Ah, how nice. I've been slogging my way through a certain Victorian social novel the last few months. I'm not one to shy away from "hard" books, but I've got to admit this thing is killing me. I happen to love the author, and another of his books ranks second among my all-time favorite books. This one? Not so much. (Ten points if you can figure out the book from these hints ... ready, set, go!)
So imagine my relief when I got my hands on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm not going to bother reviewing the book here. If you want a review, it's been written up in both the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, as well a starred Kirkus Review and a billion other places. They say it is The Next Big Thing.
And, boy oh boy, did I like it. I burned through it. It's compulsively readable. The pacing is just impeccable. It's YA, more on the adult side than the young side, and this book features all of the qualities I want to see in good YA lit. It's spare and slick, the characters are refreshingly three-dimensional (when they're not trying to kill each other), and buried way down in all that action there is an allegory that directly speaks to the world we're raising our children in.
I read a lot of MG and YA ... I think it's a good idea to know what's going on in the genre you're trying to sell into. And this is the best YA book I've read since the end of a Certain Series That Shall Not Be Named. We all know how the book industry is going to hell in a handbasket, so if you know any kids at all and you're looking to buy them something (pssst, Christmas is coming!), kill a tree and save our industry.
Buy The Hunger Games.