Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Publishing Date: October 2008
Length: 374 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy 

5/5 ***** The Hunger Games- a fast-paced, action-packed novel that doesn’t let you catch your breath for a single second. Go out get it and get ready to play, this is a must read! 


  
~ The Author ~

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.
Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In

New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles.

Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.

Author profile by Goodreads 

For further information check out http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/

~ The Novel ~

The Hunger Games, released October 2008, is the first novel in The Hunger Games trilogy. Followed by Catching Fire in September 2009 and Mockingjay in September 2010, this series became a huge bestseller.

~ The Story ~

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one 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 steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Summary by Goodreads 

~ The Review ~

The story is told from Katniss’ point of view who has lived through many losses and deprivations, always knowing about the omnipresent danger of death. Her clear line of thoughts and rational analysis of situations are combined with flashbacks and personal memories. When it comes to the ones she loves, Katniss can’t but fight what makes her the touch heroine we always wanted to read about. She is a very likeable protagonist because she is wild, loyal and true to her heart.
Our male protagonist Peeta, a quiet and inconspicuous character in the beginning, grows to new strengths in the arena.

It is Katniss’ physical strength and her rational analysis and Peeta’s empathy and big heart that make them a perfect team. I really enjoyed reading about Katniss and Peeta growing into a team while the other districts mostly fighting on their own, never trusting anyone. We are bound to district twelve, the home of our protagonists Peeta and Katniss and although we like them so much together, we already know there will only be one winner. One would think there is not a single second to give love room in an arena of death, but what would you say if allowing love and emotions was the only way to survive?

The idea of a world that is dominated by a small group of superiors, playing with the life of humans so easily is unbelievably cruel and abhorrent. Suzanne Collins created a dystopian novel that doesn’t let you rest till the last page is turned, like you were in a race to win the Hunger Games yourself, never able to stop.

Despite its cruelty the Hunger Games appear as a fantastic idea and major element to produce a new kind of YA novel.
The thrill of the enemies getting closer, never knowing their exact position, always hiding, fighting supernatural powers and feeling the need to survive that must run through our protagonist, seems to be passed on to me and  I couldn’t wait to know what happens next.

The Hunger Games is told from a first person narrator and is written in present tense. I usually prefer stories written in past tense, but for The Hunger Games present tense works perfectly.  The applied present tense expresses the unstoppability of current events. Like Katniss herself, I never knew what to expect next. A fight of life or death is best told from the present tense, the moment it’s happening to realize its significance and danger at the same time.
So beside the overall more than thrilling storyline, this element of writing style contributes to establishing a highly successful novel.

24 tributes, 12 districts, 2 lovers and only 1 victor. In a fight of life or death, there is no way to slow down. The Hunger Games had me up all night.

~ We love this book because… ~

1) of a friend and a gift in form of a small golden pin
2) it is like a big game itself, a game as exciting and adventurous as no other before it
3) of the valiant behaviour of a young girl
4) a single song can shut out the loudest sounds of war
5) we are fans of berries 

~ The Verdict ~

Everybody enjoys a game with a good bet, so how could you resist a game as grand as The Hunger Games, a game with the most precious bet there could be- your life? Don’t hesitate and join Katniss and Peeta in their battle against death and human nature itself! Start reading The Hunger Games and feel the adrenaline rushing through your body in unit with this electrifying novel! 

25 comments:

  1. I'm in the process of writing a review for the series as well. I don't think I'll be publishing it any sooner though. THG has been my most favorite series so far. And I find it hard to review the series as I don't think I'm giving it enough justice. But your review did. It was awesome and I'll be anticipating your review of Catching Fire.

    ~Mithee
    The Deranged Book Lovers

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved your review. Agree it is a pulse pounding read. This is one of my all time favourite :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just finished reading The Hunger Games and loved it. Definitely one of my favorite books now. I bought Catching Fire but I have to save it next week for my road trip. This was a great review. All of the background on everything was awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was a fabulous book. I love Catching Fire even more. Mockingjay wasn't quite as good.
    I love how you include the author's bio in your review. I didn't know a lot of that stuff about her.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been thinking about reading this book for a while. I have to say dystopian novels don't usually excite me, as I think they are terribly annoying. Your review has made me think I might give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved this book but I have yet to read the rest of the series! :) Glad you enjoyed it too

    ReplyDelete
  7. One of my all-time favorite books. :) Hope you get to read the rest of the series soon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great review! I got to meet Suzanne last April and she talked a lot about her childhood. She says she was obsessed with war! Makes sense!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  9. I met suzanne before and got my book signed! I loved hunger games and it's great to hear you liked it too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love so much this series... It's so strong... And it gets stronger and stronger. I cried in the last one....

    ReplyDelete
  11. I cannot wait to get my hands on this series... Thanks for the great review!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this book. One of my unputdownable one.
    I read the translation anyway. I wonder how the english version one

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay, I'll admit it. I have not felt the desire to read this series, but your review makes me want to read it. It's the first one that really puts it in perspective and tells me why they are fighting and who Katniss and Peeta are. Thank you! I'll add this to my TBR list and feel like I really need to read it instead of because everyone else has.

    Heather
    Buried in Books

    ReplyDelete
  14. Absolutely one of the best reads out there!

    I love how you set up your reviews with the author info and synopsis. Plus the "why we love this book", fabulous ideas! And fantastic review!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great review! And I absolutely love your blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Glad you enjoyed reading it. I just finished reading this book a few days ago. I adore Peeta! I'm already reading the second book just to find out what happens next to him and Katniss.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Excellent review. Probably my favorite of the series. Just spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really like this series. There is a bit too much romance at times but overall really good set of books

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great review! The first book in the series is my favorite. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and couldn't stop thinking about it afterward. I only wish Mockingjay had been as good.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Super review! One of the most amazing books ever :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow. GREAT review. I've been curious about these for a while now (I know, crazy I haven't read them) but I get closer and closer to it every time I read a review, especially one like this. Great pointers, great reasons why... :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just raed the first one but the school lirary's out of catching fire!!! Can't you feel my FUSTRATION!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. some gorgeous that no one should miss!

    ReplyDelete