Friday, March 23, 2012

(40)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Pages: 384

I have had a copy of The Hunger Games for almost four years. It has sat on my bookshelf in six different homes (YIKES!).  It has moved with me five different times over three different states.  Yet it was just yesterday that I decided to start reading it on my lunch break.  And while the rest of you were at the midnight showing of the movie, I stayed up until after midnight to finish reading the book.   I have not read an entire book on a "school night" in years.  But, The Hunger Games was THAT good.  By good, I mean exceptionally good.

For those of you who are unaware, The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel set in the far future.  North America as we know it has been destroyed. What is left is The Capitol and twelve districts.  Each district has a specific purpose in life and for District 12, the poorest district, they are Coal Miners.  As a punishment for an uprising by District 13, each year the Districts are required to hold a lottery where one boy and one girl are between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to represent their district in The Hunger Games.  A reality television show type of game designed by the Capitol to remind the District's exactly whose world they live in.  24 children go into the Hunger Games, but only one comes out alive. Katniss Everdeen volunteers for District 12 in place of her younger sister, Prim. That moves sets into motion a chain of events that pits Katniss against 23 other children, including Peeta, a young man who has already saved her life once.  Will they be able to defy the odds and both survive The Hunger Games or will Katniss be forced to kill the one friend she has at the Capitol in order to survive?

First of all, I was unprepared for how compelling Katniss's story was going to be.  Almost from the very first page I was pulled into the world of District 12 and the abject poverty that plagues most of the District.  I was also unprepared for exactly how much of a game show atmosphere that surrounded the games. From the preparations they went through with their handlers, like Cinna & Portia, to their grand entrance & interview portion of the show, I really got the game show vibe, especially with a host like Flickerman.  Yes, the Games are violent.  That is the nature of the game, but I did not find it to be any worse than the video games that many teens play or even the battle scenes in Twilight.

So my favorite parts of the book?  I really loved the relationship between Rue and Katniss.  I understand it doesn't play a major role in the movie, but I loved it during the book.  Logically, I knew what was going to have to happen, but I cried like a baby at "that" part.   I also really enjoyed watching Katniss come to the realization that Peeta was really trying to look out for her best interests. I admit it, I doubted his sincerity throughout most of the book.  But there was one scene when I realized what he had done for her. I even went "aaawwwwwww".  Which made my husband say "it is a book about kids killing each other and you are going awwww! Should I be worried"  LOL

The Hunger Games is about so much more than children being forced to kill each other.  It is about love, devotion, sacrifice, and survival in the face of horrible conditions.  And I don't just mean the Games, I mean life in the Districts, specifically District 12.  I absolutely loved this book (as if you couldn't tell by lengthy review) but I am eager to dive into the other two books in the series.   Happy reading and "May the odds be ever in your favor!"


Sara Bell said...

Yay, I should be finishing this one on Sunday and now I REALLY can't wait to jump into bed and read a few chapters before I go to sleep. =]

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

You are going to LOVE It! Right up your alley,I think.

Lisa Mandina said...

I still can't believe you are just now reading it! You're usually so ahead of all of us. :-) Go see the movie, it is really good, and the scenes and images do look great on the big screen. Just know that, in my opinion anyway, a lot of the emotion and back story is left out, and while I understand why, it was disappointing. But it is still one of the best book adaptations since some of the Harry Potter films.

Amber Johnson said...

Love that last paragraph. I completely agree with you. These books are so good! I'm glad you finally read them! Do you have your hand on Catching Fire yet?!

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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