Title: The Hunger Games
Series: The Hunger Games series
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: 2008 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 374 pages
Status: December 20 to 21, 2013
Genre: Dystopia, science fiction, young adult
Everyone raved about The Hunger Games last year, but at the time I didn’t get around to reading it. Then the movie came out and my sister read it and loved it, and I didn’t read it. Last month one of my friends lend it to me and finally this December I found a slot in my reading schedule to read it.
I think I can reveal, I liked it and I liked it a lot! I read all of it in two sittings and I read way into the night. I was quite annoyed that I didn’t bring book two along with me to my parents’ house.
The book had me totally captivated. Not I think because of Katniss being in danger but because of the pacing and the writing. I kept wanting to know what happened next.
I really liked the scenes back in district 12, learning about the day-to-day life of their sucky existence. I particularly liked the chapter about the months after Katniss’ father’s death and her mother’s depression. It felt very real and Katniss’ lack of trust in her mother after that felt very real to me. It also really gave a great inside into her character. She has been let down as a very young age by her mother, no wonder she has a hard time trusting that Peeta actually likes her.
The training scenes at the training facility was frustrating but good. But at this point I got quite frustrated with Katniss. She has a talent for screwing relationships up for herself.
I think the arena scenes worked really well. I love survival stories so Katniss’ alone time in the arena was lovely. I think her budding friendship with the young girl was really nice. It was important that Katniss is not a killer at heart, she will defend herself but she actually never hunted anyone down in cold blood.
The part of the book I didn’t much like was the romance between Katniss and Peeta the baker boy. It was the typical teen-lit thick-headedness standing in the way kind of relationship. I understood why she acted the way she did, but I didn’t particularly like it. I have been in a stable relationship for years and years and I just don’t have much patience with that kind of very young love.
Lets talk a little bit about the world building, because everyone else have… I think I would have liked it better if it was only hinted at being in North America rather than said outright because I have a hard time buying it. Partly because I can’t see quite how the economics of the system works. I think the idea of the Hunger Games was heavily inspired by the ancient Roman arena games. Where they forced felons to fight for the entertainment of the masses both to control the masses and to control the colonies and the citizens really liked it. So blood sports like that is not totally unimaginable. The total lack of rebellion seems a bit week. I don’t think that the state quite offers enough in return to secure the sectors’ collaboration because nobody can keep anyone completely submissive with just fear and force alone. But so many science fiction, especially dystopias are not completely plausible. They can still be awesome setting for stories anyway.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. It was thrilling and engaging and highly entertaining. It was really a page-turner! I liked Katniss as a character most of the time and I thought most of her relationships were really interesting. And I am a sucker for survival fiction.