Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Book Review - The Hunger Games


Katniss Everdeen is a survivor. She has to be; she's representing her District, number 12, in the 74th Hunger Games in the Capitol, the heart of Panem, a new land that rose from the ruins of a post-apocalyptic North America. To punish citizens for an early rebellion, the rulers require each district to provide one girl and one boy, 24 in all, to fight like gladiators in a futuristic arena. The event is broadcast like reality TV, and the winner returns with wealth for his or her district. 

My Review
I had seen this book on the shelves many times, and was attracted by the cover, but wasn't overly sure form the blurb that i would want to read it. This book has grown in popularity so much recently that everyone was asking for it in the library and asking if i had read it. I always politely said no, and that it wasn't my sort of thing. However, it got me thinking, if so many people are reading this and coming back so positive, there has got to be something right there, so after one of my colleagues bought it back saying her daughter had just finished it and couldn't get enough, i took it from her. And boy, was i shocked, I read it in less than a day and was truly captivated. I found the start a bit slow, i wanted them to just get on with the Games, but as the story progressed, i was glad there was so much background and build up and it really gave you a sense of where the main character 'Katniss' was coming from. I was a bit disturbed at the content, the government arrange a Hunger Games every year, where a boy and girl from each district (equaling 24 kids in total) are sent into an arena and the only way to get out is to kill the other competitors, they can collect packs and weapons but is pure chance what you will get, there are no rules in the Games other than Kill or be Killed. The government also have the power to change the landscape/conditions etc to make it more interesting or to make sure someone dies. The whole event is broadcasted on TV and all must watch. The idea of children being put into an arena to kill each other for entertainment as well as what the government sees as discipline to it's country isn't exactly a happy circumstance or something you would ever want to face, but Suzanne Collins writes so well, you can't help but be fascinated, even whilst disturbed. The book isn't too gory, you get told of the deaths and how they died but nothing too graphic. I also loved the mixture of personalities of the contestants. it made me love some more than others, which was obviously what she was going for. I cried when one of the contestants died, for those who have read it, i think you'll know who, for those that haven't read it, be prepared. This book had me gasping, laughing, crying, shouting (both YESSS and NOOO!!!) and there were quite a few twists I definitely didn't see coming. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone. 
On most copies of the book there is a review on the cover from Stephanie Meyer, now I HATE Twilight, can't stand it and having the author review this book, was not a good decision on the publishers part in my opinion, as really Twilight is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. but for the people out there like me who really dislike it, don't let the fact she reviewed it put you off. 
Also, one more note, many people including myself, have compared this story to 'Battle Royale' a manga and sci-fi epic, and yes the two are very similar, but don't let that put you off, Collins takes the idea and makes it her own. I'm not going to debate whether she 'stole' the idea or was just inspired by it, or if she has ever heard of it, i can't say. But I wanted to put on here that i know of the similarities but despite that i love the book and so no negative comments please.

My Rating
I would give this book 9/10. pick it up now, you won't regret it!

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