Seeing all the hype over Hunger Games (since after the film came out particularly), I decided to read the trilogy, and then to write an informal book review of my own. This is basically my opinion on the first book in the series.
The Hunger Games is a young adult novel written by television writer and novelist, Suzanne Collins. The book falls under the genres of Adventure, Young Adult, and somewhat Science Fiction. It is a Dystopian novel that deals with a wide variety of themes, including teen romance, violence, war, and depression. In my opinion, it will appeal to maybe fourteen-year-olds and above.
The story is told from the point of view of a sixteen-year-old girl, Katniss Everdeen. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world of “Panem”, a country in the place of which North America once existed. The creation of Panem is not fully fleshed out until the second book, however it is known that this is an authoritarian society consisting of twelve Districts ruled by the government in the Capitol.
The Hunger Games is a reality TV show created by the government to preserve its control over the districts by demonstrating the Capitol’s dominance, in which 1 boy and 1 girl (aged twelve or above) is randomly selected from each district to participate. Out of these 24 teens, only one is supposed to survive – the one who manages to kill all the other participants in the game. A shocking fact is that, the citizens of the Capitol quite enjoy watching 24 teens battle to death while struggling through weeks of violence.
I have to admit, the book gave me chills at certain times. It is packed with action that kept me on the edge, wondering what happens next. Throw in some romance and a complicated “love story”, and the book becomes an enjoyable read for the young adults.Suzanne Collins has done quite an amazing job. Her characters are well crafted, her plot is well planned, and the story flows smoothly. Admittedly, the build-up of the background story is not very strong, but I feel it is a factor that can be overlooked, after all no one is perfect.
Besides, the book is an all-out action thriller narrated in a straight-ahead yet subtle way with a carefully designed level of edgy violence. Many would consider the idea of reading about a number of teenagers murdering each other quite repulsive; however Collins has done it in a way that is both moving and thought-provoking, not to forget interesting, that just does not allow one to put down the book. Moreover, the goriness of the violence never goes out of line – enough to make the readers shake their heads and close their eyes for a moment, but not quite to disgust them entirely so as to stop them from reading.
In my opinion, the book just has the right amounts of romance, politics, violence, thrill, action, and intensity to keep one captivated while reading, and ponder over the themes in the book after reading. It takes the readers through an exclusive emotional roller-coaster ride, that once they finish reading The Hunger Games, they’re instantly craving for the next book in the Trilogy – Catching Fire.
Over all, the book is rich in issues about politics, personal freedom, sacrifice, and humanity. Moreover, it discusses about what it means to maintain who you are – to not lose your identity, and to not bow down to society’s expectations. It also throws light upon what the future may bring – what with all the hatred, destruction, war, and bloodshed present in today’s world.