Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Average Rating: 4.54/5
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

I decided to do a review of a book that I read over the summer. This past summer I did my bed to read as much as I could. I read about 35 books this summer and The Hunger Games was one of them. I chose to write about this particular book because of all of the hype surrounding the moving coming out in three short months. I am going to warn you now that this review will contain spoilers after the jump and if You haven't read this book yet, I would do so.

Synopses from

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

My review after the jump.

I loved this book for several reasons, one of those reasons was the strength of Katniss. As a young woman who spends a large portion of her time working to provide for her family by hunting and subsequently ignoring the clear  love that her best friend, Gale has for her, Katniss makes the ultimate sacrifice by offing herself as tribute to a brutal game in which only one child survives. The explanation of the Hunger Games is a little confusing. The gist of it is that because of an uprising in the world of Panam in post-apocalyptic North America the "Capitol" decided to punish the 12 districts by making them submit a girl and boy "tribute" between the ages of 12 to 18 to have them battle to the death so that one will win. I found that this book introduced me to my new love (or rather obsession) of Dystopian books.

As if the fact that the Capital demands children to die just to keep the districts in line, they also tape it live and force the districts to watch as some of the wealthier districts that can afford to send weapons and food and medicine to their tributes while their own die. Before the games begin, there is a week or preparation during which the Tributes try to make themselves appeal to potential sponsors who will send her food and medicine in the event that she (or any of the others will need). During these interviews and shows for the public to watch, we discover that her fellow tribute, Peeta, had a crush on her since they were children and in a maneuver to survive, Katniss uses this in order to help them both survive. 

Perhaps the most heartbreaking scene was the death of Rue, a girl that was only twelve, not only was it sad thinking about her age, but also the detail in which she is described as dying. That event was followed by the delivery of a loaf of bread which was going to be sent to her by her district. As Katniss fights to survive against 23 other Tributes, the book gets harder and harder to put down. You feel for Katniss and Peeta as their pain is broadcast for everyone to see, including their families. Reading this I know that I would never have survived a day in the world that Katniss lived in. She fought hard to hunt when she was home and when her little sister was called to be the tribute, Katniss sacrificed herself, and I know that I don't know if I would be able to do this. Luckily she had all of the skills she needed to be able to survive such as knowing her way around a crossbow. Her ability to hunt well and shoot a crossbow meant that she was able to avoid her fellow tributes as best she could. 

I have noticed that a lot of people had problems with the grammatical side of the writing, but I'm not the type of person who notices things like that.

Who would I recommend this book for? Everyone. Without a doubt. The only time I hesitate is the age of the reader. My cousin reads this book with her 6th graders, and in my opinion it is way to violent for 11 year olds to be reading as part of a curriculum, perhaps on their own and as long as their parent knows that they are reading. I wouldn't recommend it to my 12 year old sister in law for another year. If you are thinking that you know a youngster who would enjoy it, play it safe and talk to their parents about it let them know that their is a great deal of graphic violence.

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