The Hunger Games

I finally succumbed. Not one to run with the pack, nor read what the average teenager would, I had to read this novel. Literally. Because one of my book clubs chose to read it for January, and what would I have to discuss should I attend unprepared?

In many ways it was inevitable fare for a YA novel: conveniently arranged romance, drama, and taut suspense. Only, you knew the heroine was going to survive because how could the series continue without her?

That said, the imagery in this novel was remarkable. Picturing Katniss, dressed in black with her hair in flames as she entered the arena for the opening ceremonies, will be one of the images that I remember most. Followed by the black dress studded with precious stones which glittered as though they were afire themselves. Red lips, wild hair, love it:

They erase my face with a layer of pale makeup and draw my features back out. Huge dark eyes, full red lips, lashes that throw off bits of light when I blink. Finally, they cover my entire body in a powder that makes me shimmer in gold dust…The creature standing before me in the full-length mirror has come from another world. Where skin shimmers and eyes flash and apparently they make their clothes from jewels. Because my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design. The slightest movement gives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire.

What she’s engulfed in is actually worse, a cat and mouse game of children who must kill each other to survive. Not for the children I teach, and in fact, more resembling a video game than a novel, I still found this novel to be somewhat arresting.

If not chilling, for what humans can do to each other. No matter how young they are.