Right now, the teen novel is having its angst-ridden moment in the spotlight, and I have discovered that some of them are actually really, really good! Teen-lit has been my super-secret reading pleasure for about three years now.
One of my favorite series is the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. It’s a trilogy that starts with The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and ends with Mockingjay. The series ties around a post-apocalyptic America that, instead of “states,” has now been reduced to “districts.” 13 to be precise. The infamous District 13 revolted against the ruling body in the Capitol, so as a result, every year two people from each district are chosen through a lottery to compete in the Hunger Games, an arena type fight to the death, as a reminder not to ever question the Capitol’s authority.
The main characters from District 11 are Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mallarck, and a hot guy named Gail (I’m sensing a love triangle here). Katniss’ little sister gets chosen for the Hunger Games, and in an unselfish act of love, Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place. And with that, Katniss and Peeta are whisked away to the Capitol for the Hunger Games!
The first few chapters do a wonderful job of capturing the reader’s attention, but when the book gets to the part when the Hunger Games actually start, the narrative gets a lot more intense. I literally could NOT put this book down! Collins’ writing is fast-paced, yet still takes time to give vivid description without being cumbersome, which is one of the joys of teen-lit. It does the job of longer adult novels in half the time.
The Hunger Games really struck me as an Ayn Rand for beginners type of book where the protagonists struggle to fight the “man.” You will enjoy the variety of characters and the hugeness of the “arena,” that is designed like a forest. If you love a novel with teen romance triangles AND an anti-conformity social message, then Hunger Games is for you.
These novels have spread like wildfire after Twilight author Stephenie Meyers recommended them, but don’t just think these are one of those fake “author recommended” books; The Hunger Games is well worth the time.
For fun, you can go to this HUNGER GAMES NAME link and find out what you would be called in District 13.