Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins
Author websitehttp://suzannecollins.org/
Price: Rs. 295 (discounted to Rs. 221 at Flipkart)
Publisher: Scholastic Books (Published in September, 2008)
Pages: 374

I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this book-which was quite obvious, considering it's been made into a movie and many have tagged it as their favorite! I'm turning into one of those as well, I loved this book SO much! It's a book based in the future, with emphasis on poverty, oppression and reality TV, narrated from the point of view of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen.

**Spoiler Alert: Ending + story revealed**

From the Book Cover
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one 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 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 death 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Review
The book predicts a future where thousands of people are living as poor, where hunted meat and strawberries, blackberries, plants are traded for necessities like grain, oil and bread; where sugar is a luxury to be afforded only by the wealthy. Katniss, a sixteen year old is a strong teenager, who takes up the responsibility of taking care of her mother and sister when she loses her father in a mine explosion when she was eleven. I liked Katniss right from the beginning- strong, responsible, clever and a rebel (which is kind of like me! I am so opposed to anything unfair). The way she deals with her father's loss, her mother's inability to take care of them and her love for her sister, Prim, the way she takes up the challenge of surviving through each day in the Games, shows and proves her inner strength. 

The Hunger Games book cover
The story goes deep into the way reality shows are held. Maybe everything isn't true, but it pretty much explores what really happens- how participants are prepared for TV, for being charming enough to get supporters even though what they really feel is a thousand miles away from reality. In The Hunger Games, however, it's death sentence for 23 of the 24 participants, as the lone survivor at the end is the winner. Above everything else, I just loved the concept. A futuristic world with so many probable problems, the thrilling action and the desire and will to simply survive by a group of teenagers. The writing is such that all the while I was reading I thought I could understand what Katniss was going through, and that is really powerful writing! It made me feel as uncertain about Peeta and Gale as Katniss was and if the author's able to keep you in the characters, I think it's pretty awesome! I was totally hooked, going without food and water for hours and oblivious to what's happening around. I know it wasn't that awesome for some people, but for me it was 'I-haven't-read-an-awesome-book-in-a-long-time-and-this-broke-the-curse'! :D


What I adored
* Katniss. The general character, her mind, her actions.
* Peeta Mellark. Okay, I hardly ever read love stories, especially the mushy ones. I always go for action. Maybe, maybe that is the reason I somehow liked the story going on between Katniss and Peeta. I know, the first love story I've ever liked! That makes this book all the more interesting. ;)
* The descriptions about everything. I had the whole story running in my head as a movie and peculiarly, it matched the real movie. :P These are called amazing descriptions. :)
* The reality about reality TV. How everything's done for the audience and so not what the participant actually does.
* The arena. Thank God for trees, or really, where would Katniss sleep? :P
* Rue and the emotions associated with her.
* The point when the trumpet announced that there could be two survivors- from the same district. (I was 'Yay'! Now both can live!)
* The way Katniss is so easily able to understand what Haymitch, their mentor means to convey through the gifts.
* That Katniss and Peeta win the Games! :D
* The message in the story- of how hard it can be for some people to simply survive, to ensure their loved ones don't die of starvation, to keep on going till the end for those you love. And I've learnt so much about living in the wild that I guess I'll be able to spend a couple of days there myself :P Minus the killing part, of course.

What I didn't like
* The thing that kids in the Game have to die. That's gruesome, and the thought that other kids have to do it. But that's what the Games mean, right? :/
* Some grammar errors. I usually find them irritating, but I somehow let this one pass, I don't know why. I was just so into the story I didn't want to stop reading!

Quotable Quote from the book: "I've spent so much time making sure I don't underestimate my opponents that I've forgotten it's just as dangerous to overestimate them as well"

My rating: 5/5 !
Recommended for: Teens and Adults alike. There's some great story-telling. :)

12 comments:

  1. I love the blog! :D
    Covers pretty much everything and totally parallels my personal review! Hunger games is one powerfully written book, The sequels do not match up however. :/
    Only suggestion: Do not mention the ending or Give a *Spoiler Alert*!
    Looking forward to more! ^_^

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment! :D
      And ya! I shouldn't mention the ending.. I didn't think of it, thanks for the suggestion! :)

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  2. Great review! I am glad you read The Hunger Games. Several of my friends are just now picking it up and that gets me really excited because now there are more people I can discuss it’s brilliance with! I agree with you about loving the descriptions that Suzanne includes throughout the story and being a sucker for the romance aspect between Katniss and Peeta. I fell for them as a cute couple too.

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

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    1. Yes, I was so descriptive and enchanting! I've just started Catching Fire and kind of feel bad about Gale though. I'll see soon what happens! :)

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  3. I LOVE your enthusiasm, Ashna! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book! Oh, and how much I adore Peeta and Katniss! They're just perfect together. ♥ I'm sooo glad that they make AWESOME movie that match the AWESOME series, so now everyone will know how AMAZING Hunger Games is! :)

    I hope you'll love the second book too! Aside from Peeta, this is the first time my favorite character shows up in the series. Just a clue: he resembles Liam Payne or Alex Pettyfer LOL! ;)

    Amazing review, Ashna! :)

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    1. I loved the second book too, Hilda! Just started reading Mockingjay :D
      I so love Katniss and Peeta too! Though I'm wishing things get clear in Katniss's mind, about Peeta and Gale!
      Thanks for the lovely comment :)

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  4. Great review. I think I'll pick up a copy.

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    1. Oh sure do! It's among my top favorites now! You would want to read the whole series once you start :)

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  5. The book was so picturesque that I weaved clear and detailed scenes about each part of the book like a running movie while i read it. I just hope the actual movie will be somewhat similar to my version. :|
    Although I loved the whole book, but I thing I totally hated was Rue's death and worse, her being turned into a mutt. Why couldn't she live..??? :(

    Anyways, a Great review Ashna. I'll give the book 9/10. :)

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    1. Well, the movie's good (and very similar), just fast paced and obviously, the book's better. :)
      That's the part I hated as well, but it was necessary for the story. It plays a role in the future rebellion! And the things with mutts, it will get clearer to you in the other books that they're not really those people, but evil things especially created by the Capitol, to instill fear into their enemies.
      Thank you for the comment :)

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  6. I read The Hunger Games after hearing it was all the rage at a Con I attended. It's not a bad book, very reminiscent of the excellent Japanese Battle Royale in concept, and it has a bit of The Running Man in there as well. I read the whole trilogy, but really felt that it would have been better if Collins had stopped after one book. The other two really didn't go on with the promise shown by this.

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    1. Or maybe she could have done something more with the books! Even I liked the first one best, and the last one minus the ending. Thank you for your comment :)

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