When I was a kid and a teenager I was a compulsive reader. I was rarely found without a book in my hand and I would get completely absorbed in them, reading long into the night when I was supposed to be asleep. Reading till I got headaches from not looking up. Reading till I drove my sister nuts because I was so engrossed I had failed to listen to what she was saying. Reading on the bus, at lunch, under my desk in class.
These days it is rare for me to be so absorbed in a book. Partly it is just that I don't have the same time available, but also I think it is that recently I've been reading a lot of literature that requires slow, careful reading and absorption of the prose. Between literature I've read the kind of chic lit that while entertaining, is easy to dip into then put down for a few days.
However at Christmas S's parents gave me "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. For the first time in a long time I was so compelled to read that I stayed up too late, read on my lunchtime, in fact even read a bit at the traffic lights and sneakily under my desk at work. The day after I lent my Mum the first copy I rang her and she mentioned she was tired because she hadn't gone to sleep till 1am. Why - because she hadn't been able to put the book down (she stayed up till 3.15am to finish the third book!).
There are plenty of synopsis's of "The Hunger Games" on the internet, but in short the trilogy follows Katniss Evergreen as she is reaped into a grotesque form of gladiatorial battle where the tributes of the 12 districts in Panem (a post-present day USA) kill each other for the sport of the citizens of the capital. It really is like a story of ancient Rome brought into a future where the earth has been irreparably damaged and countries re-formed. Katniss's role in the games and what happens after is truly compulsive reading.
"The Hunger Games" is marketed as young adult fiction, but I think pretty much anyone over 12 would enjoy it. The first movie is due out this year and I can guarantee my Mum and I will be queing up to see it. If you were a fan of the "Tomorrow When the War Began" series, I'm pretty sure you would love "The Hunger Games."