Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic

Series: Hunger Games #1
Pages: 374
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: October 1, 2008
How Received: Library

SummaryCould you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone 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.

My Thoughts
At first, I had my reserves about this series. I had heard about it from reviews, but the entire concept of the Hunger Games repulsed me enough to not really want to read. But when I actually sat down to read The Hunger Games? It did not disappoint. At all. It was full of such epic epicness! Within the first few chapters – the first, actually – I was hooked. I couldn’t put the book down, even if I had tried to.

I loved Katniss. She’s my newest favorite character. She’s strong, level-headed (most of the time), and will stop at nothing to protect those she loves. I was easily won over when she placed herself in front of Prim despite the certain death that would consequently await her. If there was a definition of epic, it would be Katniss.

Peeta was a lovely counterpart to Katniss. He had such charisma that he won me over with the littlest of promptings. He was comic relief and just plain funny despite the grim situation. I loved how he was the “weak” one, when men are usually portrayed as the big, macho protectors of our weak female heroines. The roles were definitely reversed in this book.

The plot was just... epic. The concept of the Hunger Games is repulsive, yet it reels you in, all the same. I found myself wanting to know what happened, to see which kid died, and how. Katniss’s predicament in the arena is so raw, and real, and I found my heart quickening with each page turn. It was so intense that I had to fight myself from not jumping ahead a few pages. I couldn’t take the suspense! There were a few times, I have to admit, that my eyes wandered ahead. I couldn’t help it! The one thing that totally got me was the scene where District 11 gave her the bread, and the scene preceding it. I was bawling.

The ending was just as awesome as everything else. Katniss is even more in danger than she was before. I love it.

I’ve seen all the Team Gale vs Tale Peeta buttons out there, and I have to say (for now, at least) I’m Team Peeta all the way.


Cover Musings: I wasn’t too impressed with the cover for The Hunger Games. That’s probably why I didn’t pick it up sooner. But after reading it? I looooove the cover, for all it symbolizes, and the Mockingjay pin!


Memorable Quotes:
[I had a hard time with quotes, because they either spoiled something or had to be taken in context, so.. I apologize for my meager amount of quotes D: ]

“At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means goodbye to someone you love.” 24

“I guess all those hours decorating cakes paid off.”
Peeta smiles. “Yes, frosting. The final defense of the dying.” (252)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: I freaking LOVED The Hunger Games. I don’t know what else I can say besides that. I said epic about a gazillion times in this review -- that's how darn good this book was! I felt like each page turn was like crack. It was sooo good; I’m dang addicted now! If you had the same reservations about this series as I had... FORGET THEM. Just pick this book up right now! Go Peeta! <3

Rating: 5/5


Extras:
Book Trailer! :3 I was going to post another video, but it was a bit spoilerish, so I decided on this instead.

** This post is a challenge entry in the September Spectacular Challenge #5

8 comments:

Jennifer Lane said...

Great review! I just finished The Hunger Games on 9/25 and now I'm fully embroiled in Catching Fire. This series is AWESOME, even more addicting than Twilight for me. I like Katniss better than Bella at this point (though the guys are too unknown to even compete with Edward for my heart).

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

I feel the same way, Jennifer! :) I actually read and reviewed this two weeks ago, but stubbornly refused to post it until the challenge post. :P But it rose through the ranks of my favorite series without even trying! I DEFINITELY liked Katniss better than Bella, too! I doubt I'd ever like Peeta as much as Edward, though. =S

I can't WAIT to get my hands on Catching Fire! I'd love to hear what you think about it after you're done reading! :)

Namine said...

I love love this series. I have to agree though, the cover means nothing until you read it. I heard there's a movie coming eventually hopefully it will be just as good as the series.

brandileigh2003 said...

I am Team Peeta all the way through!
You are right, this really is an epic book, and I went in not expecting to like it and got blown away!
Thanks for your review.

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Literature for Lunch said...

I LOVED The Hunger Games and am so sad that I have now finished the trilogy. :( I think that Katniss is a great character as well for exactly the reasons you mentioned. She will stop at nothing to protect her family and those she cares for (which I find is a huge motivator for her). This really plays out in an interesting way in the other books. Great review :)

Faye said...

love love love this series!*fingers crossed for a movie*

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

@Brandi: Yay Team Peeta! <3 Tbh, I wasn't even planning to make it past the first 50 pages. Pfft, Suzanne Collins sure showed me!

@Jennifer: Oh, I can't wait to see how that plays into the next two books! You're just making me want to read Catching Fire even more! :P

@Namine and Faye: I hope there's a movie, too! I've heard some rumored casting, and I found myself disagreeing with half of the list of actress' they want to use for Katniss. Katniss is special; bad-ass. I'm SO going to be picky about the cast. =P

FrugalMom said...

This sounds like an interesting book with many dimensions.



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