Book Review: The Hunger Games

I LOVED this trilogy. I was a little bit skeptical because every time I find a series that everyone else loves, I end up hating it. Once I got started, however, I couldn’t put them down. I’ll continue to review the other two books in the trilogy when my schedule allows it. For now, here’s my review of the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games focuses on the life of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl living in the nation of Panem, the ruins of North America. Within Panem, there are twelve districts and a cruel Capitol that controls the districts. 70 years ago, district 13 led a rebellion and were obliterated. As a form of punishment for the rebellion, each district must now send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Katniss steps forward when her little sister’s name is drawn. To me, this seems fishy. The concept of the draw means that you get one ballot per year you’ve been eligible for the games. They can also opt to have more ballots put in in order to get free food for their families. So, Katniss has something like 40 ballots in there and her sister, Prim, has ONE. Yet Prim’s name is drawn. To me, it seemed like the draw was fixed. The Capitol wanted to show how they were powerful enough to send a little girl in there to die.

Anyways, Katniss steps in for Prim and goes to the Hunger Games, fully expecting to die. Not surprisingly though, she does quite well and even manages to make a few friends. I think my favourite part involves her and Peeta, the male contestant from District 12. I wanted Katniss to love him so badly and was so annoyed when it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. It seemed like Katniss was so hooked on her best friend Gale that there was just never going to be a chance for Peeta. Anyways, I won’t spoil the rest of the book, but the ending was what really clinched it. The beginning was good and I loved Katniss’s dedication to her little sister, but the ending was what made the book. There were definitely some parts in the middle, where I was like “Why is this taking so long? Stop dragging it out.” I think that had more to do with the fact that I don’t like reading about gruesome death scenes though since I’ve read more than my fair share of gruesome abuse cases as a result of my career field. I just can’t stomach it and I put down The Hunger Games a few times because I just didn’t want to keep reading about it. I mean, did I really need to read about people’s skin melting off?

I liked how in the dark Collins kept us about Peeta and I truly wondered throughout most of the novel what his intentions were – Did he honestly love Katniss or was he just trying to survive and knew that he couldn’t do it on his own? By the end though, I really wanted Katniss to want Peeta, but I thought that she really didn’t. To me, you either love someone or you don’t. There’s no middle ground to think about it. If you need to think about whether or not you love someone, then you don’t love them. I understand that she was confused about Gale, but I wish Collins had just made Katniss make a decision in the first book. I am not a patient person and was not pleased with waiting to the end of the third book to find out what happened.

I also loved the inclusion of the character of Rue, a young tribute from another district, but I wish that she hadn’t had to die. I admit though that if Katniss had to die, I would’ve chosen Rue to win over Peeta. Mostly because at the point of Rue’s death, I also desperately wanted to protect the little girl.

The Hunger Games is also much more complex than just being about the Hunger Games. It’s astounding to me that people would be forced to live like this.

One thing I am very happy about is the fact that the trilogy is already done. I don’t think that I could’ve read The Hunger Games and then waited a year for the next book to come out. I think that I may have lost interest a little bit.

Long Story Short: 4/5 stars and that’s only because it took me 11 days to read, which is rare for me. Granted I’m busy and unpacking, but still. If I LOVE a book, I can’t set it down and I didn’t have that feeling until the end of The Hunger Games. However, if you like futuristic books with totally relatable characters and a bit of the past thrown in, this is a great read. You won’t be disappointed.

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