Saturday, 31 March 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins



I bought The Hunger Games trilogy last year. Then the books got stacked up and forgot about having them. Knowing that the movie starring Jennifer Lawrence was about to come out, I took a slight break from my review piles and opened the first book. It was late at night, I was tired, and I was not planning to read very much. Well, I ended up reading about half of the book, as I was caught up in the futuristic, weird world of Panem, which strangely resembles the real world. The story is told from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (What a name!) who volunteers to take her sister’s (Prim) place in the annual Hunger Games that the Capital holds. There were once 13 Districts in Panem, and the 13th rebelled against the Capital. After the 13ths were vanquished, the Capital decided to punish the other districts with the Hunger Games. Each year one male and one female (between the ages of 12 to 16) from each district are randomly chosen to participate in the games which only has one main rule, fight to the death.

Katniss is well aware that she volunteered for a death sentence. She is great hunter, thanks to her late father, and is an expert with a bow and arrows. She has much better chance of surviving than her other District 12 constant, Peeta - the son of a baker. With the guidance by District 12’s only winner, Haymitch, who somewhat trains them before they are tossed into a forest like arena. Airing on Live TV, the 24 contestants must fight to the death.

The Hunger Games reminds me of the Running Man by Richard Bachman (A.K.A. Stephen King), but with teenagers. Suzanne Collin’s narration is wonderfully crafted with a slight razor edge to it.  As a reader, I was instantly hooked into the story and felt for Katniss as she struggled to survive in the violent arena. Considering all the reality TV rage in our culture, we are not to far from this violent entertainment. That is a scary thought! The Hunger Games is targeted for the Young Adult market, but the book is written for a mature reader. The control that the Capital has over the Districts mirrors our current government as they try to control the public. The book is violent, not graphic, but I would not recommend it to younger readers.  I absolutely loved the book and I recommend it for older readers.


4 comments:

  1. I agree with what you said about the terrifying possibility of such things becoming reality. That feeling was constantly there, and to me it was the scarriest part of the book.
    Have you seen the movie? Gary Ross did a fantastic job bringing the dystopian aspect to life.

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  2. @Ivana

    No, I haven't seen the movie. I'll see it if it if my local one screen theater gets it.

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  3. Popping by via Cym Lowell's Review Party. I recently read this book too after realizing the movie was so close to release--and was bound to be inundated with spoilers. I liked it, though didn't love it. Was also reminded of Running Man, though reminded more of Kushin Takami's Battle Royale, which is an amazing read if you ever get the chance.

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  4. I came from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday (BRPW)

    I won all three books about a year ago or so from some blog contest or another but never read them. When the movie version started hitting the airwaves, I pulled them out of the "morgue" (that is my term for my bookshelf that never got read) and displayed them in the TBR shelf. But I still haven't read them because I wanted to watch the movie first before reading the books. I didn't wanna be disappointed in the movie if it did not measure up to the book. Or do you think I ought to read the books now and watch the movie after?

    Cherry Mischievous
    www.cherrymischievous.com

    P.S.
    I am a bit late in this blog rounds but still within the spirit of BRPW :)

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