The Hunger Games

For awhile now, I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews of The Hunger Games.  I’ve heard so many people say what a great book it is, and how they simply couldn’t put it down.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was doubtful about this book.  Apprehensive and uncertain.  Since it is a young adult novel, I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to relate to or appreciate the characters or themes found throughout.  But, when I was at Borders a few months ago, and all books were 40% off, I figured I might as well buy the book since it was only about $5.00.  What would I lose by at least trying it?

I can’t say what prevented me from reading it for so long.  It sat in my room for months before I finally picked it up to bring with me on my trip to Las Vegas for the marathon.  Almost immediately after picking this book up, I couldn’t put it down.

Without giving away too much about the book for the few people who have not yet read it, I want to start off by saying what an incredible job Suzanne Collins does providing thorough imagery and descriptions of characters, settings, and plot details.  Katniss is an incredible heroin in this novel.  She is likeable, brave, and yet somehow detached from many of the people and situations around her due to her experiences growing up.  And yet she is not so detached that she is boring, unfeeling, or uninteresting.

For me, this is a huge component of whether or not I like a novel.  While I never read the Twilight series (and perhaps I’d feel differently if I did), I never developed an appreciation of Bella.  While the whole premise of the series is that she needs to be protected, I honestly never cared enough about her to be concerned about her well-being.  In fact, there were times when my indifference diverged towards a complete disliking of her character, and thus I didn’t care if she was killed or not.

The Hunger Games is different in this regard because the protagonist is so likeable that I care about her and the supporting characters, like Peeta, Haymitch, and Gale.  Further, what is especially commendable about some of these characters (particularly Peeta and Katniss) is their compassion and how it so greatly contrasts with the cruel post-apocalyptic world they live in.

I won’t go on too much more about The Hunger Games, as I am almost finished with the second book of the series, Catching Fire.  For the record, the day I finished the first book, I went out, bought Catching Fire, and began reading it that night.  I have barely put it down since (and the only reason I have is because I have to work).

I will most certainly review that book and the third and final book of the series, Mockingjay, when I complete them.  Either way, I definitely highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, often suspenseful, book.  I especially recommend reading this book soon, as the movie is coming out in a few months.

I give The Hunger Games a 9 out of 10 for its originality, creativity, in-depth descriptions, likeable protagonists, and overall themes, which I will talk about once I complete this series.

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