So, yes, obviously (I don’t need you guys to tell me XD) I am late to the scene with this book. Literally everyone and their cousin has probably read this before me, but that isn’t going to stop me from doing a review on it, ’cause that’s just what I do when I read a good book. I review it for you guys, and yes, The Hunger Games is a good book. I’m going to be reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay soon, and hopefully I won’t be disappointed. =P Anyway, here’s the review.
The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is the story of a teenage girl living in the dystopian post-American Panem. Forced to look after her family from an early age, Katniss, the protagonist, resorts to illegal hunting to supply her feeble mother and younger sister. The crisis arises when her beloved sister is chosen for the annual Hunger Games, and Katniss offers herself up instead. This story touches subjects like morality, the complex intricacies of love, looking beyond oneself, and more. Written in first person present tense from the perspective of Katniss, this is the first published novel I have read using that format, and Collins does it justice.
In the beginning of the book, Collins weaves a web of background using flashbacks and current experiences. This is done masterfully and I have a great appreciation for it. Throughout the rest of the story, there are references made back to the different memories and that ties it all together. Collins’ depiction of the fallen state of living in Panem is well done, and the reader really gets a feel of the different trials that everyday citizens go through. I also did notice the small allusions to the two books that follow which was nice to pick up on.
As for the games themselves, the storytelling is superb. There is enough action to keep it moving, and the lulls are well placed. The romantic side-story intermingles well with the brutal killing, and provides nice contrast throughout. There are some interesting moral questions that are indirectly proposed, and those provide food for thought. The romance itself was slightly cheesy and possible somewhat overdone. It is very difficult to avoid that in a story not completely devoted to that, however, and I think that Collins did a good job with it overall.
Katniss herself annoyed me somewhat. She seemed unable to make up her mind between trying to be a coldblooded killer or a person full of compassion. She does act very teenager-like though, and to that credit should be given. Throughout the story, she exhibits a higher level of maturity, yes, but in no way does she become an adult. The mix of conflicting feelings Katniss had did start to get irritating, and Collins did well to dumb it down at the beginning of the games.
The conclusion of this story was very smoothly done, nicely tying up the first book, but leaving room for the second to step in. All in all, I was not disappointed with this read, and it left me with some great ideas for my own current stories. I would give it a rating of four out of five stars, and as usual, you will find this book in my recommended list for you guys to pick up and peruse for yourselves, if you haven’t already. I personally will be reading the two that follow, and I am fairly confident that I will enjoy them as much as I did the first.