Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Here's a quick summary of the book, if you're one of the last to have read it...like me: "Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place." (Amazon)
Having admitted to my fears about reading such a popular book, I will also admit that I thought the book got off to a slow start. I realized that the author had to set up the premise of the book, and the society that Katniss lived in, but I felt it struggled to get things moving. Of course, once the actual Hunger Games began, I was pretty eager to keep reading. The survival element of the game was hard to take, as I'm not a survivalist, nor camper of any form; therefore, I pretty much felt like a loser, and a character in the games that would have died during the first ten minutes. Katniss's prowess in the forest, and her ability to care for herself were impressive, to put it lightly; she always seemed to know exactly what would keep her alive, and could anticipate what outside viewers of the game wanted to see (because there have to be viewers in a game, even when it is as sick as this game).
I liked the new twist to this dystopian novel, even though it felt familiar, and can understand its appeal. I'm a little hesitant to say that I wasn't as over the moon as everyone else seems to have been, but do think it was a great read. To be honest, I can see that the next installment Catching Fire might be a bit more exciting to me, as I can't really see where things are going, and can't wait to find out what is going to happen for Katniss. I'm glad that I've read The Hunger Games, and am now on to the second book, which will be followed by the third installment, Mockingjay, in August. I suppose that now was the perfect time to jump on board.
In hindsight, I feel a bit of remorse that I didn't read this book right out of the gates, before everyone else got to it and hyped it up for me. I happened to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth last year before I'd heard anything about it. Because I had no idea what the book was about, or even what anyone thought of it, I walked into it and felt like I'd been hit by a truck once I figured out the scary twist. Would I feel that way if others had fed into it before I got to it? I don't know. I suppose that is always the fear of reading any book that others "really" like. You might discover the joy for yourself, and you might find the experience has been softened a little.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based off of my own purchased copy of the novel.
The Hunger Games counts as my 7th in the 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge. For more information about the novel, see: The Hunger Games.