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Book Review #17: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The Hunger Games have begun…

In the ruins of a  place once known as 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 dead 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.

May the odds be ever in your favour.”

(Warning: This review may contain spoilers to the book and series and a rant that may offend. Viewer discretion is advised.)

Just for clarification, this is my second time reading this book, first being in 2009, when I was in Grade Eight. The Hunger Games was one of those novels that stuck in my head immensely, and one I could not put down, nor could it ever prevent me from not being interested.

Katniss Everdeen is one of those strong female protagonists that you, unfortunately, don’t find every day, without possibly seeing a ‘Mary Sue’ or a perfect character/without faults. I almost thought Katniss was a ‘Mary Sue’ before I realized, she does have faults. Such as still making mistakes during the game, not knowing much about wound care, squeamishness about blood and her temper. She was kind of an Itch that starts with a B to Peeta at certain points.

Which brings me to my next point, Peeta. My first reaction to him was “Peeta, really? Packing on the puns there, huh?” (Peeta, Pita, get it?), being the baker’s son and all, I think that name was given on purpose. I first pictured him as a more pudgy kind of guy, and I have to admit, I didn’t like him at first. But he eventually grew on me, with his crush on Katniss, the way he risked being beaten for her. Although, it frustrated me that he seemed so frail and fragile during the game, even though he was wounded. Clouded and oblivious to a crush and not knowing the dangers around him. Besides my own frustrations about him, I still loved him as a character, even though it felt like he couldn’t do things for himself.

And what about Gale, you ask? Gale. Well, Gale is a toughie. But basically, my beef with him is that I didn’t really care for him. He didn’t appear much in the book, even though Katniss dwelled on him throughout her interactions with Peeta, (which kind of irked me because she can’t accept the fact that she favors Gale more than Peeta), there wasn’t enough of him in it, or true heartfelt back story to make me feel anything for him like I feel with Peeta. (Yes! I have emotional connections with fictional characters, okay?) I still accept him as important, because he played a large role in Katniss’s life.

Besides my emotional frustrations over the characters (I’m not done yet talking about them) the plot overall was solid. The author, Suzanne Collins says her inspiration to write The Hunger Games came when she was surfing channels on television and saw people competing on a reality show on one and footage from an invasion of Iraq, she says these two blended together and that’s where she got the idea of the games. This idea is amazing and powerful, the way she wrote it was perfect and made me feel an emotional connection with each character, feeling as if I was going through the twists and turns of the Hunger Games itself. Each chapter pulled you in further and further, making you want to know more about this futuristic world.

Overall, this book, while not fit for everyone, is a great read regardless of tastes. I would recommend it, purely for the sake of this good book, breaking the light and fluffy romance boundaries of YA fiction.

My Rating

Click Here for my review of Catching Fire!

Now for my rant…

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