Review: The Hunger Games (#1) by Suzanne Collins

The_Hunger_Games_CoverTitle:  The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games (#1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: September 14th, 2008 (Scholastic Press)
Pages: 374
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Dystopian, Hunger, Reality TV, Romance, Survival
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: Four Stars
Goodreads Summary:
Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I like how the cover is simple with only one sign on it, the mockingjay.
First Line: When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
~First Thoughts~
Oh The Hunger Games. Why did I take so long to read you? I don’t understand.
~Review~
Let me just say, I really have no idea why I never read The Hunger Games. I remember it was picking up speed when I began college in ’10. It was even required reading at a nearby University to my own college. For whatever reason, I never picked it up. Luckily though, I bought it at a recent library sale, bless those $1 “Children’s” books.
What can I say that no one else has already said without completely gushing? I don’t know, but I’ll try. From the very first sentence, my attention was hooked. I read The Hunger Games in nearly one sitting.
~Characters~
Katniss
I love her. I know, that’s such a rare comment. I do. I loved her personality, her willingness to take her sister’s place, her strength and cleverness, her determination to win the games and her super awesome bow and arrow skills. As if I didn’t already want a bow and arrow, I want one so much more now.
I loved to see her deal with the games on her own. It was great to see her figure things out for the majority on her own. Katniss was such a relatable character, she wasn’t perfect, harboring anger for her mother’s mental check out and sadness over her father’s death. She was angry about the games and not easy to get along with.
Peeta
I liked and disliked the small little back history he had with Katniss. I thought it was cute, but a litle unnecessary and just something to push along their semi-relationship in the book. It was a little obvious to guess his moves in the Hunger Games and why he did certain things. I felt his overwhelming, almost immediate love for Katniss to be a bit of a turn off. I also thought that Peeta was too nice of a character and didn’t display many flaws.
Gabe
Gabe, oh how I wish you had your own book.
I really liked Gabe’s friendship with Katniss and how he knew things about her no one else did. I like how they helped each other out with the hunting. I would have liked to know more about Gabe though.
Rue
I loved Rue. She is one of the two tributes from district 11, a district that’s even worse than district 12 where Katniss lives. I would have liked to read more about Rue’s district in The Hunger Games. Rue was resourceful and smart. She was also very innocent and it was heartbreaking to hear of a 12 year old enduring these games.
The side characters like Effie, Haymitch, and Cinna were so interesting to read about. I like how Collins made all of her characters different from one another, yet made them seems so believable. I thought Haymitch’s drinking was a nice touch considering he had lived through and won the games at one time. It makes since he would drink a lot when going through that. I like Effie’s obliviousness and usual upbeat feeling that she had. Cinna was most likely my favorite side character. I liked how he became friends with Katniss and saw how she really was.
~Plot~
The plot is amazing. It takes place after North America is no more and instead a place called Panem has revived from the remains. I was definitely on my toes when reading this, despite knowing nothing really bad would happen to Katniss. I like reading about the games. I felt The Hunger Games took a turn for the worst in the last third of the book regarding Katniss and Peeta.
There is one flaw I saw while reading The Hunger Games which was the violence or rather, the lack of violence. I expected The Hunger Games to be a bit darker than it was. I loved the concept and I’m not fond of people being hurt or killed, but in a book called The Hunger Games, I expected a bit more violence.
 
I thought the reality tv show part was really interesting and unique. In the society we live in now, there are so many reality shows, I could definitely see them becoming as book, though maybe not as deadly, as The Hunger Games. I liked how Haymitch worked with Katniss to not give her exactly everything she needed from sponsors but rather have her figure it out. It was interesting to see that the sponsors and producers want as much entertainment as the viewers, who would also get restless.
In terms of side plots, I wasn’t extremely fond of the romance between Katniss and Peeta. i know in these types of books, there typically is romance subplot, but I wasn’t feeling it at all. I would have liked to see Katniss be forced to make choices involving the other tributes in terms of them dying or her. I didn’t feel Katniss was really challenged in the Games as a person. Her morals were in tack, but they were never questioned. It would have been interesting for me to read about her debating with herself on whether to go after someone to kill them.
~Writing Style~
The writing style was easy to read and kept me entertained. I liked how Collins described the reality show aspects and the game aspects. It was very engaging.
~Final Thoughts~
Wow. I NEED THE SECOND BOOK. <—- My thoughts right after finishing.
I really liked The Hunger Games. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read the series. I couldn’t wait to read Catching Fire. I loved Katniss. I would definitely recommend this book. The characters are interesting, the world’s fascinating and the story is appalling, but in a good way.
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About Amber (YA Indulgences)

Amber is a 20-something woman who enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and taking walks. She has a book blog called YA Indulgences . She is still trying to figure out what she's doing with her life, but she's confident that time will tell. In the meantime she's heading towards the goal of becoming a renowned blogger. View all posts by Amber (YA Indulgences)

7 responses to “Review: The Hunger Games (#1) by Suzanne Collins

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