Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 374
Age: YA
Received: purchased a copy, but I actually listened to the audio book version from my local library

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel 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, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, 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 will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

How is it that I have just started reading this book? I picked it up a while ago, but kept putting it off. It was such a great read that I think I will buy the boxed set and figure out what to do with my copy of The Hunger Games.

The thing that really got me was seeing the difference in the living conditions between the rich and the poor. Also, the fact they the country was split up into industries and each section pretty much did only one thing – and all for the good of the Capital. How frustrating it must have been for the kids to see everything they will never have just before going in to fight for their lives. The idea of holding an annual battle between children/teens for all to see is disturbing – it's like having a more fierce and deadly version of Survivor involving kids. This dystopian novel really makes you think about how the powerful could crush everything you hold dear and force everyone to bend at their will just to survive.

Katniss is absolutely my favourite heroine this year! Even before being chosen for the Hunger Games she was showing such strength and bravery by hunting for food for her family even though it is banned. She is so strong willed and just so real. Her emotions are all over the place during this book and I think that shows she is really just a girl thrown into a terrible world while trying to make the best of her situation. The idea of The Hunger Games makes you actually feel for her even more. Who puts children into such a place to fight to the death? You get attached to Katniss right away because it's unbearable to think of her dying.

Peeta is probably my most favourite hopeless romantic ever. No matter the situation he continues to love Katniss with his whole being, even when she is completely oblivious to it. He would do anything for her and for them to be both tossed into the Games is probably the worst situation ever – to have to knowingly kill your love interest because it means winning and be able to go home. They were the star crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, but with the major twist of imminent death hanging over their heads.

My two favourite parts in the book that show Katniss' more feminine side are when she sings to little Rue out in the Games – she is so tender and caring with her. And the other is her realization that she is stuck emotionally in a love triangle that she never saw coming – her best friend Gale and the baker's son and fellow competitor Peeta.

I absolutely cannot wait to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I must pick up the boxed set after Christmas and get reading! So with that thought in mind... I think I am going to have a giveaway for my paperback copy of The Hunger Games! Keep your eyes peeled for the contest – it should be up in a day or two.

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