Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins

Series or Stand Alone: Hunger Games series, book one

Release Date: September 2008

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 454


My Rating: 5/5

Source: Won from giveaway @ Book Chick City (hence the UK Edition)



Synopsis [from scholastic.com]:

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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before -- and survival.


Review:

Yes, I know...it took me quite some time to finally open this book up. I've already smacked myself about it so no need to get all excited. I must admit, I do love when books live up to the hype they sometimes receive. I heard THE HUNGER GAMES was pretty awesome... and I totally agree with the consensus of most of its readers.

I'm not a big dystopian honcho. I don't know the who's who and the what's what in the genre, nor am I big on YA fiction. So the fact that THE HUNGER GAMES sits prettily in these two genres has nothing really to do with how much I enjoyed the novel. I enjoyed the brutal futuristic world that was Panem. The history of the Capitol and the Districts were not only interesting but very well developed. I mean you had to get a good portion into the story to find out about the actual Hunger Games and Panem's past.

The contrast in setting between the Capitol and District 12/the arena was stark. I found it quite easy to imagine the world Katniss lived in and the one she was forced to participate in. The time before the Hunger Games however, is when I had slight trouble with my mental imaging system (aka my brain). But not to worry, I let it slide since I was having such a good time watching the characters develop. I can't say I loved Katniss at first, but there was something very compelling about her. I'm sure I admired her in the beginning, but it's hard to remember even though I finished the book pretty recently. All I know is that she's bad-ass, but not show-offy (I know that's not even a word). She's a tough sixteen-year-old who was pretty much brought up to be that way because of her living conditions. And although she can be fragile and even naive at times she remains to be force to be reckoned with because of her quick wit and learning. By the end of the book I had seen her at her weakest and her strongest... and I knew she had me hooked!

I really enjoyed the development of the important players of the Hunger Games. It was easy to see their personalities come out with their actions and I admired the author's ability to show things without having to physically spell it out for me. Although all of the competitors don't get much spotlight, the important ones do, so it's not a total loss.

I saw the debacle with Peeta and Gale coming a mile away, so I'm extremely interested in reading CATCHING FIRE to see what happens after Katniss and Peeta return home. All in all, I enjoyed the honesty in the book. The author didn't go overboard with the cruelty of the games or the activities surrounding it...instead she balanced things perfectly and made me want more despite the 400+ pages.


3 comments:

Raspberry said...

Ah. The Hunger Games. Anythign given a good review by Stephenie Meyer becomes a 'golden child' of the publishing world. To her credit, she never seems to give a good review to anything she didn't like, and so far, nothing has gotten a horrible rating from me, anyways. :)I must confess I hated the violence. It really really bothered me. An interesting idea, and exciting in some places, I still had a huge problem with the violence. I think I ended up giving it a B-, much to everyone's horror. :)

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I just reviewed Catching Fire on my blog today, and I really enjoyed it. I was also one of the "slower" ones getting around to reading this series, so you're not alone! Lol. I'm glad to hear you liked it. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the next one! :)

mis(h)takes said...

Natalie, I can't wait to open up Catching Fire! && at least you weren't as slow as me lol I still have to read Shiver, Graceling, Fire, and a lot other YA books that everyone has gobbled down already :P

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