Thursday, January 8, 2009

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

book 1 of 12 for the 2009 Young Adult Challenge
genre: young adult
rating: 5/5

The Hunger Games is one of those books...the ones I have to read in a day. Luckily, thanks to some smokin' trusted friends (here and here) I knew it ahead of time, so as soon as I could get my hands on a copy, I chose my day and dug in. And loved every moment.

Katniss lives in a future where America as we know it no longer exists. What's left of our country has been divided up and brought under the control of an entity called "the Capitol." To keep all these "districts" in line, The Capitol has created an event called "The Hunger Games," wherein two randomly selected young adult participants from each district must fight to the death until only one person is left alive. The climate and circumstances of the "game" are under the nearly complete control of the "Gamemasters" who televise the entire "competition" to the country. Do you like my use of quotes in that paragraph? It's surprising how quickly I stopped thinking of it as a game.

The book is brilliant. It's not a treatise and the dialogue isn't breathtaking, but it grabs you by the neck and won't let you breathe until you know what happens next. The idea of a future "Survivor" reality television program set up as a form of rebellion control is so intriguing. It's got enough action and enough romance and I had to give it five stars because I don't know what I could possibly change to make it better.

Katniss as a character is believable - frustrating, endearing - ready to play certain kinds of games but completely inept at others. Her humanity gave the scariness and helplessness of the situation so much more force. It was so interesting to see how quickly one transforms as one becomes the hunted and it makes you question what you'd do in that same position.

Really, if you like young adult literature - wait for a lazy day, and pick this one up.


Tricia said...

Yay! I'm so glad you loved it too. When I got to the end of every chapter she just hooked me so good I had to keep going.

bethany said...

i REALLY want to read this too..I am adding it to my "wish list" after your review :) THANK YOU!

PS I am reading A View of Jerusalem right now, it is great!

LisaMay said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I haven't read a can't-put-down book in too long! I'll keep an eye out for this one :)

Anonymous said...

I've read another review raving about this book, so now I really want to read it.

morninglight mama said...

Fantastic review-- can't wait to see everyone's thoughts on the nook!

Anonymous said...

We have three YA readers in our family, so someone would enjoy this one. :)

Jeanette said...

Great review! I loved this book. I am looking forward to seeing where the characters go in the next one.

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