The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review written by Kirsten!
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival
After a great uprising that happened years before this book is set, the twelve districts of Panem are pitted against one another in an annual event known as ‘the Hunger Games’, for the entertainment of the elite population of the ‘Capitol’. In the first installment of this dystopian fantasy trilogy we follow the female contestant from District Twelve, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is dragged from her simple and impoverished life in the slums of District Twelve and thrown into the cut and thrust of the Hunger Games and the fame that comes from being a contestant. As she is caught up in the fast paced action surrounding the games she soon learns that her whole life is just a ‘game’ in the eyes of the Capitol and that to get anywhere, she has to play along.
I really enjoyed this book as I found the world, created by Suzanne Collins, amazingly intricate in detail yet deeply disturbing. The book is very well written and has a gripping plotline that left me wanting to know what would happen next – fortunately there are two books that follow.
As for the characters, I found the awkward nature (unusual for a protagonist) of Katniss rather fascinating as it lent itself very much to the portrayal of her as the unexpected heroine. I also found that the characters of the Capitol members were well placed as they were written as humorous caricatures of elite society, which added an amusing and ridiculous note to the book.
I thought this book was really well written and, even though it is set in a fictional dystopian world, many of the themes that Collins deals with (such as love or politics) have a universality which makes the world of Panem, and the lives of the characters, more accessible to readers in today’s society. I think Collins does well in taking the controversial nature of the dystopian genre of fiction and makes it more mainstream and easier to grasp.
The Hunger Games is classified as ‘Teenage/Young Adult’ fiction but I think that the genre and the writing style lend themselves to a much wider audience. It was a brilliant read and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.