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[Book Review] - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
   Author: Suzanne Collins
   Series: #1 - The Hunger Games
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: October 31st, 2008
   My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

     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.

My Review:

     This is one of my favorite books, mainly because it's the start of a series that just impacts everything. This series is much more than what you think, or have been told the book represents. And for those out there who say that this is similar to Twilight... I will shank your big toe! I will note this up front, if you are reserve about which to see first the book or the movie, Definitely the Movie. The book beats the movie (as always) by a significant margin and changes a few things that tarnish the book.

     Katniss Everdeen, this female character is one of the strongest fictional characters that I have read about to this date. In fact she's currently my second favorite character of all time (next to Tris Prior from Divergent by Veronica Roth). She has this femininity about her that draws you in and you feel her emotion, passion, and every decision and situation she makes. However, she as well has this dark side to her that makes her far more than just a girl/woman, which brought me in closer and wanting more. Great character!

     This book about the games, is the beginning of probably one of the most notorious love triangles in young adult fictional books. I would like to note that I hate love triangles, they are dumb, complicated, and end up not being worth the time reading about. So... This one had my attention, I felt the emotion between Peeta, Gale, and Katniss, but at the same time the triangle didn't have the depth to it, it lacked something from Katniss or Gale. Like there was supposed to be a response, or just something that lingers in the back of your mind. It was a great triangle, made you tug to which one she should or shouldn't be with.

     The buildup to the games was slow and boring, but I understood why it was needed. Without the training sessions and getting to know some of the other characters, there would be this disjointed feeling between the games and the characters in it. As well, one of the most prolific support characters wouldn’t have had as much meaning as what she did.

     The games were magnificent; there was a sense of fear around every branch, hidden in the background of the trees. I felt that the tributes were portrayed accurately, the fear and some of the enthusiasm and arrogance in some of them. When the games began, I felt the raw power and brutality that the games bring about. As well as the pain and how the relationships are changed and molded over and over throughout the games cycle.

     The issue I had with this book was the other districts. I was left wondering about the people in the other districts and wanted to see more of them and what they did for a living. It was something that I felt left a gaping hole in the middle of the world building. In fact the entire world building is confined to the Capitol and District 12, so I feel safe to assume I’m right in questioning why none of the other districts were involved.
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July 30, 2014 at 3:22 AM

Emotional, yet perfectly paced, this book is a page-turner. Although i was familiar with the story from the films, the book possesses a capability to stir emotions, quickening of the pulse that causes you to fear not only the simple turning of a page, but believe the reaping and the Hunger Games are a real thing.
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September 13, 2015 at 7:05 AM

I have recommended this book to numerous people including my daughter. She was captivated to the point that she brought the book to read during lunch and recess in school. While this book may not be appropriate for children under twelve due to its dark themes, it is certainly worth an adult's time to read and then decide whether to share with their child.

Marlene
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