Thursday, March 1, 2012
Book Shelf: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins
Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying ﬁght to the death - televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
WINNING WILL MAKE YOU FAMOUS. LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.
(Blurb from Goodreads....)
The Hunger Games is an intense, adrenaline packed ride of non-stop action, survival and friendship!
I feel like I’m the last to jump on The Hunger Games train. I’ve planned to read this series for a long time but despite the insane amount of love everyone seems to have for it, I’ve still put it off. However, with the movie’s close release, and with some serious urging from my blogging friends, I felt obligated to finally read it. Who wants to hit me first? I’m kicking myself right now. Why, oh why haven’t I read this before?!? Honestly, I have no clue, as from the very first chapter this spectacularly told story had me completely riveted!
Suzanne Collins has managed to create such an incredible tale of hardship and desperation in such an action packed setting. This book is in a complete world of it’s own, taking root in the very heart of you the minute you start reading! The Huger Games themselves are so intense and captivating. The post-apocalyptic society of Panem, the Districts that inhabit it and especially the Capital are merciless. Pitting 24 young people, a boy and girl from each of the 12 Districts against each every year in a games setting and watching them battle out against each other until only one remains is cruel and unforgiving. Collins crafts her world so wonderfully. I was intrigued by the characters and world even before the Games began, and especially during. Again, Collins vivid descriptions and details within her storytelling completely held my interest. She had my complete attention. I was glued from start to finish as the Games unfolded before my eyes.
Throughout the novel we follow protagonist Katniss Everdeen who selflessly takes her sisters place in the games. It’s inadequate to say I liked Katniss. Honestly, I’m not sure there are words in the English language to accurately describe what I feel for this girl. She is incredible! Simply incredible! If I thought I loved some other heroines, they pale in compassion to how amazing I think Katniss is! I can’t think of a more perfect heroine to read about or follow....and that’s saying a lot. From the very first page it’s evident that Katniss is a strong, independent individual. She is the sole provider for her family and thanks to the loss of her father and the emotional deterioration of her mother it’s up to Katniss to take care of her little sister, the person she loves more than anything. Katniss has had to quickly learn to survive in a harsh world but it’s given her an inner strength and determination that I think helps her most in The Hunger Games.
She’s guarded when it comes to letting people in her life, but even the ruthlessness of the Games doesn’t destroy her in this book. There’s no doubt that they change her; that she’s a different version of herself than when she went into the Games, but that’s to be expected. The harsh life she’s lived allows her to thrive in the Games, and yet she still holds on to the goodness that is purely Katniss in her actions towards the other tributes. In a situation where losing means certain death her kindness and fairness to those who do her no harm despite her current predicament were wonderful to read about. When she should only be looking out for herself, there’s moments where she’s selfless towards others. Her attitude towards Rue, the young girl who reminds her of her sister and even Rue’s counterpart in District 11, Thresh, are testaments to her character in the middle of a situation where all those before her looked out for themselves alone. She’s likable and you’re truly vying for her. Katniss’s intelligence and survival instincts allow her to fare well in the Games and she learns quick, with her rebellious streak and attitude making her a joy to read about.
Being the female tribute for District 12 leaves Katniss paired with Peeta, the male tribute and the two form an unlikely friendship despite the nature of the Games declaring that their will be only one winner. With a range of fantastic characters throughout the novel, from Katniss’s stylists, her mentor Haymitch, her friends and family back home as well as all the colourful other tributes, Peeta is the other character, that as a reader, you come to love. There are many throughout the novel that I feel for and generally care about, but I admit it’s Peeta I also love. The son of the town’s baker, Peeta is a good guy, sweet and honourable through everything. He’s the one Distict 12 has easily dismissed as having a chance, for some good reasons, but Peeta manages to survive the games all while maintaining a sense of honour towards Katniss. He doesn’t have the backbone she does and he doesn’t fair quite as well as some of the other tributes at times, but I quite easily fell for Peeta. It was impossible not to like him. And despite all we came to learn of him in their book, he’s still a bit of a mystery to me, one I’m looking forward to discovering in the rest of the trilogy.
With Katniss and Peeta undertaking something that has never been done in Hunger Games history before, we see the two of them rely on one other in a heavy way for a lot of the book. Virtually strangers before their names were drawn, the lie the two take part in in the hopes of keeping viewers of the Games and sponsors easily had people enthralled with them and swept away into their “romance”. I admit, I was as smitten with them as I’m sure everyone else was, especially seeing, that as the reader, we’re well aware of Katniss’s internal conflict towards Peeta. I’m fairly sure Peeta was truthful about his feelings towards Katniss and watching her develop some of her own left me very satisfied. They were very sweet and I loved seeing them interact. I’m pretty sure I’m Team Peeta. He just caught me.
This is a heart-racing novel. Throughout it, you know of the struggles Katniss will face if she hopes to survive and with her growing friendship and possible romance between Peeta, you wonder just how the two will both manage to survive the Games. Suzanne Collins is a master at keeping her action and danger at the highest of levels and I was on the edge of my seat, desperate to see how they would get out of the dire situation that is The Hunger Games.
Over flowing with adventure, turmoil and heart-stopping action, The Hunger Games is the first in what I can only predict is an outta this world series!
Source: I bought.
Recommend borrow or buy: Buy!
Cover: I hate it. Honestly, it does nothing for the book and does not to it justice at all!
Read sequel/continue with series: Definitely.
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