Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, Inc
Genre: YA Dystopian

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.- goodreads

What I Loved
  • The descriptive writing skills of Suzanne Collins.
  • The added humor to a grim storyline:
"It's lovely. If only you could frost someone to death," I say. "Don't be so superior. You can never tell what you'll find in the arena. Say it's actually a gigantic cake -- " begins Peeta.
  • That the violence was not camouflaged to protect readers like some other books.
  • Katniss' firey personality!
  • Several unexpected twists that keep you guessing.

What I Didn't Like
  •  This book was a bit slow in the beginning, but looking back I could see that it was all necessary. It was still a joy to read despite this! Note: The games themselves don't even start until about a third of the way in.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★


In the beginning you are introduced to the strong protagonist, 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen. She certainly is a survivor: hunting, gathering, and providing for her mother and 12-year old sister, in a world where hunting outside town borders is prohibited. Her sister, Prim, is elected for the Hunger Games and Katniss volunteers to take her place not wanting to think about losing her little sister. This is where the real story begins. I do not want to give too much away!

I found Katniss to be a very likeable character. She is smart, clever, and a great hunter. She is a survivor. She can come off as harsh at times, but this only makes her character more believable.

Suzanne Collins' writing is raw and descriptive. She does not hold anything back. This is exactly what made me love this book so much. The picture she paints in my mind is of a future government that is oppressive, controlling, and merciless. Panem is world where only the strong or rich survive. Her characters are deep, believable, and relatable. The plot is raw, unheard of, and original. Her settings are extremely rich and descriptive. This book will become a classic read, no doubt. I would not be surprised to see this as a common read in schools in the future.

There is romance, action, heartbreak, sorrow, happiness, and rebellion all stuffed into the 374 pages of this excellent read. Expect a few unexpected plot twists as well! I did not think I would like this book as much as I did. I cannot recommend it enough and I will be starting the next book ASAP!


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