Note: I am just getting the hang of writing book reviews (finally), so please be patient as I figure out my own system and how much to write, what to say, etc. I expect the reviews to become better developed in time, but to start they are rather short.
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult
Published Date: October 2008
Where I got it: Barnes & Noble Online
Why I wanted to read it: Peer pressure only gets the best of me when it comes to books, so I’ll admit that I read the series because a lot of my friends did and they kept telling me I had to read it.
Overview (Barnes & Noble):
Could 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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.
What I Liked
I enjoyed the plot overall. Suzanne Collins laid out a unique world and intrigued me enough to continue reading the trilogy. Considering I don’t read a lot of Young Adult or Fantasy literature I don’t know how creative others would consider her idea, but for me it worked. I enjoy dystopian literature so I’m sure that had a lot to do with my interest in the plot.
What I Didn’t Like
The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, got under my skin far too often. While I appreciate certain gestures – volunteering as tribute to save Prim and honoring Rue with flower “burial” – she appeared overly modest to a point of predictability. If I can assume the ending of a novel, especially one of a genre I don’t typically read, something isn’t right, and a lot of her narration gave it away for me.
My other issue was the writing style in general. I don’t typically read outside of “literary” fiction or non-fiction, so there’s a good chance that this is me being picky, but I’m not ashamed to say I have high standards in regards to writing style. While the plot was compelling due to the unique idea, I had trouble getting through it because it read a little too juvenile for me.
My favorite character at this point in the trilogy is Cinna. I respect characters like Rue whose role is small yet stands for something greater, but Cinna is in a dangerous position throughout the series and never cares about breaking the rules and stands by Katniss until the end. He is not the only character who does this, of course, but as far as book one goes he wins all of the awards.
Yes, if Young Adult writing is your style.
Ratings (1-5 Scale):
Writing Style: 2.5