Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games Trilogy, book 1
Genre: YA fiction
Published: 2008

Recommendation: An excellent YA book that will keep you reading late at night.
Rating: 8.5/10

Summary: From each of 12 districts a boy and a girl are chosen at random once a year to participate in The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games consist of an arena where the 24 participants are placed, but only one can come out alive.

Reactions: The mentions of this book have been appearing all over blogosphere and with the plot piquing my attention, I decided to give the first book a try. As you can tell from my rating, the book didn't disappoint me in the least.

The language of the book is quite straightforward. It's aimed at teens and it's written in the style I usually associate with YA fiction. We get introduced to Katniss and her life in one of the poorest districts of the country. We learn how she survives by hunting in the forest, which is forbidden, and how unfairly the Capitol treats the Districts. All of this in open prose. The reading is easy, but I do feel the author could have been more effective with a more subtle political commentary.

Then, as one can probably guess from the start, Katniss becomes the Hunger Games participant and we follow her to the Capitol and to the Games. This part is pure adrenaline. I could not put the book down and read late into the night. There is just the right amount of politics, romance, sentiment, action, and violence to keep the reader wanting more. The violence is actually a little appalling, but that's precisely the point and the book gets the message across really well without being overly depressing.

For a smart and strong heroine, Katniss can sometimes be rather daft, which irritated me at several points in the book. But I guess everyone needs faults and I can stomach the lack of social intelligence better than some other traits. Overall, a really strong YA book, one I definitely enjoyed reading and I'll be sure to pick up the next book in the series too.

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