Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Hunger Games

Level: Older Teen
Genre: Fantasy > Dystopian
Obtained: Borrowed from grandmother
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
In a dystopian society, the Capital controls the districts around it by forcing strict rules upon them such as no hunting, no weapons, and restrictions on what sort of jobs they can have. However, the worst thing the districts are forced into is something called the Hunger Games. In these games, a boy and a girl from each district are chosen to participate and then thrown into an arena until only one is left alive. It is in these games that Katniss finds herself, and she is doing whatever it takes to survive.

Rating: 9/10
First off, I love the fact that Suzanne Collins does not shy away from heavy issues and violence even though this is a young adult series. I love the fact that she believes that even teenagers can handle such issues (at least in text). With that being said, time to turn my thoughts to other aspects of this book.

I have to admit that this was a page turner, even though it was fairly obvious what was going to happen at the end of this book. The question was how. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see how Katniss got out of each scenario. I have to say that some of my favourite scenes took place in the Capitol. Yes, the actual Hunger Games were quite entertaining with its weapons and survival, but the Capitol is just as harsh. Just in a different sense. In the Capitol, we get to see the tributes battle the press and learn how to be a good celebrity so that they can obtain sponsors, which can help them better survive in the arena. 

Besides the entertainment value, Collins does a fabulous job at poking fun at our current society (which I thought was a nice underlayer) such as all the fashion trends that can be so outrageous as to almost be grotesque. Then, of course, there are the Hunger Games that the Capitol people watch religiously like our own American Idol.

Collins also manages to create fascinating characters. Honestly, I cannot think of a single character I dislike. I may dislike that character as a person or be aggravated by some of their traits though. For example, I could not see myself getting along with Katniss, but she made an excellent character. Then again, Katniss isn't supposed to be liked by everyone. Some love her and other times she simple rubs people the wrong way, and that is how I felt about her throughout. 

Not only does Collins create interesting characters but boy does she have a knack for getting images and emotions to stick in your head for days upon end. Don't worry. I don't plan on giving out spoilers, but I have to say one major part that is still with me is the climax of the actual Hunger Games with the mutts (genetically altered animals). There was definitely a creep factor when they came into play at the end.

To be honest, the only things I really disliked  was the present tense writing and the love triangle. I'm guessing the former is more of a personal choice, but I am sure plenty can agree with me that the love triangle is getting old. However, it was definitely a subplot and not the main focus so I did not feel like I was drowning in the trope.

So all together, I felt that this was an excellent read. It had an entertaining plot, well-rounded characters, and it did a fantastic job at integrating our current society in a heavy yet satirical way. Collins has a gift, and I would recommend this to many people. In fact, if you haven't read this, I suggest doing so (with the next two books on hand, because you will be wanting them).

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