Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date: September 14, 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Teen, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Twenty- four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Oh, The Hunger Games. I have to admit, I wasn’t even sure I was going to review this book after I finished reading it, just because I’ve seen so many reviews of it around the blogosphere. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to add to the hype. But of course, here I am writing the review anyways. I couldn’t resist – I really enjoyed The Hunger Games and I want to share why!
I loved, loved, loved the character of Katniss. I thought she was smart, clever, and amazingly resourceful. You couldn’t help but root for her during the course of the Hunger Games. She cared so much for her sister and would do anything to protect and take care of her family. Had Katniss not been an impeccably written and expertly developed character, this book would not have been worth reading. The fact that I could barely put it down speaks to Suzanne Collins’ talent as a writer.
I also liked both of the potential love interests introduced for Katniss during the course of The Hunger Games. On one hand, Gale is just as resourceful as Katniss. He is strong and knows how to take care of himself. He also knows Katniss better than anyone else knows her. But on the other hand, Peeta has made sacrifices for Katniss in the past. He is somewhat of a mystery to Katniss, but seems to care about her. I can’t wait for the full love story to unfold in the next two books.
Naturally, I thought the entire premise of The Hunger Games to be completely distasteful – not in a bad way, but in the way that the author intended. However, I was fascinated by Collins’ interpretation of the dystopian future. I thought she did a great job making this nightmare of a world come alive for the reader. I only wish she included more information about the history of this world; additionally, I’d love to learn more about the individual Districts. I suppose that will happen in the sequel, Catching Fire.
There is a good reason The Hunger Games is getting a lot of hype – it is really that good! While I don’t think it was perfect, this is one of those novels that the positive buzz can’t ruin. It lives up to all those great reviews; you should definitely give it a chance if you haven’t already!