So I may be one of the last people on earth to read The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, but I’ve just finished it. I heard all about it when it first came out. A lot of my friends read it and raved about it. I didn’t get around to reading it. Truthfully, I wasn’t even aware it was YA fiction until I downloaded it.

My initial thoughts as I read were “Wow, what a fantastic read!” Now that I’ve finished it, I’m taking a breath. Rethinking the whole thing. Trying to make sense of it.

This is a book for kids? It IS YA, right? So what age range would that be? You can tell me, because I have no idea, but I’m thinking it’s usually middle school – 10 – 14 perhaps? Given that, I’m not sure I can totally rave about this book. As well written as it was, I’m not sure I would have wanted my kids reading it when they were ten.

The premise bothers me. Bothers me a lot, actually. It’s like Survivor on crack.

Take a bunch of kids, chuck them into a man-made arena and let them fight to the death. To. The. Death. Really? And while I am sure it could have been worse, there were some pretty gruesome descriptions here that I didn’t care for.

I guess I’m not surprised that this is a #1 best-seller. Nor am I surprised that there’s a movie coming out. I am surprised however, that this is acceptable reading material for kids. No. Not surprised. Disappointed. Β It’s Harry Potter all over again. And yes, I have watched and enjoyed all the HP movies. Again, great writing, great story, but too much darkness. Isn’t there enough in the world already?

So I guess my bottom line here is that I’m not a fan. I thought I was going to be. I was all ready to rave up and down about how great this book was, but to be honest, now that I’m finished, I’m left with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. And a question that I just have to ask.

Is this ALL we have to offer the next generation of readers?

So lets hear from you. Read Hunger Games? What are your thoughts?