Alright, so this is the 1000th review of Suzanne Collins' book The Hunger Games I'm sure, but having just finished it last night I had to write about it. I put off reading The Hunger Games because everyone was gushing about it and I tend to stay away from those books. Plus, the names of the characters really turned me off: Katniss? Peeta? Come on. Anyway, I nearly fell under the Twitter pressure when Jill wrote me a song and then I knew I had to read it.
If you don't already know, the plot of The Hunger Games is set in the future where the remains of North America is divided up into Districts and The Capitol. Katniss lives in the poorest District, 12, where she lives a hand to mouth existence providing for her mother and sister with her mad hunting skills. Long ago, the Districts made war with the wealthy Capitol and lost. As a punishment, every year each District must provide to two young Tributes to fight to the death in a reality show called The Hunger Games. After a stunning event called the reaping (reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery), Katniss and a boy she goes to school with, Peeta, are chosen for the Games.
For the rest of the book, we are driven to read the dramatic events of The Hunger Games through our young heroine's eyes. Can she survive? Will she kill sweet natured Peeta to win?
I couldn't put down The Hunger Games. It had me from the first page. Katniss narrates the grim story through gritted teeth. She has a hard edge after spending years trying to keep herself and her family from starvation and it shows. The pacing is incredible. You barely have time to take a breath from chapter to chapter. There are twists, surprises and heartbreaking moments. It's also terribly violent.
After the first book in the series, I'm totally Team Peeta (sorry Jill). That could of course change when I read Catching Fire and see more of Gale, Katniss's other love interest. Right now though, I love Peeta's kindness and vulnerability. How very sweet that he admired her from afar for all those years. Say it with me, "Awwwww." There were times I felt he was too stupid to live and could relate to Katniss's frustration too.
Now Katniss. I loved her when she was The Hero; she was brave, she was cunning, she was amazing. I did have a problem with her when she was with Peeta. I was thinking, "This guys is pouring his heart to you and YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!" This made me crazy! Maybe in the next book she'll borrow a feeling and have an emotion of some kind.
If you like dystopian novel, then I think you should give The Hunger Games a try.
Thank you local library.