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
Forget the Olympic games, read The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: sbw80
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Date: 08/08/12, updated on 05/09/12 (35 review reads)
Advantages: Beautifully conceived and executed plot by a very gifted author
Disadvantages: You will need to buy the next two in the series to get the whole story
Last week I read a review of this book by dawnymarie, the review was so good I bought the first book (In a series of three) on Kindle straight away and subsequently read all three books in the series within four days. Suzanne Collins is an amazing writer and the plot is so interesting that I found it really difficult to stop reading.
The stories are aimed at young adults, but at the age of 32 (A young adult by no means) I found that this book, and the two that come after, are the best things I've read in a long time.
This book is for the Kindle edition although it is also available in paperback and hardback and as a trilogy box set.
Kindle - £3
Paperback - £4
Hardback - £12
Trilogy Paperback Set - £14
(Prices are approximates based upon Amazon, you may find them cheaper if you look around)
It's some point in the near future, we're not exactly sure when, following a apocalyptic event that wiped out a lot of the world. Panem, the Country central to our story and the only one wee here about, is positioned somewhere within the area of where North America used to stand. Panem, is a wide divided, quite literally, it's split into 12 areas (There used to 13 but one was destroyed during a rebellion) with all power and wealth held by the Capital (Called the Capital). The further you move away from the Capital, through districts 2 to 12, the amount of resources and the standard of living decrease. Each district is responsible for a certain type of industry, zone 11 for example is responsible for agriculture and district 3 produces electronics. Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old girl, lives with her mother and sister in zone 12, a sparse location with little wealth or resources, that is responsible for the production of coal. Life is pretty grim in district 13, people are generally quite poor and struggle to survive, living day to day. Luxuries like electricity and food are sparse and employment opportunities are pretty much limited to working down the mines.
On to the games. In order to keep its citizens in place, each year a Hunger games is held to remind people of what happens if you choose to dissent. Each year two contestants from each district are chosen via a lottery, one girl and one boy from all children that are aged 12 to 16. They then become the stars of a most watched and entertaining tv show (The only thing their TV's are used for other than more media controlled propaganda news bullitins) and as all citizens of Panem watch, these 24 children must fight to the death until only one victor remains.
When Primrose, Katniss' 12 year old sister, is chosen you can probably guess that big sis is not too pleased at this idea. She volunteers to take her place and so the 74th annual Hunger Games begin.
Katniss Everdeen - Katniss is our main protagonist, highly affected by her father's death in a mine collapse when she was 11, she has become the sole provider for her family. She hunts illegally (Through a hole in the electric fence that they can't even afford to electrify) and trades her wares on a black market, using the hunting and survival skills her father taught her before he died, and manages to keep her family on the edge of being comfortable. A somewhat perimistic person, perhaps from having to grow up so fast, she sees the world from a unique perspective. Whilst she has a hard exterior, she'll do anything to protect the people she loves. She's also pretty apt with a bow and arrow, which proves useful later on in the story. Collins based the character of Katniss upon Theseus, of Greek Mythology, and it is clear to see the influence.
Primrose Everdeen - In opposition to her big sister, Primrose she's the world as various shades of yellow, with an idealised and nieve point of view that sees the best in everything. As Katniss does everything she can to protect Primrose, she's led a more sheltered existence for 12 years and therefore it is unimaginable that she would be able to survive very long when being hunted by older and faster children. You experience the same turmoil as Katniss when the name Primrose is read out for the Hunger games selection.
Peeta Mellark - An acquaintance of Katniss who is in the same class as her at school but not someone she knows well. Peeta is the chosen boy, from the Hunger Games lottery, to represent district 12 in the games. His fate becomes entwined with that of Katniss but I can't really say more without giving away too much plot.
Haymitch Abernathy - A victor of the games 24 years ago, who has since become very dependent upon alcohol. As the only ever victor from district 12 he serves as a mentor for Katniss and Peeta. He reminds me of a drunken Hagrid for those Potter boy stories for some reason. The character of Haymitch provides the comedy in this novel but does become more prominent in the following two books.
There are a lot more characters than the four mentioned, but the list could go on and on as we are introduced to quite a number of people. I'm rubbish with names yet I can remember every character in this novel as they are so well developed. Even minor characters have fully fledged personalities with numerous shades of grey (Maybe even more than 50, in your face E. L. James, this is how books should be written) and Collins lets you build relationship[s with them, making it very hard to stop reading.
Suzanne Collins truly is an exceptional author, the Hunger Games series is the first I've read of her work but I'm very impressed so far. She presents alien lands and situations in a way that not only makes them fully comprehensive but also allows you to see the connections with our own time. She also provides a fully fledge sense of the characters wet she does so with simplicity and without the need for tedious over descriptions. The words just flow which makes the book very easy to read and you can gain a lot of knowledge about what is going on in a very short space in time.
There is no pomp and circumstance or literary tools just for the sake of it to try and be pretentious; it is just a beautifully told story. I didn't have to go back and read sections that I didn't quite understand which I do sometimes have to do in other future or scifi based novels. I'd rate her very highly in my list of favourite authors and I'm obviously not the only person who thinks so as the book has won a number of awards including Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year in 2008, The New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2008, 2009 winner of the Golden Duck Award in the Young Adult Fiction Category, 2008 Cybil Winner for fantasy and science-fiction, School Library Journal's Best Books 2008, Booklist Editors' Choice" in 2008 and 2011 winner of the California Young Reader Medal. She's also written five novels that make up the The Underland Chronicles about a land under New York City (Have put this on my list to read) as well as a couple of other novels and she wrote for the TV series Clarissa Explains It All (Am very impressed, I loved that show).
There are so many wider issues raised by the Hungar Games that I can not possibly cover them all in one review. The themes central to the book are oppression, dissent, helplessness and survival. It also raises a central issue regarding the role of violence in the media. I find some TV shows today very uncomfortable. I don't watch X Factor auditions or variations of 'You've been framed' as I find the concept quite horrible, taking pleasure from the misfortune or stupidity of others, watching somebody suffer. Where do we draw the line between entertaining tv and a train wreck in action? The scary thing about the Hunger Games is that I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility, which is both incredibly scary but also something that needs to be talked about. Would we become desensitised to real life death an violence in the same way that fictional violent films lose their impact the more you watch them (I can't watch violent films, I don't want to see violence in real life and therefore don't understand why people would want to watch a fictional version of it). What happens when the actors are no longer actors? We know from many examples thought history that propaganda can be used in order to control a nation. We know that people imearse themselves in the suffering of others in order to make themselves feel better (Just look at how many viewing figures Eastenders and Coronation Street get).
The film has been adaptered into a film which has already finished at the cinema but is available on dvd and blu-ray from the 3rd September. It starts Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson & Liam Hemsworth. I haven't seen it yet so I can't comment.
* Format: Kindle Edition
* File Size: 542 KB
* Print Length: 454 pages
* Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1407109084
* Publisher: Scholastic Fiction; 1 edition (3 May 2011)
* Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
* Language: English
* ASIN: B005EGXTEE
* Text-to-Speech: Enabled
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
Summary: I want to read it agin now and i only just finished it