Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review

I finished read Hunger Games this morning before I went to the grocery store. I started it yesterday at about 3 PM. It's around 375 pages. I'm not saying this to tell you I'm a fast reader (because I'm really not), but to tell you that the book was good. Here's my review:
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a quick read. The plot starts immediately, and it requires no "getting into it" time. When you begin, you learn of Katniss, the lead character, and her responsibility in taking care of her family by hunting for food since the death of her father in a coal mine explosion. They live in the 12th District in a country that has replaced a fallen North America. The author doesn't give a specific year; she only talks of the history they learn in school and the fact that District 12 is in former Appalachia. 

Every year each district chooses a boy and girl at random to participate in the Hunger Games, a bloody battle to the death between the 24 participants. The last one alive after surviving the scenario in which they are placed emerges victorious and goes back to their district a hero. While there is no lack of killing and death in the book, the author describes it in an appropriate way for the intended young adult audience.

A love story begins to develop between Katniss and Peeta, the boy from disctrict 12, before they enter the arena. This love story becomes somewhat of a strategy, and while there is some sense that Peeta truly feels strongly for Katniss, the feeling is more of a show from Katniss. While in the arena and living day to day in hopes of surviving until the end, Katniss spends much of her time ensuring that she acts in a way that the audience will approve of, as the entire event is televised and required viewing in all of the districts. The way Katniss acts is very curious, as she disapproves of the event but works for approval from viewers the entire time. 

The purpose of the Hunger Games is to remind all of the people who live in the districts that they must live in accordance with the rules of The Capitol. If they choose to rise up in rebellion as they once did, they will be crushed into oblivion as was done to the no longer existent 13th district. Each year The Capitol shows they have all the power and control over the districts. It is the author's eerie prediction of what the world will be like in the future: people in the capitol seeking perfection, speaking strangely, painting their bodies different colors, and controlling the country like a maniacal dictator.

It is a strange and amazing book, and I would highly recommend it to you or anyone you know above the age of 12 or 13. It follows in the genre of The Giver or Farenheit 451, and while not an utterly untold story, it is told with a new voice. Also, it's coming out as a movie next year.

Have you read it? Would you agree? Where does you opinion diverge or align with mine?

*I mentioned this was post 98 because I'm doing a giveaway at post 100*
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