Monday, 21 November 2011
Review- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place called North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before- and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Before Reading: Everyone’s been raving about this series and of course the upcoming movie, so of course I was going to see what all the talk was about. At the time of this review, I’ve read Catching Fire (and loved it) and have Mockingjay in my TBR pile right now. (Sorry, Eden, but I think I’ll like it. I can’t share your non-fangirling!)
First of all, WHAT PACING! I couldn’t stop reading the book late into the night, and I picked it back up as soon as I woke up the next morning, because I couldn’t put the darn book down. This is true action, peeps. Not constant fighting: it’s this itching to know what the heckers is going to happen next.
The world-building was amazingly smooth. I never felt like I was getting an information overload, and ZOMG, the futuristic world actually made sense! I was surprised and pleased until I remembered that it was The Hunger Games that sparked this rise in popularity of dystopian fiction.
After Uglies, The Hunger Games is the best dystopian I’ve ever read. Actually, it’s kind of half-dystopian, since it only seems to be the residents of the Capitol who think their world is perfect… or do they?
I was both repelled and fascinated by this new world where people watched others die like lambs to the slaughter and never do anything to stop it, where cannibalism was an actual possibility in the Hunger Games. Cruel and unusual punishment or what? I mean, this is an evil, angry-making government at its best.
I can’t wait for the movie, because there was just so much action that when it translates onto the big screen, I’m hoping it’ll be magical.
But I have this persisting thought in the back of my mind: did anyone else notice the abundance of run-on sentences, or is it just a less-explored style of writing? I hate to even mention it, because it didn’t take away from my reading experience at all, but I couldn’t help but notice the errors, if they were unintentional at all.
And the CHARACTERS. They made the story. Katniss, I wish I had your guts. Also, your stylist. Also, I wish I had my pick between two boys as awesome as Peeta and Gale. I wouldn’t be able to choose, either. But it’d be nice having a choice nevertheless.
Every supporting character, from Cato to Haymitch to President Snow (who was barely there but made an impact nevertheless), was filled with personality and formed so completely in my head that I had to shake my head in wonder at Collins’ gift.
Peeta or Gale? Gale or Peeta? I can tell there is going to be a HUGE love triangle, and it looks like this one will be done right, because Katniss actually IS in a dither about who to choose- or, well, she will be. Finally there isn’t this obvious pair and then a hanger-on, because why have a triangle in the first place then?
Anyways, I love Gale already, and I fell head over heels for Peeta, too. So I know how you feel, Katniss, although I still envy you for being able to choose between THOSE two.
Parting Thoughts: I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that in this world, even after North America was like totally eradicated and then put back up, the concept of reality TV survived. I prefer scripted shows myself, because then at least you know it’s fake. *shrugs* I’ll have to be granted immortality (or a really good pair of binoculars up there like that girl from Elsewhere) to see WHICH made-up future is going to turn out to be real.
Rating: 4.5/5. This book was a thrill ride through and through, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next two books in the series.