Books of the year 2010 | Emma Donoghue

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


When I was a teenager, I read everything from Enid Blyton to Alan Garner to Tolstoy; it never occurred to me to stay within my demographic. And in adulthood I still feel that such labels as "Young Adult" should not put me off what sound like brilliant books. Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, £6.99) is not only a throbbingly tense thriller and a post-apocalyptic reworking of the legend of Crete demanding scapegoats from its tribute lands for death in the bullring; it is also a fascinating snapshot of the media-saturated self-consciousness of anyone growing up right now. Her bloodstained survivalist heroine is always watching out for cameras as well as knives in her back. If you crossed the floor for J K Rowling, Philip Pullman or Neil Gaiman, why haven't you tried Collins yet?

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This article first appeared in the 22 November 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Advantage Cameron