Suzanne Collins has done it again… I thought that her first novel, “Hunger Games” was compelling, but I have been totally immersed in its sequel “Catching Fire”. Even as I sit down to write about it, I have already started on the final book in the series, “Mockingjay”. For the past two years these books have not been available in the library, because the minute one is returned by a patron it is on its way into the hands of the next person on the hold list. Adults and young adults are loving them!
The story takes place in the future. Following a terrible environmental problem (not detailed) the country of Panem (United States?) is divided into 12 districts and is ruled by a tyrannical government. Every year each territory is forced to send two children as gladiators to fight to the death in an arena created and manipulated by the evil “Capital”. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta (the baker’s soft son) are chosen from District Twelve. While Katniss is contemplating how soon to kill him off, Peeta declares that he has loved her since he was five. So, Collins has set up a romance (actually a triangle), a thriller, commentary on governments and the need for people to be involved, and characters the reader can identify with and care for. The movie will be released on March 23rd and I will be hosting a “Hunger Games” competition that evening at the Hartland Community Center. Hopefully it will be all fun and no bloodshed!