Alright, admittedly, this is a young adult novel/series. Yes, it has been compared to such literary gems as the Twilight books. Yes, Lenny Kravitz is going to be involved in the upcoming movie. Yes, The Hunger Games series is Scholastic's new way of making money off of preteens. But darn it if this book wasn't an amazing read. The Hunger Games is fast-paced and full of moral questions that aren't easily answered. Collins creates an accessible work of dystopian lit that even the most disaffected reader will enjoy. Her characters are likable, their relationships are believable, and her writing style places you at the center of the action, imagining what course you would take if you were in the protagonist's shoes. I highly recommend this book to everyone--I haven't met anyone who didn't love it yet.
Let me be honest with you: This is a hard book to read. I had to really take my time with this one. What is the What is a novelization of the true life story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" in America who survived the conflict in Southern Sudan. It isn't hard to read because of the language or lofty themes; it is hard to read because so much of what happens to Achak is nearly impossible to stomach. It is hard to believe that people in the world suffer as he has suffered. But they have, and they do. Everyday. At it's heart, What is the What is a story about suffering and hope. How can a person retain their faith in God and humanity? How can a person be continuously beaten down on all sides, and yet not be crushed? This book doesn't attempt to definitely answer those questions, and lets the weight of them rest on your shoulders as you read. Achak talks about his faith in a way that is more honest than I have ever imagined possible. However difficult to take in, this story is not one you should miss. You will leave better for it.
What are you reading this summer?