Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: fiction (dystopian)
Length: 374 pages
Year Published: 2008
Source: public library
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Reason for Reading: It seems that this series has been receiving a lot of hype recently. I know Michelle at my books. my life. read it a couple years ago, which was I believe my first introduction to the book. But more recently one of my best friends growing up read it and recommended it very highly. And I also read another blog review of this book by Jennie at Life is Short. Read Fast. that highly recommended it (and it appears she continued to blaze through the other two books 🙂 ).
My Thoughts on the Book (SPOILERS): I loved this book so much! It is so different from other dystopic novels I’ve read in that the characters are forced to do something by their all-controlling government. I find that dystopic novels tend to focus more on what the government denies the people rather than what it makes the people do (at least of the dystopic novels I read).
That being said, there was essentially only one thing I didn’t exactly like. That was when the Gamemakers changed the rule about there being only one winner–they allowed two to win, provided they were from the same district. At that point in the novel, I really didn’t like this. It felt that Collins sort of randomly included this rule to make it seem like Katniss and Peeta could both win and they wouldn’t have to kill each other–basically only in order to make the ending happier. But then, almost at the end, the Gamemakers decided only one could win. Now I hadn’t exactly seen that coming. And I feel it was pretty unnecessary. Had the Gamemakers never made the rule and then taken it away, Katniss and Peeta could’ve easily paired up and, once they got to the end, they could refuse to kill each other, just like they did. All of the switching was a little confusing. Although I understand that Collins might have been trying to make the ending more dramatic–which it was–I think it was a little confusing. But, looking back on it (I finished it last night) it might have just been another way to show how the Gamemakers and the Capitol were horrible to the people of Panem, tricking the Tributes that way.
But despite what I felt was a little unnecessary in the switch back and forth, the ending was great! It is so easy to see that this is an installment in a series by the ending. And it truly does leave the reader wanting to read more. (Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait for Catching Fire to be published–I just have to wait for it to be ready for me at the library 😀 ) And I really am interested to know what happens between Katniss and Petta. Even though he seemed genuinely in love most of the time, I had a nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that he may betray her. Especially when Katniss couldn’t find him after hunting–turns out he was just gathering berries. But their relationship is an interesting one. While I feel for Katniss in that she wanted to save them both, I would have to side with Peeta. Like him, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so even the minor betrayal (since Katniss never actually said she loved him) would hit me just as hard.
While there aren’t even really any similarities between the two sets of characters except their age-group, the Katniss-Peeta-Gale “love triangle” immediately made me think of the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle. This leads me to believe that it’s possible Twilight has sort of ruined my ability to look at other teenage relationships without thinking of it 😕 Should I be worried about this??
I can’t wait to get Catching Fire from the library. But I really should finish The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for the RBC discussion before I start it. I read The Hunger Games in essentially two sittings within a 24-hour time period, which leads me to believe I would neglect ToWH if I had it 🙂