Sunday, 16 October 2011
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (#1)
Maybe I was just being 'indie' (I use that term lightly) and didn't want to join the hype train for this series of books. Actually, I was with my friend Joey when she saw the copy of the last one in this series, Mockingkay, screamed and then ran to the till in Waterstones, her purse already in hand.
I laughed but even after her influencing other of my friends to read it, I still didn't read it AND I'M THE ONE WITH THE BOOK BLOG. So, when I heard there was going to be a movie which I knew I'd probably be taken to, I thought this is it. I'm going to read them.
And then I mentioned it and my friend then gave me his sister's copy of the first book and I knew it was kind of time to finally read it. Dramatic I know, but when I started reading it never felt forced, although it sort of was on my friends part. Anyway, before I bore you, I have no unthinkable excuse why I never read this book before and WHAT THE HELL HAVE I MISSED?! *runs off happily*
Synopsis (if you've been living in a cave): Annually, the Hunger Games are held at the Capitol, the capital of the future North America: Panem. Two tributes, a girl and a boy, aged between 12 and 18, come from the twelve different districts to compete. Only one can win. However, there is only one rule: kill or be killed. Tributes battle to kill one another to get the ultimate prize: survival.
Sixteen year-old, Katniss Everdeen, from District 12 - the poorest and less likely to win of all of Panem, takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games. But in the wilderness of the outskirts of District 12, Katniss has learnt how to survive, hunting has become second nature. Will she win or will she fall like so many others before her?
Review: My first reaction after reading this book: WOW. Just...wow. Also, firstly, I am SO sorry Suzanne Collins that I didn't read this book and hopefully the whole series sooner because erm, why Rebecca did you put them off so long? This review is basically going to be me rambling how amazing this book is, I can not think of any negatives to be honest. And the end...oh the end, I had tears. Oh my god, just wow. I am such a idiot for putting them off. Oh and Peeta and Katniss, oh. And oh the end. And oh.
Okay. Sorry, gushing over. This book is one of those books I think will be around for a while. I mean, they're making a movie of the series! So it has to have stuck out in the bookish world.
I have read a lot of dystopian since I discovered the genre, but nothing was quite up to scratch as this one. This has (I'm going to say it again...) everything you could want in a a few hundred pages. I don't quite know how Suzanne Collins does it. When we entered the arena, I think, around the 200 page mark, I thought 'How is she going to make time past so 23 tributes die while making it entertaining, funny and interesting with all readers rooting for Katniss? But she does it. And she does it well. The antics that happen within the Hunger Games arena are so engaging and portray a side of humanity we rarely see: the fight for survival.
Something about Katniss' whole situation brings out this cruel raw emotion in me. I mean, Katniss is sixteen. That's my age and I don't think I'd be ready to do what she does in this book. Or any Hunger Games for that matter. The thought of some day dying makes me cry and disappointed of the days where I haven't appreciated living. How would anyone feel to enter a place where you know that the odds are in favour of you probably dying? And these guys are teenagers as young as twelve. It's a sad, disgusting thought to think of in the future.
So why the Hunger Games? Why did Panem just decide to kill 23 young people every year? There is a reason and I don't know whether to share it or not. If you want to know, email me, I think that's fair.
The reason is stupid really and unreal for us but I can see why the Capitol would make the Hunger Games to avenge.
Now, Katniss. I love the name for starters. I loved Katniss' voice throughout the novel and she became a part of the book I think would not be complete without her. She is young, less strong that she may seem but the Hunger Games matures her within the first hundred pages of the book. Then, Peeta.
While reading this, my Hunger Games fan friends kept saying 'Oh Peeta, he's so cute' while I sat there thinking 'Erm, really? Not seeing it'. Until one moment. And then I understood everyone's love for Peeta and the whole love triangle with Gale (although he doesn't feature heavily in this book) and him. The Hunger Games provides a cast of characters so diverse, original and entertaining, that you enjoy this book more. The writing slows down and speeds up in the appropriate places and makes you feel so many emotions in the space of a dozen pages. This book is an emotional roller coaster to read for both Katniss and yourself.
Suzanne Collins, pretty unknown before this book was released, has created this amazing world of Panem and gives a possible insight to what our world could become with the continuation of war. She successfully hints future events (I only know from reading synopsis of the two other novels) and put me as a reader on edge so much, you are practically screaming for their survival as the pages turn. And the end. Wow. The end is cruel, truthful, happy, heart breaking and just...I don't know how to describe it as it kind of jumped on me as I started to think of what to write for this review. This book is, ultimately, perfect and I cannot praise it enough.
Verdict: Every young adult should read this book. I haven't read a book this good in a while.
I give it a 5 out of 5
The next two book are released already, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The Hunger Games movie is due to be released April 2012.
Author's Website: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/ and http://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/
Book #2: Catching Fire
Book #3: Mockingjay