My Rating: 5/5
Source: Won from giveaway @ Book Chick City (hence the UK Edition)
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.