Friday, July 2, 2010

Review of The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins

Everybody told me to read this book, and I’m glad I did. The Hunger Games is a hot YA novel that is definitely science fiction, but it's not marketed that way from what I can tell. I finally read it and and finished last week. It started pretty slow, but the main character, Katniss (named after flowering water plant), was awesome. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed her and was impressed at how much I was made to care. Katniss has a self-deprecating sincerity that makes you love her.

The book is very character driven and tells the story of a future North America that has been brought under the control of a cruel central government that imposes its will on twelve districts with starving populations kept poor and hungry by draconian policies. The government (referred to as, "the capital") forces each district to send a boy and girl to participate in the Hunger Games once a year--they draw lots to see who goes—but it’s probably rigged. Then the capital game makers lock the teenagers into an arena where they proceed to kill each other live on television—which shows how big and powerful the capital is--and keeps the districts in line.

Only one person can survive and win. Good thing Katniss is an amazing archer—she hunted illegally since she was young. She's a truly interesting character and the entire novel is from her point of view. I love it that Suzanne Collins didn’t muddy the waters with other characters points of view. She stays in tight on Katniss and this really allowed me, and I think any reader, to really become vested in the character.

The story is a little far-fetched for me, but I can mostly buy it, and the world that Collins created is fascinating. In the end, the book is well written, interesting, and has some cool characters, especially Katniss. I don't see it as a must read, but I was quite entertained. I'm now listening to the audio book of the sequel, Catching Fire, and I like it a lot so far. Book three in the series is out now and I'm glad I'll be able to read it without a long wait. In summary, Suzanne Collins has created an excellent series for young adults and adults, that entertains as well as educates the reader about the dangers of inhumanity and the consequences of having to do anything to survive.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

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