Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you've been hearing the buzz about the latest novel-turned-film sensation, "The Hunger Games."
The novel and movie take place in a post-apocalyptic world controlled by an all-knowning Orwellian government. Residents are split into 12 different districts throughout the country, and most of them live in poverty and work in harsh conditions. Each year, the government (known as the Capitol) puts on The Hunger Games to remind the districts that they still must pay for the revolutions that went on in the past. The games require two children from each district to be thrown into a death match with all the others. Only one can survive.
The storyline doesn't seem like it would appeal to many people — just because the basic premise is so violent. Who would want to read about a bunch of kids being forced to kill each other? But when you start to really get into the meat of the novel, you realize just what a dystopian society that Katniss (the protagonist) and her counterparts live in. They are just pawns in a world controlled by so few. You can't help but sympathize with them and root for them as they make their way through the games.
After lining up to see the movie at midnight when it came out (yes, I really did), I would suggest that you go ahead and read the first novel before seeing the movie. The movie flows really quickly and you won't be able to pick up all of the nuances and details that you would have from reading the book.
It's a quick read and is one that engrosses you from start to finish. As soon as you're done, you'll be immediately tempted to read the second book, "Catching Fire," as soon as possible.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
[IMAGE: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) in THE HUNGER GAMES. Photo credit: Murray Close]