Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2767052Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Rating: 5 stars

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.

Typically me to be ages behind with the best books of 2010, and only discover this gorgeous novel early january. On the bright side however, I now get to read the entire trilogy in one row – that is, when I find the budget to purchase the other novels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Now I know everyone and their pet chihuahuas has already read this novel and voted it the best thing since the invention of the wheel, but I thought I’d give my two cents anyway.

For starters, The Hunger Games really is amazing. It grabs you, puts you in your seat, eyes fixed on the novel, and the world around you starts to dissapear. It’s like some time machine thing. Then when you’re done reading and the world reappears, you somewhat expect that you’re in a TV show with your life at stake and you have to kill everyone else in order to survive. Thank God I didn’t respond to those feelings right away. No, but seriously: The Hunger Games doesn’t let you go, until you’ve finished reading it. And even then, it’s hard to put those thoughts aside about what will happen next, why “insert random person” had to die, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel as enthralling and surprising at this one.

The story focuses on Katniss, a young but independent girl who tries to take care of her family – her mother and younger sister Prim – by hunting rabbits and other small animals in the forest, accompanied by her best friend Gabe. Now although life in district 12, where Katniss lives, is difficult, and a lot of people die from starvation or working too much; the worst is yet to come. Because every year, two children, one boy and one girl, from each district are chosen to participate in The Hunger Games, a way for the Capitol to show they still hold power over the people they have supressed. Against all odds, Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen. However, unable to let her innocent kid sister participate in an event that might very well cause her to die, Katniss offers to participate instead of Prim. The other chosen one is a young boy called Peeta and whom Katniss is somewhat familiar with. Then, The Games have begun and it’s time again for the greatest hypocrysy thinkable, as The Almighty Capitol lets children murder other children.

How disgusting The Capitol may seem, it does make for a brilliant, well-written, fast-paced, exciting and highly original storyline. The characters are equally enthralling as the story, and not only did I start to feel for Katniss and the continuous trials she has to put up with, but for Peeta – who is so much braver than I at first anticipated – as well. Slowly but most definately I was starting to feel utter disgust towards the corrupted beings who choose to let innocent children murder each other for the entertainment of the public – not that most of the public is entertained, mind you. Most people hate The Hunger Games, which isn’t curious considering it might as well be them or one of their beloved who has to fight there one day. As the novel continues, the feeling of rebellion and revolution becomes very heavy, in the little acts commited, the little gestures done, both by the main characters and by the public. It adds a new sense of tension to the novel that I very much appreciated.

Well, what else can I say? The characters are wonderful, with a lot of good qualities, and their fair share of bad ones. Katniss and Peeta are so honest and loveable in every thing they do; I could not help but keep wishing they wouldn’t die. And as I already mentioned, The Hunger Games grabs you and pulls you in, and it doesn’t let you go, not even after you’ve finished the novel. It’s my best reading experience of the year (that includes 2010), and I would advise everyone: go grab a copy, and enjoy this amazing story that will keep you coming back for more.

Comments

  1. This one is next on my list! Sounds amazing.

  2. i am addicted to the hunger games! <3 i stayed up all night to read it a second time lol i dunno it is just that good. i am so excited to see the movie when it comes out!! http://on.fb.me/gXrImz

    • I didn’t even know they were making a movie for The Hunger Games! I’m so excited now! Thanks for telling me. I’m now going to spend another couple of hours browsing the internet and looking for everything I can find regarding the movie 😛 Wasting time is such a nice hobby.

  3. I agree! I absolutely loved The Hunger Games. I just posted my review of it over at my site and I would love to hear more of your thoughts on the first one as well as the next two!

    Who is your favorite character? I think mine may well be Cinna!

    • Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read the next two yet. My local bookstore doesn’t sell them in Dutch, and I didn’t think about that when I bought the first copy, else I would have bought it in English right away. Blah! Anyway, I read the review on your website about The Hunger Games and I loved it, you really went into a lot of detail. I have trouble writing detailed reviews for novels I like – no problem when I hate them, or don’t like them at all, but I just can’t seem to think of anything valid to say when I really like the novel. 😛

      My favorite character is Katniss. I love her. But I love Peeta as well. I love them both. Especially when they’re together.

  4. YES! So glad you liked it – I though this book was fantastic.

  5. This is an excellent review! I think I’m probably the last person in the world to read The Hunger games, but I have placed myself on the waitlist for it at the library and I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

  6. Hey! Great review… I feel the exact same way about The HG. I just went to see the movie and it BLEW. MY. MIND. Ah-Maz-iNG!!!

    P.S. You have a new follower!!

    -TheTeenBookGuru

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