The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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 weight survival against humanity and life against love.

Rating: ★★★★★

Cover Art:  The simple design works great for the book; gold mockingjay pin on a black background. Nice.

Review

[Why did it take me so long to pick this book up?]


This story is filled with action, character development, twists and turns. Everything I love about books is included in The Hunger Games. It’s violent, yes – but that just puts it on a different shelf apart from books that are all lovey-dovey, sweets and candy. If you don’t want to read about violence, don’t pick this book up. Simple as that. Is it predictable? Yes. But really, it’s a series of three books, what did you expect? Is the writing imperfect? Yes. But it’s written from a teenager’s perspective. How many teenagers have a writing/English/journalism degree?

The book is a capturing read in spite of all the “issues” that, if you are completely immersed in the story, you will not notice. Suzanne Collins develops the setting in such a way, that nearly all elements of today’s world are gone and something completely new has emerged. Details, creativity, new ideas… She developed the setting very well and the reader can easily jump into the novel with Katniss and the others.

The characters are nicely developed for the first of three books. I wasn’t expecting much out of character development, but what did show, was that each of them have their own unique personality. Katniss is a great female protagonist. She’s strong-willed, clever, and puts her heart into everything she does. [Plus, those archery skills? Pure awesomeness.] I was really rooting for her to do more than she did in the book, but what happened was semi-satisfying in the end. Peeta and Gale, the boys of the story, have yet to be more developed, I hope, by the end of the series. I think characterization is a huge part of what makes the story something worth reading.

The action in this book, however, happens when you least expect it. It’s hard to empathize with Katniss, seeing as none of us have ever been in that type of situation. But it’s easy to imagine her fear, the conflict, what she is seeing, and what she is feeling because it’s written well. The suspense can make your heart beat faster and you just want to keep turning the pages to see what will happen next.

It ends on a cliffhanger [of course], but I’ve already opened Catching Fire, the second in the series. I have a feeling I’ll need Mockingjay, the third book, awaiting on my shelf as well.

~C

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  1. April 9th, 2012

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