Oh! I could hardly wait for this one! *claps hands gleefully* And then, of course, I sit here, fingertips at the ready, thinking to myself, "Well, how in the heck are you going to pick just one out of the hundreds upon thousands of wonderfully delicious books out there??"
So, I figure since YA's totally ticklin' my fancy at the moment, I'll share one of the first I read that really, really gripped me. And by gripped I mean on the edge of your seat, gasping every other minute, can't put the book down because you've just gotta know what happens next or you'll die, told the hubby (or wifey, whichever) you just needed to read a little bit to make yourself drowsy, but the chapter ended on a cliffhanger and, oh my gosh, you just have to go on, and before you realize what's happened it's 3 o'clock in the morning and you've gotta get up in 2 hours...
Yeah, it's that kind of story.
From the back of the book:
Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death. In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
But sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
What an amazing tale, folks. Written in first person/present perfect, Suzanne's nail-biting futuristic novel puts us directly in the shoes of District 12's female tribute Katniss Everdeen. She's smart, incredible with a bow & arrow, and she loves her family. Fiercely. In fact, there's not anything she won't do to ensure their safety and well being. Even if that means fighting 23 other girls and boys, some of whom are, like, Amazon huge, to the death.
Her male counterpart, Peeta, is the son of a baker. Quiet, loyal, and honest. Handsome. He's not as good at this fighting business as Katniss, but he's got something even better. A way with words, especially for the public on whom they so desperately rely. Charm and gentle humor. And a secret--one he's kept bottled up inside since the dawn of adolescence--that'll turn the tables and their violent-minded world topsy-turvy when you least expect it.
I won't spoil the rest, because each and every one of you is going to read it, right? Right? Good!
But I will say this: It's been a long time since I've experienced such a raw, unadulterated thrill from a story. The Hunger Games is not only deserving of that most coveted slot on your Keeper Shelf, it begs to be read more than twice. Thrice, even. Perhaps you should read it every year as a sort of tradition or something. Really, it's that good. In fact, when I finished this book--a Sunday evening; The Hubby was watching a movie and playing Farmville on FB--I literally gasped, shot off the couch, raced to my laptop, pulled up Amazon, and (thank you God for the Buy Now with 1-Click® button!) immediately purchased the next in the series, Catching Fire.
The Hubby, bless his heart, merely stared at me, unblinking, and after several long moments said, "What the heck just happened?"
"She just--" inhaled deeply, willed heart to slow back down to normal "--left me hanging!! I had to get the next one. I just had to!"
As could be expected, The Hubby simply shrugged and went back to Farmville, because he anticipates this sort of behavior out of me from time to time. Especially when it comes to reading and/or writing.
Anyways. Get the book, check it out at your local library, whatever. I promise, you won't be disappointed. Oh! And they're even making a movie out of it next year! Hence, the pics of Katniss and Peeta. Enjoy!
And while you're finding out how to grab a copy of The Hunger Games... Tell me: What particular work of fiction really tickles your fancy? What book can you go back to over and over and over, and it still rocks your world... every... single... time?
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,