It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog with what I’m reading. My current book comes courtesy of a suggestion from my 13 year-old niece when we were together in late March. She was quite effusive with her praise of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. And so I picked it up.

I knew nothing of it, recognizing the title from the media blitz accompanying the film adaptation, and so I went to read a bit more of what the book was about. My niece had given me a basic plot synopsis: the Capitol of the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem demands an annual tribute of twenty-four boys and girls from each of the feudal districts to compete in the Hunger Games, a battle to the death until only the victor remains. “And! There’s a love story,” my niece confessed casually.

Okay, interest piqued. I read a bit more about it.

When the book was published in 2008, Collins stated in an interview with Publishers Weekly that the idea for her world came during an evening of channel-surfing between a reality show competition and Iraq war coverage. “I was tired, and the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way.” She also cited the Greek myth of Theseus, where Athens is forced to send 14 young men and women into the labyrinth in Crete to be sacrificed to King Minos’ son, the Minotaur — in some versions of the story Minos conquers Athens by deception, in others by more traditional martial prowess.

Now I’m even more interested. Social commentary, Greek legends. And there’s a love story.

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