Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: The Hunger Games

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.


Let me start by saying that I decided to read this book because I was tired of being reminded that I really need to read this book. The Hunger Game series is on the top of most must read lists, so when I finally set down to read I was happy to find that I was not disappointed.

This book was interesting because the idea was without question unique. I had to get over the shock of the idea of reading about twelve to eighteen year olds killing each other to survive while an entire country watched what happened live. Today our world is filled with such jaded young people that I am sure this was not as big a shock to some other readers, but to me it was the hardest part especially if I became overly attached to a character.

Suzanne Collins made it easy to become attached to the all the characters in different ways, but the character that stole my heart was little Rue. While she is not a main character, she just brought me to tears at one point. Of course the other character I loved was the main character, Katniss. The story is told from her perspective. The internal dialogue she had with herself was comical at times, but for the most part it was her struggle to maintain her identity when every page threatened to take more of her true self away. Of course, no teen book is complete without some sexy men characters and Collins did not disappoint. There was Gale the boy who she has come to depend on and trust her family's lives with. Then, there was Peeta the boy who she must face in The Hunger Games, and if she wants to survive, come to terms with killing. Collins is truly gifted at developing her characters, making you cheer for necessary blood shed, but reminding the reader that even those that seemed to enjoy being in The Hunger Games were living as best as they could in a system set up for failure.

Now, the part I hate. The reason why The Hunger Games did not get a five out of five was because the ending felt rushed. The book is broken up into three parts that flowed together nicely, then all of a sudden "the games" were over and all of the other players were gone. It wasn't that I did not expect the end to come, just that it felt as if she decided: "That's it! They all must die!"

Overall, I thought the book was great. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series because I want to see how Collins continues the story. I hope you go out and pick up this book knowing that it will not disappoint.

My Rating:

I want to pose the same question the book poses to its readers:

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone fighting against you?

My answer: No way! I hate bugs, living outdoors, and especially would die if I was kept at any temperature below 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I do not believe I have the ability to kill a person, which clearly is a good thing. :-) Like Katniss I am good at climbing trees, so at least I could survive a little while longer that way.

Books In The Hunger Games Series

For more information about Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Series visit her website


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