Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

5 Aug

Series: Hunger Games, book #1

Published: October 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press

Details: Hardcover, 374 pages

My rating: 5/5

My summary:

One of the better books I’ve read in recent years. Impossible to put down. All though brutal at times, also sweet, full of warmth and with great characters. The story is so good that I find it hard not rattling on about it to everyone I know. This is simply put a must read!!

See my full review here:

Synopsis:

Life in District 12 isn’t easy for Katniss and her family. Ever since her father died the girl has spent her time saving her mother and little sister Prim from starvation by hunting on forbidden land. But worst of all is reaping day. Once a year the government chooses two children from each of the twelve districts to compete against one another in a live and televised reality show. Twenty-four kids and teens enter, and only one survives.

When Prim’s name is called, Katniss exchanges herself without hesitation to compete alongside the baker’s boy Peeta. To survive in this game you need to win the heart of your audience, and so District 12’s trainers come up with a plan. Why not make it as if Peeta and Katniss were in love with one another? But in a game where only one person can live, Katniss will have to use all her brains, wits, and instincts to determine who to trust and how to outwit the game’s creators.

My thoughts:

Wow, that’s all I can say, really wow! I heard about this book, it was generally people raving about it on various book-blogs and I considered reading it. Still hesitant, because it seemed so brutal and I wasn’t sure if I was up to reading a “lord of the flies”, with kids running around beating each other to death. But as I accidently happened across the book at the local library I decided to give it a shot, and boy am I glad I did!

If I’ve called other books page-turners, I think I’ll have to invent a new meaning for the term, because this was such a page-turner that no force in the universe could have made me put the book down, once I started! It’s a 400+ pages book and I literally read it in one sitting, cancelling all other activities I had planned for the day. The story is so good, that at times I had to stop and just marvel at the turn of events the author had created.

But here I am rattling on..let’s get to the review:

As seen in the synopsis, this is the story about Katniss who in a dystopian future takes the place of her sister in the yearly tournament Hunger Games. The Hunger Games have been created by the Capitol (the government) to ensure the people in the districts are reminded each year how helpless and powerless they are up against the Capitol. This is to prevent the people to rebel, which is something that happened many years ago.

Each year, each district is forced to send two of their kids to fight against their lives in an arena filled with dangers, created by the Capitol. Only one kid is allowed to survive.

Katniss, our heroine is from district 12. Ever since her father died in a mine explosion, and her mother consequently went into a depression, she has been the food supplier of the family, mainly hunting game out in the forbidden woods outside the district.

She is a tough girl, and as a reader you believe and vote for her straight away as someone who actually might make it alive through the games. Complications arise though when the other kid from district 12 is chosen, a boy named Peeta. He seems like such a good boy and well, without saying too much, let me just say I rooted for him pretty much immediately. But only one is allowed to survive, right?

We enter the Hunger Games, and there are some turn of events here that literally had my gasping out loud. Yes, there are 24 kids here, who are to be slaughtered in  a number of ways. Yet, seeing as we are following Katniss, who is not present at most of the deaths, it’s not as cruel as you might think. Instead, as a reader you focus on her, and how she will survive. I don’t like when things get too cruel and dark. Generally, I need some heart and warmth to keep me going in a book. But let me assure you, that despite the cruel premise in this book, there are some real heart-warming moments. That’s what makes it so good.

I really only have one minor criticism, and that is the ending, which clearly needs a follow-up. It’s not exactly a cliff-hanger but you will want to read the next book, Catching Fire, pretty much straight away.

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11 Responses to “Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins”

  1. jenika January 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Hi Tess!
    Today I started reading The Hunger games (your 5/5 marks made me very curious) and by far I am liking it! I already like Peeta (I am in the first chapters, Katniss has just volunteered to save her sister and she just heard her companion will be Peeta and she started to remember how as a child he gave her 2 loaves of bread when she was in total hunger and desperation). Sweet Peeta!
    What will happen next?
    More comments to come!
    🙂
    Jenika

    • tess January 21, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Hi Jenika,
      Sorry for my absence, I’ve been away! But I have to ask, how’s it going with the Hunger Games? I’m so glad you are reading it now since the movie will be out in just 2 months, and it’s good to have read the book first! Did you like it?? Would love to hear your thoughts!!

  2. jenika January 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Hi Tess!
    The beginning of the book looked very good but after a while it started to became very boring and I didn’t like the characters at all. I stopped after they arrived to the capital and did the parade for the public.
    I will read other books. Maybe in the future I’ll try to continue reading it.
    Many things made me very puzzled.
    I mean, how is it possible that the main character knows she is going to be probably killed in very short time and she thinks about how they got dresses by the stylist and even says hello to the public, waves to them and even send kisses during the parade!!! It was totally not credible… the people were there waiting for bloody fight and she behave like she was on a carnival parade!
    I will give it a try anyway in the future(your review is the only reason…)
    sorry for the bad comments…
    ^^;

    • tess February 5, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      Hi Jenika!
      Sorry to hear you didn’t like The Hunger Games. It does handle some gruesome topics, and the whole parade before the games is somewhat bizarre, I totally agree. Ah well, we all have different tastes obviously, not everyone likes the Hunger Games. Thanks for your comments 🙂

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