Everyone and their dog now knows about Suzanne Collins’ amazing dystopian creation, but back in the deepest, darkest recesses of 2009/10, The Hunger Games was little more than a whisper on the lips of bookish bairns.

Picture the scene, I was in the midst of my MA in Creative Writing at Portsmouth University when our tutor Sam Hawksmoor, a fine author with a bloodhound-like nose for excellent YA fiction, put me on the trail of this book, offering more than a hint that this might be something fantastic.

It sounded right up my street and quite simply it took my breath away.

The Hunger Games made me feel alive. I experienced every emotion known to my own self whilst chomping away upon every delicious page. I took Katkniss and Peeta to my heart and by half way through I wanted nothing more than to be an usher at their wedding.

This book turned me into a blood thirsty maniac, an emotional wreck, a hapless romantic and a political activist all in a matter of days. I’m not actually sure I’m any of the above in reality!

At the time, I declared…

The Hunger Games! This is the best book I’ve ever read…ever, ever, ever…You have to read it! What do you mean I’ve got a mad look in my eye?

‘Tom Harris, 2010’

And this is what this post is recommending for feeding your brain and inspiring your creative and escapist soul.

Not Catching Fire.

Not Mockingjay.

Not even the option of a ‘Hunger Games 4 movie marathon…’

My recommendation is simply to read this definitive masterpiece in all its incredible glory.

Take a winter’s day, a comfy chair, soft lighting and a cup of what ails ya, sit back and devour this book. I’m envious just thinking about it…

*The Hunger Games is available to buy from Blackwell’s Bookshop in Portsmouth, Amazon & some other notable stockists too…

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