4/5, Books, Dystopia, Fiction, Science-fiction, Young Adult

[Book Review] The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publication: September 14th 2008 by Scholastic Press
Length: 374 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchase

Goodreads

Synopsis: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

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Review: I have to admit straight away: this is a re-read for me. While I read The Hunger Games a few years ago, I believe it was in translation, back before I started reading books in English, and I thought that I deserved a refresher. On top of that, this is the new beginning of my adventure with audiobooks. When I was a kid I used to listen to a lot of fairy tales, but I never really picked up audiobooks since.

With that said, it won’t be surprising that The Hunger Games is probably the first dystopian, young adult book that I read. I always used to be into science-fiction, but this link between action, view of the parade of emotions in a group of young people and hints of science fiction technology was somehow new.

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By this point, The Hunger Games series is known worldwide, both in form of books and movies. I’m currently massively behind with the series – I read the first book (twice now) and started the second. I haven’t seen any of the movies, but I’m intending on fixing that soon.

While listening to this book, I remembered that I liked Katniss. She is a survivor, who can adapt to any situation for better or worse. While she doesn’t have any trouble with surviving in the woods or knowing how to set up a space to sleep in on a tree, she is struggling with acting friendly towards people and hiding her true opinions. While I’m not sure that this was the case in the past, I can definitely relate to her now. A character who isn’t perfect – Katniss isn’t nice, she often says the wrong thing – is the leading character in a story and now, with the growing popularity of the universe, an inspiration to others. I think it’s very inspiring, and I love the fact that Suzanne Collins was able to present a character in a reality so different from ours but make her so relatable.

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While I love Katniss to bits, I didn’t fall in love entirely with the whole book. I think it’s really good and I still rate it highly, but there is just something about it that bothers me. It’s not the story itself, as it was crafted very carefully – we see the good and the bad, including strong relationships between people and some incredibly cruel inventions of the Capitol. I believe I would think the book is perfect if the narration was a little bit more divided. During the whole book, we look at the world through Katniss’s eyes. We know that she thinks about Prim, but what does Prim think? Same goes for her friend Gale. I think these potential sides of the story might be picked up in the later books, and I also see the way in which the isolation during the games is highlighted by the lack of another point of view. While Peeta is not my favorite character, I sympathized with him as well as the story progressed.

What did you think about The Hunger Games? Let me know in the comments!

Rating:  4  /  5

See other posts:

Bloodshed – [Review] Sky Key by James Frey

[Review] The Dragon Queen by William Andrews

[Review] The Hunters by Kat Gordon

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