One of the drawbacks of following lots of book bloggers and publishers on twitter is hearing and reading teasers for fabulous books day in and day out. So I’ve been hearing about the Hungergames and the forthcoming movie for ages, but hadn’t had chance to read it. Then (after some rather heavy hints ) I was given the trilogy for Christmas. All I needed was some time to read…
Fast forward a few months to spending some hours a day trapped under a baby. I’m catching up on my reading. I’ve read 4 books in the last 4 days. It’s brilliant. Not so good on the reviewing though, as balancing a laptop on a baby always seems wrong somehow
The first book I read over the weekend was The Hungergames itself. I’d been a bit nervous about reading it, as I always am when I pick up something that has been raved about all over the place. But from the first page I was hooked – and it wasn’t until I was partway through the second book that I noticed it’s written in first person present tense, which is a style that usually puts me off!
I usually find that that style of writing actually comes between me and the story, as it jars rather when I have to insert myself into the narrative. In this case though it’s more like Katniss moved into my mind and I co-existed with her, seeing through her eyes, feeling her pain and struggle, living her story. I don’t know quite how that was achieved, but it works. It wasn’t until I started rereading bits of the book that I managed to find excerpts that annoyed me (like the sequence where she puts on her leather hunting boots before her trousers. I mean, really?)
It was kind of a relief finding parts of the book that I could criticise. Is that bizarre? Probably. Nice to know that the author is human though, and the editor fallible
Seriously though, I really enjoyed thise book. And Big snatched it from my hands and is equally enraptured. I thought that the gore and violence (there is gore and violence throughout) would put her off, but she seems to have coped with it admirably well. And although I’m not sure that the complexities of the stories have really sunk in for her, I’m looking forward to discussing it when she’s done reading.
So, if you haven’t read the Hungergames, and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I’d highly recommend giving it a go. Thoughtful, provocative, well crafted teen SF that has plenty to offer to adults, on all sorts of different levels.