March 3, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Date Started: March 1
Date Finished: March 2

Summary: The Hunger Games is a seventy four year old tradition where twenty four children between the ages of 12-18 are selected from their districts to go to the Capitol and fight to the death. The Games are televised live and everyone is forced to watch them. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen is drawn into the games when her twelve year old sister, Prim, is chosen to participate. Katniss volunteers in her sister's place. Along with a boy named Peeta, she is forced to participate in the brutal games and unintentionally starts a revolution.

Likes: Katniss is such a kick ass character. She's smart, witty, resourceful, and she's a fighter. The worldbuilding is great and it is interesting to read about a dystopian America that has been split into districts that produce certain things. Katniss's hunts and bargains and takes care of her family after her father dies in a mining accident. The story resembles the primal killing instinct stories such as Battle Royale (which I have yet to read) and Lord of the Flies, yet the story is taken to a whole new level by having people watch and enjoy the children picking each other off one by one. The Hunger Games gets a little political as Katniss reminds the reader that the Capitol uses the Games as a way to remind the other districts of their power.

One of the other things I enjoyed about this novel is that it doesn't hold back. People--kids especially-- get killed, maimed, and bloody and the author doesn't spare any of the details. Collins tells enough about the scene without getting overly gory and I feel that it's age appropriate. The writing is clear and concise, Katniss's is a great positive female character that has a fresh voice as well. 

Dislikes: The names are weird, but it proves to me that as long as your names share a common theme it could be acceptable. In this case the characters were named after plants, flowers, and foods. I think it's acceptable in a fantasy, but it was a little strange.

Overall: Believe all the hype, this book is good. I can't wait to read Catching Fire (Which I will get as soon as I pay off my library fines) and Mockingjay which comes out this summer, I think.


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