Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Date Finished: 28 Oct 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars
At the age of 16, Katniss Everdeen carries a lot of weight on her shoulders. Her life in District 12 of Panem, formally known as the United States, is completely controlled by the government. Every day Katniss hunts illegally and trades on the black market in order to keep her family from starving. On the day of reaping all of district 12 gathers to find out which boy and which girl from their district will join boys and girls from all the districts in Panem to participate in the Hunger Games. The games are a brutal contest of strength and wit put on annually by the Capital in order to remind the districts who is in charge. Only 1 contestant survives the games. When the name of Katniss' younger sister is called at the reaping, Katniss immediately steps forward to take her place. Let the games begin.
This book has been simmering on the back burner of my brain since I read it. When I finished it, I thought, "Wow! That was really good." But since then I have been trying to figure out why I liked it so much. I know it is probably very cliche to describe a book as gripping or riveting in a review, but those are the words that keep coming to mind. I also realize that there is not necessarily anything groundbreaking or uniquely original in this futuristic dystopian novel, but simply put, The Hunger Games is just a really well told story that had me hooked from the beginning. Teens fighting in a gladiator style fight to the death reality tv show where two of the contestants may or may not be in love. How can you not get hooked? :-)
There is one exception though. Parts of the plot just did not sync with me and seemed too contrived. I understand a good twist can make a book but the twist in this book felt ridiculous and even undermined much of the already established story. The book plummeted in my opinion when this plot twist was presented. The thing is, though, that Suzanne Collins can spin a really good yarn and so I found myself forgiving of the ridiculous elements.
A (mostly) well written, fast paced adventure story with a little (or a lot) romance thrown in, I recommend you check out The Hunger Games.