Saturday, January 21, 2012
This Book Will Change Your Life - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Not unlike Harry Potter we're not so sure we would have read The Hunger Games if not for the boy. The boy wanted it though. And it's not that the boy gets what the boy wants. Not exactly. But if the boy wants to tackle books and if he wants to read and lose himself in literature then we will Hunger Games. Happily. Lovingly. We desperately craved books when we were his age. Books were escape. They were calming. Some times they were triumphant and moving and explosive. Other times they merely ate up masses of time in a fashion we preferred to any other. Reading made sense from the start. We knew how it worked. And like running and now writing it allowed us to make it through the day and night. That hasn't changed, and maybe it doesn't matter that the boy doesn't quite feel the same way. Maybe he doesn't even need to. But when he does, we jump, we have to, because for us books were a lifeline, still are, and he may need someday need lifelines. Reading also remains the single greatest pleasure in our life, and there's no way not to want your children to feel pleasure of any kind, though especially that which you feel, to connect over that and lose yourself in it. And so there is The Hunger Games, a book we would have devoured at his age, and repeatedly at that. It jumps out with a bang, and it runs at you all fraught with power and anxiety, speaks to abuse of power by the state and class, and it is about a girl, a totally bad ass girl, so awesome that, something which may not seem extraordinary to the boy and the world he is growing-up in, but still is for us, books like this didn't happen then, not really, and not if it wasn't written by Judy Blume anyway. If the book ultimately slows down near the end when it inevitably has to focus on romance, we suppose tweens everywhere can more than live with that, as can we, mostly, because it is a lot of fun along the way, the kid is right there with us, and we are moving on to Catching Fire, together, triumphantly.