R-Jeneration: Teen tries to survive in popular, fun trilogy

A new diet fad is sweeping the literary community: To quell those notorious midnight cravings, readers are devouring the first book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, “The Hunger Games.”

Set in a post-apocalyptic country called Panem, the book thrusts protagonist Katniss Everdeen into a government-sanctioned bloodbath.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss is faced with the challenge of outlasting her 23 competitors in The Hunger Games.

However, these so-called “games” are far from recreational.

The televised competition forces randomly selected citizens to fight to the death in a man-made arena teeming with traps.

In an effort to stay alive, Katniss must not only concern herself with the basic survival skills of hunting and finding shelter, but also deciding who she can trust, who she must kill and who she must avoid.

Readers soon find that the fast-paced plotline and pulse-pounding action scenes make the book difficult to set aside as they wonder what angsty Katniss will do on the next page, if she even survives that long.

Eating up Katniss’ complex romances between the boy from home, Gale, and the boy in the arena, Peeta, readers are constantly kept guessing with which guy her loyalties lie.

These are only a handful of reasons why “The Hunger Games,” along with its two sequels, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” are rapidly growing in popularity.

Another enticing factor is the social commentary the book makes about government control.

With people worldwide currently rebelling against their governments and making their voices heard, it’s timely to read about someone who is not afraid to do the same.

Katniss is both a symbol of inspiration to the people of Panem and the people reading about her.

The book also stands out in its simplicity.

The short sentences are not bogged down with flowery metaphors or excessive amounts of imagery.

The vocabulary is mild.

The chapters are not particularly long, nor is the book itself.

These can be positive or negative qualities, depending on personal preferences.

Readers searching for a novel acclaimed for its linguistic beauty should look elsewhere.

However, the exciting content found in “The Hunger Games” makes up for its lack of fanciful writing, and its simplicity makes it a fast, easy read.

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