The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 

I know, I know. I’m so behind with this one that it hurts me a little bit inside. Only people who live under rocks have the excuse of reading this as late as I have. I wish I’d got here sooner – it’s every bit as good as you all said it was.

From Amazon (not that you don’t know already): ‘Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been clse to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever…’

I did have my gripes with this one, but only teeny ones. I adored it. It somehow neatly bridges the gap between YA and Adult and produces this wonderful, yet slightly brutal, novel.

It reminds me of a form of Battle Royale for teens  –  a Japanese film where a bunch of young people are forced to kill each other in a situation every similar to The Hunger Games. It’s a good film, but way more brutal and disturbing than this. I loved how Ms Collins actually explanied how the Hunger Games came to be – it’s annoyingly frequent how many authors of dystopian novels shove their fingers in their ears and pretend backstory is a mythological concept akin to unicorns. In this book, the situation is made more… real, I guess, by the actual reasons given for the circumstances.

It takes a very talented author to invent twenty-four teenagers and give them all completely distinct personalities. Katniss, Peeta, Rue, Thresh… they all stand out clearly from one another as different people with different thoughts. I swear, I loved Rue so much I wanted to take her home and squish her.

My only real dislike was Katniss’ complete lack of compassion. She never seems at all put-out that she may have to kill her peers, nor does she ever stop to think that it might not be perfectly okay to do so. She barely blinks when she does kill somebody and never acts like the whole thing might possibly be A Big Deal. If it were me, I’d be slightly peturbed (read: terrified) at the whole situation and you wouldn’t see me for dust. And yes, I know she’d been brought up with the concept, but even so – she’d still be nervous, scared, or at least something other than vaguely apathetic.

I could have done without the romance, but I say that so often I’m going to have it engraved on my tombstone.

It has a very predictable plot, as the outcome of The Games was obvious from the train ride to the Capitol. It barely diminishes the book though – just because you know the destination doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. Without even reading the back of the next in the series, I can guess where it’s going though.

I have to admit to not being overly thrilled at the ending – I’d prefer the book to cut off straight after the Hunger Games ended. There are a good few books that would be far improved by the removal of their last few pages (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I’m looking at you!), and this is definitely one of them. That little bit would have made more sense in the beginning of Catching Fire.

IMDB tells me that there’s going to a film next year, although that’s hardly surprising. What is surprising though, is that I don’t automatically hate the girl they’ve cast to play Katniss. She’s not perfect, but she’ll do for me. I’m sure it will be a horrifying adaptation, but then again, they usually are.

I’ve heard that these films are going to be hyped up to a Twilight-esque extent, but I really don’t see it. Everyone in the entire world was obsessed with Twilight, but I hadn’t even heard of Suzanne Collins util I started trawling through book blogs. They’re huge in our cozy little world, but I can imagine people going to see the film and then promptly forgetting that it was once words on a page.

Comments

  1. Raimy-rawr says:

    I wasnt really impressed with this one. I preferred the parts out of the arena than in it. I still havent read the second two but I do want to!

  2. Hannah says:

    @Raimy-rawr – You're the first person I've heard to say they weren't impressed! It's strange though, because I definitely preferred the inside arena parts.

    I want to read the second two too, but I can't see them being as good.

  3. A great read, very interesting. I would highly recommend it. Words cannot describe the enjoyment I had for this book.
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