When it comes to highly popular and well liked books I always meet it with skepticism. I hate being disappointed. It’s like watching a movie only to find out it wasn’t that great (The Matrix Reloaded was a very fine example for me). So with The Hunger Games I was wondering what the hype was all about. Everywhere I saw, all the book blog reviews I keep on seeing very high grades. In fact I have yet to see a bad review on it. Suddenly I feel as if the Harry Potter craze is repeated all over again. Mind you, I came into the Harry Potter thing pretty late. When The Goblet of Fire was out I just started getting into it. I have yet to get into the Twilight thing. The Hunger Games caught my attention more than Twilight (besides, I am waiting for Breaking Dawn to hit paperback and then I’ll start reading it). So I decided to check it out from the local library (which has a rather long standing queue).
The Hunger Games by Suzanna Collins is a dystopian fiction novel that looks like it takes place in the future. There are twelve districts (there used to be 13 but that got obliterated when they wanted to rebel against the Capitol). From each of the twelve districts two people are chosen (a boy and a girl from the ages of 12 to 18) to participate in The Hunger Games. Which is something like a gladiator game mixed in with the reality TV show Survivor. There can only be one winner, with the reward being going back home alive, prestige in being a winner, and lots of perks for their own district. Here you meet the main character named Katniss, who survives by hunting and feeding her family which consists of her mother and her little sister. When her little sister’s name comes up when choosing participants in The Hunger Games, Katniss offers herself instead to go in her sister’s place. From then on, you follow Katniss as she fights her way through the games with her fellow district teammate, Peeta.
OMG. Now I know why people are raving about this book. It was GREAT! the closer I got to the ending of the book, the more excited I got and the more I wanted to just finish reading it and ignore all the distractions around me. Everything about it got my attention. The idea of the games where everybody fights to the death is just so macabre because its’ participants are the ages in their teens or a little bit younger. Just the idea of that fits wonderfully to the dystopian theme. Background information regarding how the world came to be like this is explained by Katniss herself as she’s the narrator through the novel. She explains how she loses her father in an accident, how after that she became the main supporter of her family, her strenuous relationship with her mother, and her loving protecting relationship with her little sister Prim.
Katniss is a strong character, having come from a hard background, The Hunger Games could have been an easy win for her (of course that’s not always the case) of course she goes through a lot of obstacles and still ends up being in a lose lose situation even up to the end. With her background being the way it is, she seems very hostile and hard to approach, even hard to like. That’s exactly how I felt about her in the beginning. Not to say I didn’t like her, it’s just her actions and her words made her very hard to like. I tended to gravitate toward Peeta more. What I really liked is the “relationship” between Peeta and Katniss. Peeta is such a strong, silent type character you can’t help but admire him. He is the exact opposite from Katniss yet I feel that they look great together. They are the perfect example of opposites attract. Towards the end though, Katniss seemed more likable and more approachable. She lost that hostility and replaced it with a maturity which seemed to have developed throughout the Games. It was really interesting to see her develop through the novel.
The plot was great and there’s no stop in the action which made the plot fly by faster and made you more engrossed into the book. It was very well written, and the characters in it were wonderfully created and well rounded. I loved Peeta and Katniss. The ending made me want to get out and get the second book, I was a little sad at the way it ended and yet the little girl in me wanted a rose colored ending which of course would not really be possible in a dystopian novel. What I really liked about the plot are the sudden twists that came with the Games. The sudden change in the rules, or even the way the game is played out varies from day to day for the contestants so the plot reflected those types of changes as well. You were relaxed one minute, the next minute there was a twist in the plot that left you wanting to scream. Even towards the end I was waiting for some sort of plot twist, I just couldn’t trust the way it ended.
Overall an excellent novel. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to take this out from the library and read it. I don’t regret it one bit and also I’m glad I listen to some of my fellow book bloggers and their reviews on this book. 🙂
I give it a 10 out of 10. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON CATCHING FIRE!