it. Exactly the right book at exactly the right time. Perhaps the most scathing indictment of reality television I've ever read, even as that's not what it's "actually" about. I have to say, once again I far more enjoy the way young adult authors tackle quasi-moralistic fables in a science fiction/fantasy setting than "regular" authors do (I'm looking at you
, Margaret Atwood), mostly because they (especially Suzanne Collins here and in the sequel) do not forget that above all, they are telling a story
. A story that pulls you along willy-nilly.
Our Heroine reminds me a lot of Tally from Uglies, but I like Katniss much better. She strikes a very good sixteen for me - mature by nature and circumstance, with strange and vulnerable naivetes.
I will also admit to a shallower appreciation of this book, as it hits a similar note to some of my v. shallow enjoyment of The Fire Rose - it does an excellent job of describing deprivation, and then it does an even better
job of describing the relief of that deprivation. I have a higher tolerance for loving food descriptions than most, but I found these particularly well-timed and appreciated.
I like that the book didn't punk out. Kids go in; kids kill; kids die. I don't know what the fascination is with these Thunderdome-y situations (see also: The Long Walk, Battle Royale), but they are
strangely compelling, even more so when the hero/heroine doesn't find a loophole that leads to a happy ending. Sure, there's a loophole here, but it certainly doesn't lead to a happy ending.
Mostly I'm just still hung up on the fact that there are stylists
and death matches
featured with equal prominence. It's like Bravo tv on LSD.