The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Length: 454 pages
My Rating: 9/10
This review is a part of my re-read of The Hunger Games series. I read it at some point in 2011 but had forgotten quite a bit of the story by the time the movie came out, so I read it a few weeks after I saw the movie. Which was amazing =)
The main protagonist, Katniss lives in a futuristic society where North America has been divided into twelve districts and the country is called Panem. The country is ruled over by President Snow and the harsh Capitol city where all the rich and famous people live. Basically, each district is better off than the next one; the first two districts live in luxury with nothing to worry about, and Katniss lives in District 12 where most of the residents live in poverty and people starve to death on a regular basis.
Due to parts of the country rebelling, the government created The Hunger Games, an annual event where a boy and a girl is selected from each district and are forced to kill each other in an arena until one remains. Due to the circumstances, Katniss and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta end up fighting in the games together and the stories pace really picks up from that point.
First off, I really enjoyed Katniss as a protagonist. You can tell from the first few pages of the book that she cares a great deal about her family and would do anything necessary to protect them. I also liked her determinedness and her feisty attitude, and this aspect of her reminded me of Rose from Vampire Academy at points.
I also loved the character of Peeta; at first I didn’t know if he and Katniss would enjoy each other’s company; maybe he hated her at home and couldn’t stand the sight of her (luckily this didn’t seem to be the point). I liked how optimistic he was, even when he was going to be fighting for his life, he seemed to take it in his stride more than Katniss, which made his scenes good fun to read.
Although they were the villains or “baddies”, I also enjoyed reading the Careers scenes (the people from the wealthy districts who seem to really enjoy killing people). Although you are meant to hate them all, especially Cato, I found that whilst I didn’t like them as characters, I could understand why most of them acted the way they did; training to kill people was just the way they had been brought up to think like, and after all, they were trying to save their lives in the process as well.
Other characters I loved: Rue, she was adorable and her and Katniss’s friendship was really sweet to read about. There is a real sense of urgency as you as the reader follow Katniss’s attempts to survive in the arena, and you never know what’s coming around the corner on the next page.
I could go into lots more detail about this book since I loved it so much, but I will just end on that it is a fantastic dystopian/action/love story that I recommend to anyone who isn’t afraid of reading something a little darker. Suzanne Collins is an amazing writer and this is an amazing book.