you've spent the last few years in isolation, you have heard of The Hunger Games. I was saddened to find out that this book wasn't about countries struck by hunger and the fight they face every day to live long enough to procreate and further their family blood lines.
You may also be unhappy to hear that this is also not about a group of animals being made to share one small amount of food a la the Lion King when Scar throws a zebra leg to the Hyenas and they fight over it and tear it apart. Both of those stories would be more realistic and require less imagination. Which I guess to some would be a bad thing. Actually, this is a book trilogy (a fast I had to google in order to report) about kids living in a futuristic world that mimics Brave New World. Though that's only what I've gathered from what people have told me and the approximately 35 minutes I've seen of it while cleaning and organizing my house. So no, faithful followers, I have not read The Hunger Games.
The basic premise is that there are different classes of people. I don't know what separates them. One can only hope there is a rational physical reason behind it like eye color, height, or number of consonants in the family's last name. Once a year there is a fight to the death. It's kind of like Celebrity Death Match, the underrated MTV clay-mation show that I miss daily. That and Say What? Karaoke. I digress. One female and one male from each class is selected at random to fight for their life in the death ring, which I assume is like a large Game of Thrones set. Then at the end, one person is left standing. Literally. Below is a list of reasons why I think this happens every year in this futuristic world that conversely visually resembles the Medieval times:
- In order to maintain the class system, the highest class treats the lower classes as play things to prove their power - BORING
- In the absence of sports, movies, and televisions (though it's supposedly a futuristic world...?) there is no entertainment, so this has to suffice - BORING
- Life is not considered important or sacred. Therefore ending someones life is considered fun and exciting. That said, if life wasn't important, losing yours wouldn't be horrible and there's no reason for the substitution made by the main character -- more on that later - BORING
- There is over crowding and population is growing too quickly, most likely at a rate of 2 times the number of classes there are, therefore a survival of the fittest type of competition is the only fair way to fix the over crowding - Wait, is this some sort of metaphor for what will happen if we continue to bubblewrap our children and lives.... I just got depressed.
- They are trying to build a more perfect race (which is a comment that made me uncomfortable just writing it) and in order to do so, they want to kill off the lesser kids in order to create that
Back to the book. The main character, Katniss, is a teenager with the kind of bow-staff skills for which Napoleon Dynamite would do anything. She freaks out when her sister is supposed to go into the ring and volunteers to go in her place. She has some boy-friend or boyfriend or something at home who I basically don't know what happens with and she falls in love with or like or something with the boy from her class that goes in the ring with her. They decide to team up and win together. Then something happens. Then there are other books.
Other things I know about the books: they're actually very well written (unlike 50 Shades) and are very fast reads. They are entertaining for all ages - i.e. my 16 year old nephew has read them all, and so has my 43 year old manager from a previous job - and inventive...if you don't count that whole Brave New World/Game of Thrones/Perfect Race vibe.
So go pick it up if you are like me and are one of 3 people who haven't read this book!