As I almost got run over walking work today, I realised, holding up an apologetic hand to the driver I had definitely angered, that I seem to occupy more time in my head than I do in the world around me. Nearly getting run over was my own fault; risking lives is not an activity I partake of often, I appear to be a slave to my imagination. Daydreaming is incredibly enjoyable, if not for my need to work and socialise I would probably spend more time thinking about what could happen, than experiencing what is.
That must be part of the appeal of books they are an alternative world to both my imagination and the one I’m living. Books open up a whole other universe to climb into, explore, and forget everything else. As I’ve mentioned beforeIn my post on Divergent by Veronica Roth, the best books present you with a wondrous world you want to experience or be part of. I love anything that can get me to react emotionally; happy, sad, excited, angered. Anything which can evoke a reaction is a pleasurable (or sometimes unpleasant, depending on the subject matter) experience. It makes you think, discuss and share; encourage others to read and hope they feel the same way you did.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was one of those emotive wonders; a beautiful piece of young adult fiction. Young adult fiction can be an unfortunate label, discouraging reading as much as it encourages. While I believe it is beneficial to have a sub category of literature specifically for younger readers, there can be a stigma attached to adults reading something which was intended for children. Harry Potter, for example, and the invention of the adult book cover is the first example that comes to mind. I do not feel people should be judged by what they are reading.
Each year, the Capitol assembles its Gamemakers to create an elaborate arena filled with deadly trigger points and calls upon one girl and one boy from each of the twelve Districts to play in its nationally televised Hunger Games. […] 24 children are selected to fight to the death, Katniss is whisked away from her daily quest for survival alongside her friend Gale, and thrust into the elaborate Capital as she is prepared for the Hunger Games.
In the days to come, Katniss must fend for her survival against the natural elements and the vicious Careers, who are Tributes who’ve trained for the Hunger Games their entire lives. Deep inside the Hunger Games, readers are treated to the witty, young mind of Katniss Everdeen, a survival-savvy girl who yearns to trust in a world that has shown her nothing of the sort.Synopsis from Hunger Games Capitol
It took me a few months to begin to consider reading The Hunger Games. Not due to it being Young Adult Fiction, or Dystopian, the reason was far sillier. Katniss, it is such a frustrating name! I’ve grown to feel indifferent now, however initially it lead me to assume the protagonist was a stunning, flowery hero, with hippy parents who have issues with ‘regular’ names. However, Katniss was a formidable yet well flawed female lead; Collins successfully created a character far from the likes of Twilight’s Bella Swan. All her talents are built upon good foundations; she is a skilled hunter because she needs to be, unaware of her looks because looking pretty isn’t a concern to someone from the bowels of District 12.
As with many dystopias Katniss’s world was constructed in order to prevent war. Originally there were 13 districts controlled by the capitol; after a district uprising against the Capitol District 13 was destroyed and the Capitol created the Hunger Games, designed to remind all their citizens of their control and the punishment for dissent. The Hunger Games is a tournament; 24 are chosen, two from each district, in a fight to the death where only one may win. It is a fascinating premise which allows the book to keep you guessing. There is even a little romance thrown in, which I enjoyed for its unconventionality. District 13, the obliterated district, interested me the most, even though it is rarely mentioned. I like to wonder if a community does exists outside of capitol control, perhaps I will find out in the next two books.