Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #1)

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Book Review - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger GamesBook Review - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian Science Fiction

First Publication: 2008

Language: English

Major Characters: Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Cato, Primrose Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Effie Trinket, Haymitch Abernathy, Cinna, President Coriolanus Snow, Rue, Flavius, Lavinia, Marvel, Glimmer, Clove, Foxface, Thresh, Greasy Sae, Madge Undersee, Caesar Flickerman, Claudius Templesmith, Octavia, Portia

Theme: Division and Control; Love, Loyalty, and Compassion; Societal Inequality; Appearances, Hypocrisy

Setting: Fictional District 12, Panem; Capitol, Panem(United States)

Narrator: First person, Katniss’s perspective

 

Book Summary: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #1)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

“Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when it's morning again, they'll wash away
Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.”

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #1)

The Hunger Games is a 2008 dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the future, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America.

The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games is an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

Written along the lines of Stephen King’s The Long Walk or George Orwell’s 1984, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins still feels very original and sucked me in completely with its modern day Survivor-esque retelling. The Hunger Games is the ultimate in reality TV, suspense, scripted realism, romance and survival that you should not miss.

Set in a post apocalyptic future (although we frustratingly never learn the why’s, how’s or even when of this future.), this new communist-type America known as Panem has been divided into a Capital and its 12 districts. We follow 16 year old Katniss as she struggles to keep her starving family alive, hunting and gathering with her best friend Gale. Unbeknownst to her these are valuable skills as the annual hunger games are about to begin.

“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”

Each year these games require two children from each district who are chosen based on a lottery system for compulsory participation. These televised games are then broadcast throughout Panem as the 24 contestants fight each other to the death, leaving just one victor at its violent conclusion. When Katniss’s younger sister is chosen as the female contestant from their district Katniss volunteers to take her place. Then together with Peeta the other lottery winner they travel to the Capital and begin preparations for the opening ceremonies and ultimately their death in The Hunger Games.

“Destroying things is much easier than making them.”

I have to admit the first part of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins dragged for me, as Katniss is groomed, clothed, and schooled by her entourage within the capital. However, by the point games begin in the story, you have become attached to several key characters and its then that you realize things can’t end well as there will be only one winner.

Over a period of about 2 weeks and against overwhelming odds we watch 24 victims dwindle as they struggle to survive. Simultaneously avoiding and hunting each other they form alliances, face hunger and mind numbing thirst, mutant animal attacks, friendship, love and ultimately a distrust of everyone as Big Brother raises the stakes to keep the audience interested.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is an exciting book that will keep you up late into the night and resonate with you long after you’ve finished.


 

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