Book Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Book Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Published by Scholastic
Publication date: September 14, 2008
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
387 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

The book no one can stop talking about . . .

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 one 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, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

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Four score and seven years ago this book was unleashed unto the world and nearly all of my fellow readers have read it. THE HUNGER GAMES is young adult at its finest with incredible character development and action that left me emotionally drained while rooting for horrendous things.

Before going into this book, I knew generally what the reaping was and that Katniss volunteers as tribute to save her sister, Prim, from the horrors of the Games. I knew there was a guy named Peeta thrown in there somewhere and that Katniss was good at archery. Aside from those things, I knew NOTHING about what happens.

Dystopian fiction can be quite bleak, so it does take a someone with a stronger constitution to stomach the atrocities. What’s so great about The Hunger Games, in particular, is that the reader almost becomes like a citizen of Panem, rooting for Katniss and Peeta to prevail no matter who and how someone gets killed, only that they die. That’s really disturbing, right? At least, that was my experience.

Collins’s command of the delicate balance character and plot is unparalleled. In addition to each individual character, the relationship development between the characters was beautifully done as well.¬†Katniss shows tremendous strength and resilience, despite being so emotionally fatigued and tired. There’s a vulnerability within her that translated so well to the reader.

Despite being under the Capitol’s regime for their entire lives, Peeta and Katniss hold tight to their own humanity and moral compass. It’s this strong pillar that grounds them and creates internal conflict between doing what they want to do and what they’re told. It’s also what separates from from some of their fellow tributes.

I can understand why Katniss is such a popular young adult heroine for many readers. She’s now one of my favorite female characters of all time. Throughout the whole grueling process, when everyone was trying to force her into a box, she remained true to herself until the very end. I loved that about her. She was a defiant rebel to what everyone wants her to be. She did it with grace and integrity.

There are so many big moments that had me holding my breath that I loved reading. But it was the smaller moments that made the book for me. Peeta and Katniss on the roof before the Games. How they took care of each other when the Games’s brutality nearly killed them both. Katniss getting to know Rue and listening to them both talk about the haunting mockingjay.

This book was so disturbing on so many levels. These people’s lives have been dictated by fear, by the power of the Capitol. The Hunger Games are an annual reminder of what power the president has over them. The strict rules and rations among the citizens are a form of physical and mental torture, ingrained so deep into these citizens minds. It makes me admire Katniss more for what she does in opposition to the Capital on a daily basis.

Many of you told me about the romance in this book. The verdict on Gale or Peeta? Well, right now I’m obviously Peeta. But I don’t think Gale has been given a good shot. We only see him a little in the beginning but I really liked his and Katniss’s alliance and dedication to helping each others’ families. But Peeta!! Man, he is the kind of guy I like. Strong and thoughtful. I am curious to see how this love triangle plays out in the rest of the trilogy.

* I own the physical book but I borrowed the ebook from my local library.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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