I will leave a better review after I sleep, it's 1:30am and I just couldn't stop until I had finished.
Well. Now that I've had time to sleep, given my contacts a chance to thoroughly soak and really given myself a chance to absorb that which I gobbled down last night, I must say that I am completely happy with the fact that I didn't wait until the paperback version came out. The hardcover might be more expensive, but it was totally, totally worth it in the end.
So Hunger takes place 3 months after the FAYZ came into being. Kids are literally starving and no one is helping out. Kids are being, well, kids. Lazy and waiting for someone to just hand them food on a silver platter.
I adore Sam. My heart goes completely out to this fictional character. As he says during an argument, he's just fifteen and everyone is expecting him to be the dad. It's so much pressure and he's so very real because all he wants is pizza and a chance to make out with his girlfriend. He's so adult and yet so child-like at the same time. He doesn't want to make the decisions but everyone keeps coming to him for answers that he doesn't have.
And it breaks him.
My complete and most utter compliments to Michael Grant. The scene with Astrid and Sam in the dark where he finally unloads and breaks down got to me. I wanted to reach through the pages and clutch the poor kid to my bosom and tell him it was going to be alright. Of course I have no idea if it is going to be alright, but I wanted to give him some sort of assurance that he is not a failure and he's doing the best that he can and that's a very good thing.
There was another scene that got to be. Like really got to me. When they're about to execute Hunter. It reminded me of The Handmaid's Tale where the Handmaidens are encouraged to execute by pulling a rope to hang someone. The entire basis of that scene was to show just how a crowd will degenerate if they are hungry enough. The promise of food is a strong, strong motivator.
I have to say that this reminded me of a quote that I read in a Reader's Digest a very long time ago:
"Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people -- you know perfectly well -- are made up." -Barbara Kingslover
I ran a gauntlet of emotions while reading this book. I stayed up far too late. I bit my nails. I couldn't sit still. And that is what made this such an astounding book.