TITLE: The Hunger Games
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
SERIES: The Hunger Games (#1)
GENRE: Romance, Dystopian, Middle Grade
RATING: 4/5 Stars
In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear on a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
What I Liked:
- The atmosphere that Collins writes into this book is incredible. The idea of the Hunger Games seems loosely based on the Greek Myth, Theseus and the Minotaur. The idea that watching twenty four children aim to kill each other could be a form of entertainment to anyone is horrific and sent shudders down my spine. Collins' writing just really brings to light exactly how terrible this idea is. The Hunger Games aren't just a form of entertainment. They are a political message, serving to remind everyone that the Capitol are not to be rebelled against, and such a twisted idea is enough to make anyone feel sick.
- There was so much personality in the characters, which was vital for this book. In order for it's story to be hard-hitting, the reader needed to connect with and adore the characters involved because by the end of the book they would most likely be dead. Of course I was rooting for Katniss, the heroine of the story, but I liked Peeta, Rue, Thresh, even Foxface! I was constantly reminded of their (potentially) inevitable deaths and it was quite upsetting. Collins certainly did a fantastic job of making sure that the impossible situation was emotionally hard-hitting.
- Let's talk about Katniss for a bit. I loved her! I think she's a great heroine, a good role model as well! She's tough enough that she's independent and relies on no one else to baby her which I liked. At the same time, she was human. She made mistakes and she suffered for them. When an author writes their lead as too perfect this can get annoying but I didn't find myself irritated by Katniss once.
What I Disliked:
- The writing was a little simplistic at times. Now this is not an overly bad thing, it is aimed at a younger audience than myself and so I went into this book expecting as such. But I was so into the story I wished at times that it was aimed at my age group so that I could get a more detailed version! It wasn't so much the content, Collins certainly didn't shy away from writing about death (some rather gruesome) and adult subjects. It was more the writing style itself. Maybe I'm being greedy. I still loved it!
I spent the whole book trying very hard to separate it from the films and for the most part succeeded! I was so worried I would be disappointed, but I wasn't! It was such a good story, plenty of suspense that kept me on my toes and my eyes glued to the page, and the characters were written so well! If only it had been aimed at a slightly more mature audience I would have been so happy!