Monday, 18 April 2011

The Hunger Games

And the time has come...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
First published by Scholastic in 2008 (this edition by Scholastic in 2009)

Book #1 in The Hunger Games trilogy

Description: (from back cover)
In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

My thoughts:
The time has come for me to read and review the book that everyone recommends reading! Quite honestly, I had never even heard of the book before becoming a part of the book blogging community. Isn't that rather embarrasing...? To be fair though, I do live in Greece and the city I live in has one (yes, ONE!) bookshop that stocks English books. I do believe I have made them rich. I don't even want to think about how much money I have spent in that shop. Anyhow, I digress. 

I was a little guarded when I decided to pick up this book to read. All you lovely bloggers who commented on my IMM posts (when I bought my own copies of The Hunger Games books) told me again and again that I would absolutely love it. So I decided to wait a few weeks before reading it so as not to get carried away by other people's views of the book. I needn't have worried, though! This book is sooooo great that it doesn't matter what other people say. You can tell it's great just by reading the first few pages!!

Yes, it's that good. I think I must have read it in 6 or 7 hours, maximum. While in the middle of a project with a deadline on the next day! But I just couldn't put it down! I remember I was reading a chapter, then putting the book down for 10 minutes to answer the next question for my project and then picking it up again. I think I ended up going to sleep at about 4 in the morning. Needless to say, I couldn't get up after. Ah well!

Anyway, to the actual review (as opposed to my ravings). I thought this book was wonderfully written. The story just flows from the pages. You finish one chapter, you have to read the next one as soon as possible. You just have to know what is going to happen next. Ms Collins definitely has a way with words!

The world described in the book is rather weird and it's set in the future (which is why the book is classified as a dystopian one - duh!). There are 12 districts, though there used to be 13. There was some kind of revolution and the authorities completely destroyed the District 13. So as to maintain the peace, they have an annual event, which is broadcast to all 12 districts called The Hunger Games. What happens there is that they choose two people from each district (one boy and one girl, to a total of 24 people) to compete in the Hunger Games. The aim is to be the last one standing alive. There can only be one winner. Now, doesn't that just make you want to read about what is going to happen?? 

The characters in this book are very well presented and developed. You just end up loving them. Well, not all of them necessarily, but definitely Katniss and Peeta! Katniss is a girl who has obviously been through a lot and has had to take on a lot of responsibility from quite a young age. Peeta is the baker's son, so he has had a better life than Katniss, but only marginally. They are the two 'tributes' from District 12, which means that one of them will ultimately have to kill the other to survive. The whole book is told from Katniss' point of view, so we are limited to what Katniss thinks of Peeta. But it's still enough to get a clear picture of what a nice person he is. I also loved the relationship between Katniss and Gale. It is clear that he is very important to her, as he helped her during a time of her life that she needed help and company. I thought it was lovely that they were such good friends. I hope there is more of him in the next book!

All in all, I loved this book and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. (Though I'm not going to read them straight away, as I like to have 'breaks' in between books in the same series! Yup, I'm weird!)

Rating: 10/10 (with a cherry on top! ;-) )

Suzanne Collins is an American TV writer and author. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University. She started working as a writer for children's television shows in 1991. After meeting with children's author James Proimos, she decided to start writing children's books herself. Her first book, published in 2003, was Gregor the Overlander, the first book in what turned out to be a series of 5 books under the title The Underlander Chronicles. In 2008, she published The Hunger Games, with the last book in the trilogy (Mockingjay) coming out in 2010.
Here are some of the covers of her books:

The Underlander Chronicles (Book 1 and Book 2)

The Hunger Games trilogy (Book 2 and Book 3)

I think it has been known for quite some time (I'm not sure on this one though), that The Hunger Games is going to be made into a film. Regardless of that, the actors that will portray the three major roles in this film have already been cast. Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale. I am definitely looking forward to watching this one (when it comes out!). 

You can find out more about Suzanne Collins here:

Counts as Book #29 in the 100 Books In A Year Challenge
Also counts towards the 1st In A Series Challenge and the Dystopia Challenge.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read it yet! Though it's always good when you enjoy a much anticipated book.


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