Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


About the Book: Twenty- four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Review: I heard so much about this book before reading it that I feared there was no way it could live up to all the hype. I'm so happy to say, that it does.

It's kind of a weird mix between Lord of the Flies, Survivor, Death Race 2000, and The Lottery. At least, that's what went through my mind while reading this book. It's pretty much the worst and most cruel reality television show imaginable that pits children against each other to the death. I have to admit that for about the first half, I was engaged but I didn't necessarily find the book riveting. It was an interesting concept, but Katniss was getting on my nerves. But somewhere around the middle...somewhere around the middle, the book intervened with my real life. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, and I couldn't stop thinking about it when I was forced to put it down. Don't you love it when a book just pops into your thoughts while you're calmly discussing your weekend with your co-workers? Or helping a student with a definition in their reading? Terribly distracting. :)

I'm still not sure I like Katniss. In some ways, I admire her for her strength and grit, but in others, I think she's a bit slow. (those who have read the book must know what I mean) In some ways, she was so mature and in others? Not so much. Ultimately, above all else, she's a survivor. And because there is still just so much room for her character to grow and develop I'm glad there are more books to come.

I read so much lately that it's rare for a book to to completely consume my thoughts and capture my imagination like this one did. The ending brings some satisfaction while leaving open enough threads of story to make me eagerly anticipate the release of the next book. If it was available now, I'd cast aside my TBR pile and stacks of review copies to consume it. If you like dystopian literature, adventure, stories of survival, YA, or just really good books then I recommend this one. Purchase it here.

Visit the Scholastic website to read the first chapter and find more information on the book!

(I just read Stephen King's review and he mentions how Katniss never mentions seeing any cameras. I thought this exact same thing!! I just comforted myself by thinking technology was so advanced the cameras were small and in everything and everywhere.)

Rating: 4.75/5
Things You Might Want to Know: I'm comfortable recommending this book to all of my readers. There is violence of course, but it's not too graphic.



Amy

18 comments:

Amy@The Sleepy Reader said...

I'm in the middle of this one right now. I just peeked and saw that you liked it. I'll be back to check out your review once I have finished.

Kailana said...

I have this book on hold at the library. I hope to get to it sooner rather than later!

Meghan said...

I have to read this one! I keep hearing about it. Thanks for the review, Amy. =)

bermudaonion said...

I've heard a lot about this book too. It must be great if it didn't draw you in right away and it earned a 4.75!

Alicia said...

I'm glad that this book lived up to it's hype! I've been undecided about reading it, but feel that I should since everyone likes it! I think I will give it a chance

lilly said...

I thought of Lord of the Flies as well, the concept is quite similar. I did like this book a lot. We had it in our bookclub and the discussion did get quite heated I might say, especially over Katniss. Anyway, I think that Collins wanted to show that alone you can't do anything as is the case with Katniss (I know it's predictable but I keep thinking of her as Catnip)

Nymeth said...

I love it when a book actually lives up to my high expectations! I'm really looking forward to reading this. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Amy!

S. Krishna said...

This sounds really interesting. Thanks for the review!

LynnS/AAR said...

Good review! After reading what you and and Trish (heylady) had to say about it, I think I'm going to have to cave and add this one to my list.

Melody said...

I've this book in my pile! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Amy! Now I can't wait to dive into it!

Chris said...

Grrr! You fantastic book bloggers are making me want to go get this one right now ;)

Heather said...

Well, it's been a couple of months, I forgot about Katniss's more annoying tendancies. I did find Katniss annoying in some ways. I admired her bravery, her resourcefulness, her tenacity. But the way she treated poor Peeta! In someways I could understand her confusion; most days she was struggling to survive, then fighting for her life; who has time to think of romance? At the same time, I wanted to throttle her.

Thanks for reminding me all that!

;)

Alexa said...

I loved this, I already have Catching Fire ordered on Amazon.

Elizabeth said...

I just got notification this is waiting for me at the library - I'm so excited!

Ms. Yingling said...

You have a huge amount of comments compared to my blog, and your post on reviewing ennui made me feel better-- I try to stick to JUST reviews of a lot of very specific books. Maybe people are using this resource and just not commenting! Other topics always generate more buzz. Your blog looks interesting, and as I said, you have impressive amounts of comments, but it is a bit varied for me to follow regularly. You seem to do a lot of adult books, and your reviews, while excellent, are a bit lenghthy. Just like books, it's great that there are a variety of blogs out there to suit all needs!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

The camera thing didn't bother me. I just figured they had the technology to do whatever they wanted. The movie rights have been bought. Excited!

Madeleine said...

In comparison to other YA books, I will agree that this book was mind-boggling... and consuming! I encountered the same issues you did. Focusing on anything else while reading this would have been impossible. Luckily, I read this book during Thanksgiving break. My mom, cousin, and I lounged on my bed the entire day, consuming the written word like there was no tomorrow.

When my friend told me about the Scholastic writing contest with the invaluable prize--and ARC of the sequel, I entered. I received my prize months later (I was one of the 100 runners-up) and proceeded to read aloud to my cousin and friend for more than thirteen hours straight. All four-hundred words scrambled through my mouth, tumbling over each other in my haste. I recommend reading the sequel, although, after noticing your enthusiasm in regard to this book, you may have already. I wrote a review for the sequel on my blog and would be honored if you would take a look! Thanks for the wonderful review!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I had to come read your review now that I have finished this book. This book really did stand out for me as well as a book that consumed me.

I did think about the cameras once... I wondered if it was suppose to have something to do with the chip in her arm, I mean it is the future... maybe they can put a camera in you. LOL. I really have no idea.

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