So, I know I'm not the first person to talk about The Hunger Games, but I couldn't just not do it. So here's me doing it! My review for my fellow Book Bandits:
"Picture the future, not long from now, in a war-ravaged Panem (America). Food is tough to scavenge, and the government keeps it that way. Starvation is not uncommon in the Districts (states).
Watch this girl. She hunts illegally to feed her family. She'll volunteer herself to save her younger sister. She'll even fight to the death in a government-mandated murder match, because otherwise she'll be killed herself. She's Katniss Everdeen. Her biggest problem, though, is not what she expects: Peeta, a boy who once saved her life, is one of the 23 other tributes she must murder. Brutally. On national television. Who is the real enemy, here? That's the question she has to answer before she's faced with life or death."
I gave it my personal 5 star rating.
It sounds brutal--and it is brutal--but it stays PG13. It's written for a young adult audience, which is approximately 13 and up. I don't recommend this to readers younger than that.
I read the whole series about, oh, a year and a half ago. I originally heard about it from this awesome organization called YALSA, which stands for "Young Adult Library Services" (I'll have to post about it sometime). This organization hosts a yearly book competition called "Teen's Top Ten (TTT)." The second book in the series (Catching Fire) was one of the nominees for TTT, so I read both the first two books.
They left me in a haze for days. I couldn't stop thinking about them. I eagerly awaited the release of the third and final book (Mockingjay), and devoured this one equally as fast.
I'm not sure I've ever anticipated a movie so much before. On March 23, I'm pretty sure I'll be watching it. Immediatly. Here's the official movie trailer--it's really cool! Check it out.
Tip: If you're running low on reading time, you can download free audiobooks from the library's website. I listen to these books on my ipod whenever I drive or go for a walk.
For Scribblers: these books taught me a lot about pacing my story line. Once we're introduced to Katniss and her world, surprises pop up practically in every chapter. The plot twists are fantastic! The author made detail count, as well. Every sentence creates a believable war-torn nation suffering under the thumbs of a 1984-esque government. These books are fantastic for learning how to keep a reader glued to the page.
Christy Dares you #2:
I recommend reading this series (or even just the first book) for the story, at least. Then, I recommend studying the plot and structure. Every page on which a plot twist occurs, stick a sticky note. By the end, your book will look like it's a preschool bird project. By doing this, you can learn to pace your own writing. Take it from the master--Suzanne Collins.