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The Hunger Games - lives up to the hype!
The Hunger Games Classic - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: karlsm93
The Hunger Games Classic - Suzanne Collins
Advantages: Extremely well wrote, interesting, addictive
Disadvantages: Not one!
I don't get the same time now to read like I used to since my daughter was born, but for my recent birthday, I received the three books making up the Trilogy of the Hunger Games, and was pleased but thought to myself 'when will I get time to read these?'. I had the first book read within three days, and that was only in the evening when my daughter was in bed and I had some time. THese books are totally addictive, to the point that every time my husband looked I had this book in my hand!
I had never even heard of this book before the film was launched, and I haven't seen it either, but I was aware of the hype surrounding this book and did wonder if they would live up the hype!
From the very first page where we meet Katniss Everdeen on the morning of the Reaping, were all children between 12 and 18 are eligible to be selected to compete in the usually fatal Hunger Games, were there can be only one winner and every other competitor will face death, I was hooked. We also meet Gale, the male hunting friend of Katniss, her mother and her sister Prim, the people closest to her. Her father is dead and with her mother having sunk into depression after his death, Katniss has become the sole provider for the family, and she is only 16. The only way to provide however, is by illegally hunting in the woods, which are out of bounds in theory but not for Katniss and Gale, who is also fatherless and the main provider for his family. You don't sense any self pity with these two characters, but rather a strength of character and a perseverence that makes them do whatever it takes to care for their loved ones rather than starve.
As the book continues the bigger picture of what is going on in this future world starts to unravel. Katniss and Gale live in District 12, the last of the 12 districts based around the Capitol, the main city where the rich and wealthy live. The districts do not interact, and are all in the depths of deprivation because of a rebellion years ago against the rulers in the Capitol that didn't succeed. The punishment for this rebellion, is the extinction of District 13 and the Hunger Games, where each district offers up a boy and girl every year as a tribute to recompense for the rebellion. Only one of the 24 children survive and to survive you have to kill. The Reaping is the day when the names are picked out. Katniss and Gale almost expect that one of them may get selected, but Katniss is not ready for her 12 year old sister to be selected adn that is exactly what happens. Katniss isn't willing to let that happen so volunteers to take her place, which she is allowed to do according to the rules and hence starts the Hunger Games.
I honestly thought I would get bored as the games themselves begin, thinking it would be full of war like language and images, but not at all. Even in the actual games arena the action is fast paced, and the 'pretend' romance between Katniss and her male counterpart from District 12 Peeta keeps a softness to the story. I can't say that this book was predictable apart from guessing that Katniss would win, but a lot of the twists and turns were unexpected, and as a reader you honestly felt like you were there with her in the arena.
I liked the character of Katniss from the beginning. She is strong but very likeable and humble throughout, not realising just how capable she is. Her care for those who are in need never stops even when it comes to the other tributes she is fighting against. WIth Katniss telling the story from her viewpoint it makes her even more accessible and a very lifelike character. I also liked the fact that the novel had just enough characters so I didn't lose track but kept the story interesting.
All in all, I struggled to set the book time and kept reading even though I was tired and needed to sleep. The characters, story line and writing makes this book totally addictive. It is easy reading, but thought provoking at the same time, and the imagery is fantastic. I have now just started the second book ;Catching Fire' and am enjoying it equally as much. A super author.
Summary: A terrific book
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