Sunday, May 27, 2012

a kids' book about kids killing kids......... WTF?

I'm surely a little late in the 'game' with this particular review - I doubt there's a single reader out there who isn't fondly familiar with Katniss and her kick ass contenders in the arena!

It's not a new concept, in fact the idea of fighting to the death before an avid audience is as ancient as the Romans and their Gladiators.

Many many centuries later, sometime in the 80's, Arnie (my favorite action hero of the time - after good old Sly of course) was picked to play a pumped up 'modern' on screen version of a gladiator in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's (or should I say Richard Bachman's) book The Running Man, where convicts were forced to fight it out to the death in a staged TV show.

Even more recently Gamer (2009) hit the screens - a contemporary spin on The Running Man, where internet gamers can actually take control of real human beings - starring the yummy Gerard Butler.

But, no author (or screen writer) has ever had the chilling audacity (or balls) to put children in the ring...... until now!

The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)
Genre: dystopian/science fiction

WTF: 10/10      Talk about: 10/10       Book Smarts: 8/10       LOL: 2/10       Thumbs up: YES!

Arguably the best book our club has read to date - it was an all resounding unanimous big up for Suzanne Collins! She definitely 'rocked the Casbah' with this almighty HIT! Most of the ladies in our group went straight on to read part 2 and 3 of the trilogy, without coming up for air. Shame on this Momma for not having found the time yet, however, it’s definitely on my to-do list!

I'm proud to say that I was the one who recommended this brutal and bold bestseller to our book club, after picking up on its soaring popularity through my Facebook buddies. Since then The Hunger Games has rocketed off the charts, first with book sales and now with the Blockbuster movie screenings selling out all over the US!

The story is set in a futuristic country where former hostilities and revolutions have orchestrated the leaders to create a chilling annual celebration known to all as the Hunger Games. Every year all the kids in each of the opposing districts are put into a raffle - it's a tombola (or a lottery) with the biggest booby prize imaginable! The games are a punishment to all the different districts, to maintain animosity, and instill fear and hatred, reminding all of their former crimes and the ruthlessness of their leaders......

The idea reminds me of the draft - and the ruthless recruitment of young boys (not near ripe for the picking) to war in some countries (heartrendingly still happening today). The Hunger Games, however, are open for girls and boys alike, ranging from 12 to 18, there is no age or gender discrimination, incongruously giving our young feminine readers a bit of a self-empowerment boost - thanks to our ahead-of-the-times author.

And after meeting our strong female heroine, Katniss (finally a more subtle version of Lara Croft) no one can help but fall for her quiet strength and prowess with a bow and arrow - If we hadn't already tagged our baby bump after two of Momma's top female literary heroines, 'Katniss' might have been a tough contender on our baby name list as well as within The Hunger Games!

She has a ruthless survival streak off-set by a lovable girl-next-door nature, successfully capturing the reader's heart and support from the get-go. The desire to see her win this appalling tournament evokes a strange and shameful guilt. How do you root for a winner when the only way she can possibly win is if other children die!

The bloody battle is aired live throughout the districts - like our modern reality phenomenon, Big Brother, and much like the addictive show, the entire population is glued to watching- in spite of the public's outward distaste. It's a horrible and horrific idea, which has the reader appallingly transfixed from cover to cover!

In spite of it being classified as a Young Adult book (rated PG13 on the big screen) the gruesome and grizzly undertones might have some of you Mommas out there shying away from letting your kids have a scoop (although unfathomably it's probably harder for us Mommas to stomach than an ingenuous child). It is too easy to read, yet sometimes impossible to absorb, containing dark passages with warped and twisted ideas that had me - a once upon a time a casual reader of Layman, Koontz and King - shaken to the core......

No doubt your fella will love this one as much as we girlies did! In spite of a luscious love triangle, this sci fi-thriller is no sappy romance! It’s a story like no other, with as shocking and terrifying a concept as I've ever come across, packing one helluva punch!

I give it a 10/10 on the WTF. 10/10 on the talk about ratings, and a mightily impressive 8/10 on the book smarts rating! LOL gets a lowly 2/10 - but seriously, it's not really a laughing matter! This is most definitely a MUST read, and I give it 100% Thumbs up!  

The movie blockbuster burst out on the big screen in March this year, and it’s still playing in some theaters across the USA, so if I haven't convinced you to 'click' at least go and see the flick!

Suspenseful and masterful - it's a trilogy not to be forsaken!!

Let the Games Begin!

No comments:

Post a Comment