The Hunger Games
5 January 2014 Leave a comment
Author: Suzanne Collins.
Summary: Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.
In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: Kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Review: I feel like i should have read this book a long time ago. I was finally driven to reading it after i recently watched the film (yes, before reading the book, shame on me!) and although i enjoyed it, i knew the book would be so much better. Spoiler: It is.
I basically read this book in two sittings. It was completely one of those books i didn’t want to put down. I’m still thinking about it as if i’m still reading it, and all i want to do is pick up Catching Fire and carry on reading. I am pacing myself, though.
The first person narrative was a little jarring at first, but i quickly got used to it and really, it’s necessary. The reader needs to get inside Katniss’ head and understand her motivations and conflicting, confused emotions. She’s an interesting character and it’s refreshing to read a lead female character who is truly independent and not defined by the men around her.
The basic idea of The Hunger Games has been done before in films like Battle Royale and Series 7, but that don’t make this book unoriginal. There is a lot of focus on why The Hunger Games happen, which is the real interesting topic for me. The Capitol, the 12 districts and the use of the games to keep people in their place… I love a good dystopia.
It’s almost a miracle, but i actually liked all the characters. Well, all the characters that weren’t Careers. I didn’t necessarily love them all, but i liked them all enough to empathise with them. What most surprised me was when i felt bad for Peeta at the end, because despite Katniss’ conflicted feelings about and towards him, it’s so obvious he’s a genuinely nice guy (something i did not get from the film at all, incidentally).
I debated whether to give this book four or five stars. In the end i gave four, because there was this huge ellipsis at the end of the book. Maybe that’s because i know there is a sequel, and that this isn’t the end for these characters, but equally, everything wasn’t concluded enough. I can’t possibly give this five stars until i know what happens in the two succeeding books–until i’m satisfied.