Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: The Hunger Games

So, apparently... I'm late to the party... again. I've been told by countless friends and bloggers that I need to read THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. My best friend raved about it. But... dystopian books really aren't my thing. I decided to pick it up anyway, and it's been sitting on my shelf for a couple years.

With the release of MOCKINGJAY and the frenzy surrounding it, I decided to start reading. As with other dystopian novels, I had a hard time getting into the book. Figuring out what their world was like and trying to get a grasp on the situation. All I can say is... I'm really glad I don't live in this world.

A boy and girl from each district are chosen every year to fight to the death in a televised event. All contestants range from ages 12 to 18. And only one can survive. Katniss volunteered to go to The Hunger Games, in the place of her little sister, Prim. And Peeta was chosen to go along as well to represent District 12. There is an interesting dynamic between these two characters. It's written from Katniss' point of view, so you don't always know what Peeta's thinking. But then, you don't always know exactly what Katniss is thinking, either.

They are given the royal treatment as they prepare for the games, and their mentor, a previous winner from District 12, is a drunk. (Although I did really enjoy Haymitch). Their team tries to prepare them. They get tossed into an arena and are expected to kill every other teen there. How can anyone be prepared for that?

So, yeah... this book definitely didn't seem like something I'd enjoy reading. But the writing was fantastic. I enjoyed many of the characters and look forward to getting to know them better, especially Gale. A few scenes made me weepy, and once made me actually cry. While I liked the book, I didn't love it as many of my friends did. But I'm definitely glad I took the time to read it, and I already pulled CATCHING FIRE from my shelf. I definitely recommend it.

I loved the names in this book, especially Katniss Everdeen.

There are three "teams" fans of this series has chosen: Team Peeta, Team Gale, and Team Katniss. I see a lot of people on Peeta's team, but I don't feel Gale was given a good enough shot. So I'm reserving my right to choose a team affiliation until later. Temporarily though, I'm Team Katniss.

Down with the Capitol!


Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

I looked for the official book trailer, but could not find one. There might not be one, but this video is great, so if you haven't read it, you'll get a sense of the excitement and action included.


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