Newest Review: ... kindle version than actual paper. ===Another world=== The Hunger Games is set in a distant future. The earth has been ravaged by war and... more
The Hunger Games: Kill or be killed
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: Wickedinrock
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Advantages: Fantastic story, good lead character, gripping
Disadvantages: Not for everyone!
The Hunger Games is part of a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins which was published in 2008. Collins was previously a writer for Nickelodeon working on shows like Clarissa Explains It All, amongst others, before she started to write children's books. The Hunger Games books have become some of the most popular young adult books of the last few years, all of which have become number one bestsellers. Since the release of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins has been named one of the most influential people of 2010 in Times Magazine.
= Let the Hunger Games begin... =
At the start of the book we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen's 'District 12', an area of the post apocalyptic country of Panem where the USA once stood. Far from the advanced image of the future regularly portrayed in films and books, 16 year old Katniss and her friend Gale must hunt for food to survive. Once a year the residents of all 12 districts of Panem gather together for 'The Reaping' at the Capitol. The event reveals the outcome of a ballot where two teenagers from each district are picked to compete in the 'Hunger Games'. When Katniss's 12 year old sister Prim's name is called out to represent District 12, a distraught Katniss immediately volunteers to be her tribute and enter on her behalf.
The Hunger Games is a huge televised event where 24 boys and girls aged 12-18 fight to the death and try to survive in a huge arena where they lack food and medicines and have to hunt for their weapons and supplies. The games are organised by 'The Capitol', as a punishment to Panem for a previous uprising and to show the residents that they are fully controlled and that even children are not free from their reign of oppression. Along with a local boy called Peeta Mellark, Katniss is taken to the Capitol and must prepare for the 'Games' with the assistance of District 12s only former winner, an alcoholic named Haymitch Abernathy.
In an arena with 23 other 'tributes', some of which have been training for the Hunger games since birth, Katniss is not expected to make it home. But survival has always come naturally to her as she has fended and provided for her family since her father died and she swears to her sister that she will return.
= Is it any good? =
Yes! I read this book over two days on my way to and from work and in bed and just couldn't put it down. I was so caught up in the story and was reading it under my desk in the office and wouldn't speak to anyone on my lunch break !
I get through at least two books a week and normally stick to crime and history, however I do love the occasional young adult book! The Hunger Games is aimed at the Twilight audience, the young adults who love a great story with a gripping love story and I think that anyone who enjoyed The Twilight Saga will love these books. In fact Stephenie Meyer (Twilight's author) is a massive fan of these books and a quote from her features on the front cover of the book. It has also had positive reviews from Stephen King and Rick Riorden, as well as featuring on the New York Times' Bestseller list for over 100 weeks.
Katniss is a likeable protagonist who lives with her mother and younger sister in poverty since her father's death. Every day she hunts illegally with her best friend Gale knowing that if she is caught she could risk death at the hands of the Capitol. When she arrives at the Capitol to prepare for the Hunger Games she is groomed by personal stylists who makeover the 'tributes' to make them look more attractive for the televised event. Their inhuman show is entirely about entertainment and dehumanises children as young as 12 in the way that Battle Royale did. Katniss's situation is desperate and sad but as the reader I was entirely gripped by the story, the way the residents of Panem reacted to the games and Katniss's desire to win the games despite the fact she is a nice girl and doesn't want to kill anyone. The other character explored in detail in the book is Peeta, a boy from Katniss's school who is also chosen to take part in the Games. Their relationship is one of the most interesting parts of the story as they begin to form a friendship yet know at the end of the day that one of them must die and that if they work together and become the final two, they will have to kill each other.
I've been recommending the book to everyone at work and it's currently being passed among people in my office, generally to good reception! You need to enjoy this type of book to give it a try - it's certainly not one that I'd expect my mum or dad to like, but anyone who loves a good gripping read with a story which really makes you think will adore it.
= Price and availability =
The Hunger Games is available from all good book stores and online as below at the time of writing:
Book Depository £3.98
The Hut £5.45
W H Smith £6.64
Catching Fire (book 2) and Mockingjay (book 3) are also both widely available.
= The Hunger Games: The Movie? =
Late last year it was announced that The Hunger Games would be made into a film to the fans' delight. More recently Oscar nominated Jennifer Lawrence has been cast in the coveted role of Katniss, a controversial choice to get a well developed blonde 20 year old to play a small, scrawny, dark featured 16 year old, but that's Hollywood! It will be released in March 2012 with production starting over the next few months.
= Overall =
I don't normally review books because I never think I can do my favourites justice and don't enjoy writing about something I didn't love reading! However, in the case of The Hunger Games, I've found that not enough people know about it so really wanted to tell people know how good it is! I first heard about it through an enthusiastic review by Jonnyboi so if one person reads and enjoys the book after reading my review I'll be delighted.
I don't want to reveal anything further than the outline of the story but the twists, turns and character and story development make for fantastic reading and it is one of the most gripping books I've read in years. Despite the brilliant writing and fantastic storyline which would appeal to everyone, this book would definitely appeal to a more targeted audience of young adults mainly because the characters are young. However, there is no way I could give the book any less than 5 out of 5. Go... read... now!
Summary: Battle Royale for a younger audience