Saturday, March 5, 2011
Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I have been told for several years that I should read this book, and it was one that oddly both didn't appeal to me but I was pretty sure I'd like. I assumed my book club would assign it eventually, and I lucked out this month when they did! I loved this book!
Katniss lives in District 12 in Panem, in the former United States. District 12 is not a fun place to live - it's a coal mining district and there's not much food or much to do. Katniss hunts outside of the boundary with Gale, to help keep up the strength of her little sister Prim and her mother, since the death of her father. Every year, the Capitol hosts The Hunger Games. To remind the 12 districts that the Capitol is in charge and to discourage another revolt, in these Games each District needs to provide 2 "tributes" - a male and female teenager - to fight for the glory of their District. It's like Survivor, except that only one person comes out alive. This year, Katniss's little sister is selected, and she volunteers to take Prim's place, and fight alongside Peeta.
All the lead-up to the Games is fascinating, but when the Games themselves start, the book is impossible to put down. Katniss is tough but vulnerable, angry but loving, clever but unable to lie when it would be to her advantage. Is Peeta a friend or an enemy? How can she possibly win against 23 competitors, many of whom are much larger than her and well-trained? But she promised her sister she'd come home. She can't let Prim down.
This is the first in a trilogy. I am tempted to read the next two, although I've heard varying reports about the satisfaction of the resolution. But Katniss has won over my heart. She is a fighter, fiercely loyal, and an honest, open book. The pending love triangle the book ends with is naturally intriguing, not to mention I want to know what happens after she returns to District 12 (I'm sorry, I suppose that's a spoiler, but really no one's going to believe that the main character of a trilogy dies in the first book.) The book is exciting, riveting, and at times scary. The characters are well-written, even the minor ones. I am impressed with Ms. Collins' writing abilities and am still thinking about this book although I put it down hours ago.
This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.
I borrowed this book from a friend.