Book Review- The Hunger Games

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 458 (paperback)
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Rating: 5/5

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

May the odds be ever in your favour.
This is the second time I have read this novel, and I admit that I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. I read it a couple of years ago when it was a lot less well known in the UK, and I'm glad its got the attention it deserved. I owe this novel a lot, it is the novel that got me back into reading (and buying!) YA novels again, and just back into reading in general. Back when I read this novel, I wasn't reading very often, but when I was it was mostly adult novels, as I really didn't like YA novels, or reading at the time either! I picked this novel up from a shop on a whim, as I thought the premise sounded good, and I loved it. After reading this I wanted to check out some other YA novels, to try and find something that stood up to THG's standard. Basically I have to credit this novel with getting me back into reading, and into spending ridiculous amounts of money on books :)
Now onto the review.
First the plot; I think the plot is my favourite part of the novel, as it was something I had never read before, and even when I re-read it, it still stood up as a really great, unique plotline. It is a fast paced plot, it keeps you on the edge, never really allowing you to take a breath before the next piece of action takes place. This is also quite an emotionally driven story line, and the author writes in such a way that you find yourself upset or celebrating along with the characters.
I think the sign of a good author (and therefore a good book) is the author's ability to kill off characters. Of course this is terrible for the reader's emotional health, but it is a vital part of a good novel. The horrible feeling when a character you love is killed, and it feels as if you've lost a friend in real life. Collins does this perfectly, managing to kill off characters, without it turning into a bloodbath, and giving your favourite a suitably heroic/memorable death.
The novel is told in 1st person narrative, from Katniss' point of view. This gives you a great insight into her character, and also adds to the story as you only know what Katniss knows, so it adds an extra twist to the romance too. As the reader you really feel like you know Katniss, that you are going thorough the whole Hunger Games with her, and I often found myself wondering what I would do if I was in the same situation as Katniss.
The characters are another strong point of the novel, as they added to my enjoyment of the novel. The main character is Katniss, who is a sixteen year old, who volunteers for The Hunger Games in place of her younger sister. As I mentioned above, the story is told from her point of view, so this is the character you are closest to. She is probably the strongest female character in YA that I've ever read about, as she is brave, and a fighter. She is also one of my favourite female characters, as she isn't afraid, and doesn't need anybody to protect her, she also has buckets of common sense, and in this sense I think she is a relatable main character.
Another character who plays quite a big part is Peeta. He is the male volunteer from the same district as Katniss, and he has had feelings for Katniss since he was young. He is a really great guy, he's brave, and would do anything to protect Katniss. He also seems really strong, someone you could depend on. His feelings added a really great romantic twist to the novel, and the plotline.
Katniss' hunting partner back in her district is called Gale, and he adds a bit of confusion to the Peeta-Katniss love, as Katniss isn't sure about her feelings for him. I don't really like love triangles in YA novels, but this one doesn't play a huge part in the novel, so it's pretty easy to ignore. Gale seems like the cool, older brother figure to Katniss, he looks out for her, but also teases her like an older brother would.
The smaller characters in the novel were also really good, for example people like Rue, Cinna and Haymitch all added to Katniss' character development and the overall plot. I loved all the extra characters, even the other tributes, they were portrayed so well. Although they are "evil" they were still portrayed as human, which made sure you didn't forget what was going on, and how humans are being made to kill each other.
All the characters in this novel develop and grow really well, being more rounded and 3 dimensional, by the end. You feel very attached to the characters, which makes any deaths a lot more heart wrenching.
Although this was my second time reading this novel, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time, and still gave it 5/5. I have yet to see the movie adaptation, but I have high expectations of it.
Once I have seen the movie, I will definitely to a book to movie adaptation post.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I love the Hunger Games. The movie is awesome too.


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