Monday, 28 March 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy, Book One
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback
Published: USA: 2008
UK Edition: 2009
Number of Pages: 464
Book: Bought
Genre: Dystopia, Science-Fiction, Action, Fantasy, YA
Recommended Age: Young Adult, 12+
Contains Violence, Death, Suspense

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place.  Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games.  There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence.  But Katniss has been close to death before.  For here, survival is second nature.

The Hunger Games is set it a world where the Capitol watches over the twelve districts, and they are controlling, dangerous, everywhere.  It’s a world where every year, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced into taking part in a horrifying live event known as the Hunger Games, which is seen as a form of entertainment.  The citizens are forced to watch as children from their District are brutally murdered, all because the Capitol wants to keep them completely under control.  Why?  Seventy-five or so years before our story’s set, there was a rebellion that led to the Capitol destroying the thirteenth District.  And to show their control and just how easily they could destroy every single district if they so pleased, the Capitol introduced the Hunger Games.
So when Katniss’s twelve-year-old sister Primrose gets chosen, she knows she can’t let her go through that.  So she steps forwards to take Prim’s place.  Even though it very likely means her own death...
 I loved The Hunger Games.  I sped through the book, completely and utterly hooked, unable to put it down.  It was terrifying: a real psychological thriller, and the scariest thing about it all is, with the way society’s going at the moment, the Hunger Games – or something like them – may become reality.  I couldn’t get that out of my head as I read: it was all just so thought-provoking, and at the same time petrifying.
Katniss was a brilliant protagonist: she was so strong and brave.  She was just a good ol’ kick-butt heroine, which was so refreshing after all the wimpy, useless damsel-in-distress leads that are in YA fiction so much at the moment.  Actually, in that respect and with her smart-mouth attitude, Katniss reminded me quite a bit of Rose, out of Vampire Academy.  I admired how level headed, and defiant she was.  It felt like I was there with her, feeling all of her emotions, stuck in all the situation with her.  As a lead, she was amazing, and I loved the softer side of her, when it briefly shows.  It made her feel more real.
Peeta was an amazing male lead, and the complete opposite of Katniss’ attitude.  As a brief flashback of Katniss’ reveals that Peeta gave her two loaves of bread when she was younger and starving, and getting punished for doing so, I instantly fell in love.  I saw his goodness and his heart, but I wondered why he would risk it.  It didn’t matter: I was Team Peeta!  And the chemistry between him and Katniss was so believable, and real. 
The supporting characters are brilliant too, with little Rue, a twelve year old from District 11, Prim, Gale – Katniss friend from home – and Haymitch.  Unlike a lot of books, the characters was fleshed out as well, not just empty vessels, used for a certain conversation.  The relationships were perfect and real too; it was all just amazing!
The Hunger Games is non-stop suspense, the plot goes at breakneck speed, and is unbelievably addictive.  And although it’s very dark, scary, and atrocious, it was funny at times, as well as having me choke up with tears.  Literally an emotional roller coaster that was so vivid it left me dizzy, overwhelmed with all I had felt.  I wondered briefly about the bizarre names (Katniss, Rue, Cato, Peeta), before deciding that didn’t matter because I was hooked.  I had to finish the book, so I could know what happened. 
Suzanne Collins is an absolute genius: she created a world so utterly believable my heart pounded as I read.  I can’t get enough, and the ending left me breathless and desperate for more.  And her writing was amazing: somehow raw and beautiful at the same time – a combonation I didn’t even think was possible.  You seriously have to read this one, because it is absolutely incredible.  I’ve already started gushing about it to a friend, telling her she has to read it!
If I had to describe it in one word: epic.

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Gone by Michael Grant
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Challenges It's Taking Part In:


Diana said...

Hurray for TEAM PEETA! Awesome review! so glad that you enjoyed reading the hunger games. will you continue with catching fire? cant wait to see what you think of it :)


Liddy said...

Great review! And you have the english covers too!
I really need to get on with reading thiss series!

Perhaps if you have time, would you mind stopping by my blog?

Shaylene said...

Awesome review! I LOVE the Hunger Games! Glad you liked it :)

Lilly Bear ♡ said...

Oh my, is that the UK cover? It's so gorgeous! This was a wonderful review, and I agree with pretty much everything. My heart was pounding the entire time, too!

Jules said...

I have been wanting to read this for ages now. Great review.

I'm a new follower


TheBookAddictedGirl said...

The Lovely Getaway: I love Hunger Games! I've just started the second book: sooo looking forwards to it!!
Liddy: Yup, the English covers. I'm just a little British Book Addict. ;) You really should: it's amazing! I stopped by your blog earlier and I love it: so cute! I'm following you now!
Shaylene: Thank you! Isn't Hunger Games amazing? I'm on the second now! :)
Lily Bear: Yeah, that's the British Hunger Games cover: isn't it gorgeous? Thanks for saying you liked my review!
Jules: You really should read is, asap! It's incredible! And thanks. I can't seem to get onto your blog... I'm going to try again later. I'm so sorry! So so so sorry! :(

Thanks for all your comments!

Beth said...

I loved that book! I just started reading the 3rd! You wrote such a great review I love your blog :-)

Beth xx

Emma Diffley said...

oooooh myyyyy fruit loops! this book was sooo AMAZING! so amazing I can't even tell you how amazing it was. it made me cry, laugh, and simply feel heartache. amazing. :) haha

rommelxaine said...

Hey, I read the trilogy too, and I did find it shocking most of the times! It could potentially be harmful to children who might think that the survival element is the strongest and don't sit back and wonder "what if they decide to actually not kill each other!"
It is also a story "against the authorities", so you never know what that could instil in a young's mind! I don't know which age category you are referring to when you say Young adults but for me it's defo a >20 years old book.

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