Obsession of the Week

This past weekend, I did not turn my laptop on once. I completely disconnected from the Internet and my phone because I was reading. It was awesome.

I was reading the first two books in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I needed to brush up on the books since the third and final book Mockingjay is being released next Monday at midnight. I can’t wait. I haven’t been this excited for a book release since Harry Potter in 2007.

The two Hunger Games novels, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, are teen books. However they are scary, smart, violent, and unpredictable like any other science fiction series. I picked up the first book in 2008. I had heard a lot about it and decided to give it a try. I remember sitting curled up in my basement, the TV off, only a light on beside me, being terrified at what I was reading, but unable to put the book down. That is the BEST part about reading. When you’re taken to a different world and you forget who you are and where you are. That is why books are my obsession. I only hope one day I can write a book that can give readers that kind of experience.

The basic story is focused on 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the future in a country called Panem that used to be North America. The Capitol, which runs the country, puts on the annual Hunger Games, where a boy and a girl between ages 12-17 are chosen from each district of the country to compete in the Games. The entire country watches on television as the children fight to the death. There can only be one winner.

I’ve read the first one three times now, and this time reading it again I was thrown by how brilliant it is. There are so many parallels to our current society in the book. It deals with so many complex issues, but is written for a teen audience and has elements teen girls will still find appealing. I love how strong Katniss is. So many teen books follow the image of Bella in the Twilight books, the weak young girl who waits for this magical guy to sweep her off her feet. Katniss is not like that at all. She hunts, she fights, she’s not interested in boys (even though boys are interested in her). She cares about her family and keeping them alive. She’s a great character for young girls to look up to.  The violence is scary and graphic at times, and its disturbing that it’s kids killing kids. But turn on the news, look at places like Chicago, and it’s happening in real life.

I’m heading to my local bookstore on Monday to pick up my copy of Mockingjay at midnight. I’m so excited!

Don’t let the genre of  “teen” make you pass up this book. I’ve passed it along to my sister, mother, and cousins and everyone loved it. I recommend it for anyone who loves to get lost in a good novel.

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