The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m going to hog my sister’s Kindle for as long as I can get away with it – hopefully I will at least get to read the other two books in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins before she realises I still have it.  Set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, the thirteen Districts of Panem must select one boy and one girl to fight in the televised Hunger Games until only one remains alive – sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are chosen to represent District 12.  Like all the best YA fiction, ‘The Hunger Games’ is not just for teenagers.

Even though ‘The Hunger Games’ does have a relatively fast pace from the beginning, it did take me a while to get into the book.  I’m not massively into science-fiction and I didn’t think there was anything particularly spectacular about Collins’s writing. But by the time I was half way through, I could see that ‘The Hunger Games’ is definitely one of the most original young adult books out there right now (OK I have heard that the plot is quite similar to ‘Battle Royale’ but I haven’t read it or seen it so I can’t compare it).  Katniss is obviously a far better role model for girls than say Bella from the Twilight series – it’s refreshing to see a lead female character who has ambitions other than moping around waiting for a boyfriend.  I particularly liked the fact that neither the violence nor the romance was overdone as I think that is quite rare to come across that particularly with books aimed at young adults.  Saying that, this is a story that involves teenagers killing each other so maybe my idea of what is over the top might not correspond with someone else’s.

Even though I thought the ending was quite predictable, I would still like to find out what happens to Katniss in the next two parts of the trilogy.  I don’t know if this is just because ‘The Hunger Games’ is a fairly short book but I feel like the characters or the setting haven’t been fully developed yet particularly Peeta.  Watch this space for reviews on ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay’ in the next couple of days…

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  1. Good post. I’m on the wait list at the library. There haven been over 2000 requests. I hope to read the trilogy this year. What’s kindle like? At the mo I’m just using an iPad but thinking of getting an ereader. Your thoughts on kindle?

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    • A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

      Wow, that’s a lot! I like the Kindle more than I thought I would. I find the absence of page numbers a bit annoying and also the way you can’t really ‘flip through’ an e-book so easily as you can with a real book but I like the screen and the fact that it’s portable. Definitely thinking of getting one for myself at some point.

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      • Cheers. That’s why I love books, being able to flip through the pages & seeing the progress, how far there is to go. I’m trying out Kobo on the iPad & will see if I like that enough to try a Kindle.

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  2. I think I found the book a little more compelling than you, but maybe I’m misreading your review. I do agree that one of the best things about the series is that even though there is a lot of violence and a lot of romance, neither is overdone.

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  3. i haven’t read the trilogy, but my 13 year old son has read them all, he’s into it big time! he’s also watched the movie and wanted to buy the board game recently…:)

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  4. Ha, I borrowed my sister’s Sony e-reader specifically to read these books. I think you’ll like the next two, and I think you’ll continue to approve of Katniss. I liked her for the same reasons you did.

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  5. I’m certainly not within the target audience for this novel, but I’ll toss in my two-bits-worth anyway (I read the book before going to the movie with my daughter).

    I thought the book began well; a strong female character and an interesting premise (dystopian fiction mixed with reality TV), but I became more and more disappointed as the novel continued. Some plot twists seemed irrational, the characters were mostly undeveloped, and the writing was uneven (I suppose you can’t please everyone).
    I’ve enjoyed some YA books in the past (e.g.: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials), but The Hunger Games didn’t thrill me.

    On the positive side of the ledger, I’m glad the Hunger Games books have inspired young people to read, and it’s a nice change from vampires, werewolves and zombies.

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  6. Great post! It is very similar to ‘Battle Royale’ but is superior in its dramatic tension. It’s one of those books that you read and then suddenly realise that you have read 50 pages without really noticing!

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  7. I read this because Mockingjay was on a Goodreads best list, and had library waitlist issues too, so I read it on Nook on my phone (I have since gotten a Kindle and am increasingly liking it). It was a week I was running a half marathon, and yet I got so hooked on the plot that I read the whole series in 3 days, including deep into the night before the race. I was too caught up to stop, despite the fact that I might pay heavily during the race for my exhaustion!

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  8. Pingback: The Best of 2012 Survey | A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

  9. poppyonkirrinisland

    Great review. I read this book recently, and thoroughly enjoyed it: it wasn’t what I was expecting, at all.

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  10. I am not a fan of si-fi and was a little hesitant at first to read these books because teenagers killing each other? I’m more of a teenagers falling in love type girl. Needless to say, I finished this book in 2 days. I fell in love! You don’t really think about the violence as much as you think you would. I found myself focusing more on how Katniss was going to stay alive and the romance that blossomed between her and Peeta (obviously). I can also say that Catching Fire and Mockingjay also lived up to my expectations making this one of my favorite trilogies!

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