Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Note: I am just getting the hang of writing book reviews (finally), so please be patient as I figure out my own system and how much to write, what to say, etc. I expect the reviews to become better developed in time, but to start they are rather short.

Title: The Hunger Games
Author:
Suzanne Collins
Genre:
Young Adult
Publisher:
Scholastic
Published Date: October 2008
Where I got it:  Barnes & Noble Online
Why I wanted to read it: Peer pressure only gets the best of me when it comes to books, so I’ll admit that I  read the series because a lot of my friends did and they kept telling me I had to read it.

 

Overview (Barnes & Noble):

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.

What I Liked
I enjoyed the plot overall. Suzanne Collins laid out a unique world and intrigued me enough to continue reading the trilogy. Considering I don’t read a lot of Young Adult or Fantasy literature I don’t know how creative others would consider her idea, but for me it worked. I enjoy dystopian literature so I’m sure that had a lot to do with my interest in the plot.

What I Didn’t Like
The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, got under my skin far too often. While I appreciate certain gestures – volunteering as tribute to save Prim and honoring Rue with flower “burial” – she appeared overly modest to a point of predictability. If I can assume the ending of a novel, especially one of a genre I don’t typically read, something isn’t right, and a lot of her narration gave it away for me.

My other issue was the writing style in general. I don’t typically read outside of “literary” fiction or non-fiction, so there’s a good chance that this is me being picky, but I’m not ashamed to say I have high standards in regards to writing style. While the plot was compelling due to the unique idea, I had trouble getting through it because it read a little too juvenile for me.

Favorite Character
My favorite character at this point in the trilogy is Cinna. I respect characters like Rue whose role is small yet stands for something greater, but Cinna is in a dangerous position throughout the series and never cares about breaking the rules and stands by Katniss until the end. He is not the only character who does this, of course, but as far as book one goes he wins all of the awards.

Recommend?
Yes, if Young Adult writing is your style.

Ratings (1-5 Scale):
Characters:
4
Writing Style:
2.5
Plot:
4
Ending:
3.5
Overall:
3.5

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5 thoughts on “Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  1. I’ve never read the book so I have no opinion but was wondering your ratings system….what is the lowest or highest rating?

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  2. I read this book due to peer pressure as well. But I honestly loved it! I think that Katniss could be a bit too predictable and the efforts on behalf of her sister seemed a bit out of character for someone her age. And yet I was able to overlook all of this because the story was just so fascinating.

    If only I could say the same for the movie?

    Great review!!

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    • Did you see the movie yet? I actually preferred it to the book. I think I’m just too “picky” with writing style for books, and if I can’t get beyond that then I have trouble truly enjoying the book. But I did like the movie for what it was. I’m not as picky with movies as I am with books.

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  3. I loved The Hunger Games. I do like Young Adult fiction; a lot. But, like with most books, it is very hit and miss for me. I think a lot of what you didn’t like is the genre as you said. You aren’t supposed to be surprised and in fact are supposed to know the endings before you get there of most genre fiction. The only exceptions I can think of are mysteries, but even with those the whole point is trying to figure out how it will end BEFORE you actually get there so you can say, ‘Yes, I was right. I knew it.’

    Now, I know there are some stories that are intended to shock or surprise you by having something happen in the end that completely changes everything that comes before it. But that’s not the norm.

    “Picky about style” I’m not sure that’s what I’d call it, but I get you. I am part of an adult book club that reads Young Adult books. (See, I love them.) I’m being introduced to a lot of books I never would have found.

    I was reading At Swim, Two Boys in between my book club books and then this reading challenge started. After reading a Beat book and in between At Swim, Two Boys. It was really hard to get into any of my Young Adult books. It has to be a really good one, or I just can’t get through it. Though after reading a few YA books, it is easier to read YA’s that are cute. I can enjoy a cute story after a good YA. I can’t after a classic. So I just shuffle my books around, until I find what I’m in the mood for.

    (What I mean by ‘cute’ is that the only thing going for this book is that the story itself is cute.)

    About The Hunger Games movie: I didn’t like it as much as the book. It stole time away from things with the real feeling and meaning and gave it to things that were flat, boring, or didn’t matter to the story yet. It ruined the cave scene by showing us Gale’s face. There was no point in that. The people watching the movie can put two and two together themselves. We do not need them to do it for us. It is bad enough when people do this in books (which you will see a lot in the YA genre—that is something I don’t like. If you’ve given me the information to put it together, you don’t need to put it together for me in the next sentence) we don’t need it in movies as well, when we don’t have a lot of time to tell the story to begin with.

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