Book Review: “The Hunger Games”

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Source: Bought

Other Hunger Games Posts

Summary from Goodreads:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before–and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

review

I read The Hunger Games for the first time over a year ago. I absolutely loved the first book ( and enjoyed the series) because it was so different than what I was reading. Actually it was pretty different from anything I had read up until that point. I was really excited to re-read the series.  I’ve read so much YA lit in the last year including really good dystopian lit and the not so good dystopian lit. I was very interested to see how the book stands up now that I have a better “background”.

The world building is solid which is essential in any good Science Fiction/Dystopian book. There’s never “information vomit”, a massive unloading of information that makes the reader’s head explode. Instead, it’s done gradually throughout the book to paint the picture of how bleak Panem really is. There are short anecdotes sprinkled within the story that fill in the blanks of Katniss’ life. You can start seeing how everything fits together. [The anecdotes are great but I’m a bit worried about how that will translate onto the screen.]

The some of characters in this book are really tricky. For the most part you don’t really get to know anyone which is really unfortunate. Sure, Gale, Prim, the other tributes are developed as well as they can be considering the amount of ‘screen time’ they get but they really aren’t brought to life. Since I’ve already read the books before I had a difficult time keeping everything straight and trying to focus on what I know during this book.

You can’t overlook the ‘romance’ of the story. I do have to say that it is done incredibly well. Peeta and Katniss’ actions all appear and feel normal and natural (Yes, the reader knows how awkward Katniss feels with it all but that too is part of natural teen interaction.) Whatever, I’ll admit it…there were so many times I was grinning while reading about how Peeta and Katniss interact. It’s just too cute. Squeee Ahem. Moving on….

I have to give major kudos to Collins about Peeta. I technically shouldn’t like him. He doesn’t do much . He’s too perfect. The reader really doesn’t get to know him. All we see of him is him being nice. That’s really not enough to make me like him but somehow I’m smitten with him. WHY?!

I was a bit blown away by the fact that the book is still able to have the same emotional impact as reading it for the first time. I knew what was going to happen. I knew who dies and who lives. I might not remember some of the finer details but I knew the big things. Despite all that I was still as emotionally moved as I was the first time.  Katniss volunteering as tribute? I teared up. The end when Peeta realizes that Katniss was just playing it up for the cameras? I really did feel like I had the wind knocked out of me when his heart broke. Brilliantly done Miss Collins.

The bottom line? Very well done. I can’t recommend this book enough.

 

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20 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Hunger Games”

  1. The movie is almost here!!! EEEEEEEE!!! Ok, more seriously, I liked Peeta because he has some serious moral character and fortitude. He gave starving Katniss bread, even when his evil witch of a mom would beat him for it. There is that scene where they’re on the roof of the hotel and he says something about not wanting to lose who he is to the Capitol and the Games. He’s just SO good and so true to himself that it is hard not to like him. Also, it is so rare that the girl picks the good guy in the love triangle. She usually goes for the dangerous/sexy one. So there is that in Collins’s favor. (Though I really hated the whole love triangle nonsense in this series. It was totally unnecessary.)

    When are you going to see the movie?

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  3. I read this series a couple of years ago, enjoyed it, but didn’t realise how it was going to haunt me since then. I’ve had numerous dreams about being in the arena and had a nightmare about tracker-jackers that I’d completely forgotten about until the buzzing of a fly brought it back to me in all its horror. (I hate wasps at the best of times.) Reread it again recently.

    I think Ms Collins has some kind of magical powers, because I thought I’d hate this series, and even while reading it I couldn’t understand why I liked it (maybe “liked” is the wrong word about a story about kids killing each other) but it’s a very powerful story. Off to see the film next week. It looks incredible.

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  5. Hey hey, I have finished first volume!! =)
    I have enjoyed every single page of the book and am left with a broken heart ((

    1) I totally agree with you, there is not much about Peeta, he doesn’t really do anything and until the end you don’t know what his target is, but somehow…. yeah, somehow he makes him love. Is that because of his blue eyes? xDD

    2) Nothing made me love Gale. I do agree with everything he says, but every time he opens his mouth, I want to go to take shower to wash his arrogance out of my skin. Maybe his character wasn’t translated properly (I read in German), but I just really didn’t like him for everything and nothing at once.

    3) Redhead Tribute with Fox face! She has got my sympathy as well and even more than only it. I saw her like somebody I have met in person some time ago. I still can’t draw Katniss’ or Gale’s portraits in my head, but HER I saw from the first moment.

    …and now it is movie time!!!

    • Yay!

      Yes, it must be his blue eyes. 😀

      Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of him. All 3 books really force him into the love triangle when it doesn’t fit. I know he loves Katniss because they’ve taken care of each other but it’s not really romantic love. The romance angle with him felt really forced.

      Woohoo! Hope you enjoy the movie.

      • Offtopic:
        how could you remove rating tags??? Huh??!!! You said you gonna leave them for yourself. But now they all are gone (( It makes really complicated to search your blog for new (for me) books (( Boo on you(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

        • I removed them from the reviews. I didn’t want people to solely focus on them.

          The actual tags should still be on my reviews. Look all the way at the bottom of the reviews under “Share This”.

          You can still access the links here: Just click on the numbers!

          • I remember that, but you know, it just takes too much time if you need to find something quickly.

            About first couple of minutes of movie: are there no red Persian cats in USA that they could use for movie?? and THIS supposed to be sweet 12 years old Prim???? Omg *facepalm*

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