I’m not going to lie: I’m not a big reader. Actually, I guess I have to admit I’m pretty picky about stories in general: because I’m so interested in creating them, it’s become very hard to enjoy them without thinking how I would have done it myself. Only rarely do stories make it possible for me to switch off completely. Usually, these are the stories that break some sort of boundaries and consciously sail into the grey areas – the dubious, the uncertain, the creative, the impredictable. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is one of those.
It already starts when the premise of the book is stated: Katniss and twenty three other teenagers from a future world named Panem get dropped in a huge arena, where only one can come out alive. The idea isn’t clever an sich: the movie Battle Royale (or just plain old gladiators) has done it before. It’s in taking this concept seriously on an emotional level that the plot starts working: you know in advance you’re going to lose all but one of the characters you’re rooting for.
In succeeding in this, Collins manages to create a gripping, exciting story that’s so nailbitingly tense you just won’t be able to put it down. The story twists around on more than one occasion, and delivers a satisfying conclusion leading into a second part.
I for one can’t wait to start reading the second part, even if I am a bit weary: safe for the last few chapters, The Hunger Games was so well-rounded as a story that I don’t really want it to go on. But, when looking at the premise of the game, you know that a won battle doesn’t equal a won war – and that’s where this is leading up to…