The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Says: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 steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I have to admit that I jumped on the band wagon because I love it when books are made into movies. More often than not the book is better than the movie because of the details lost in trying to keep the movie to two hours or so. However, there are times when all the stars are aligned and the movie is equally good if not better than the book. Making books into movies is also and honor and secretly you always hope that the viewer will become a reader of the book/series. SOOO I was rooting for the movie and the series having not yet read the series yet with all the intentions in the world of reading the series prior to the movie coming out. Mission accomplished. :-)
With that said I was a little disappointed because I just wasn't understanding all of the hype with this first book. Mind you, I turned my son and niece onto the series and they were RAVING about this first book. I kept telling them "Guys, I don't yet get the big deal". I felt that the beginning was slow. I had a hard time understanding/believing this wonderful relationship that developed between Katniss and Cinna. I didn't think they spent enough time with one another to develop this closeness out of all the people who surrounded her.
I think everything was simply written and eventually its simplicity is what won me over. I started to like the book when the games began. The author's ability to describe the feelings that Katniss felt as a tribute, the anxiety, the hunger, the panic, the desperate agonizing need to survive was amazing. You honestly felt all those feelings right along with Katniss and it was so clear. One of my pet peeves is when an author over explains scenes or gives to many details during battle scenes and ends up making a jumbled mess of it. Suzanne Collins definitely did not have this problem. I was a goner when Katniss teamed up with Rue. Katniss had been a bit a standoffish until then and she really was tender with Rue. So yeah going back to being a goner with the Katniss/Rue alliance... I cried like a baby and could not stop. That entire scene in the book was just incredible on so many levels. I could literally hear the song being sung and had already identified the melody and everything...I guess that's the singer in me.
By the end of The Hunger Games I was definitely a happier person in that I confidently could say I liked the book obviously with reservations but I could honestly say I did. In the end what won me over was the realness I felt in the third part of the book. What won me over was that this author was able to make me FEEL.
One other thing I want to mention is that the author did a great job with character development. Each and every character was consistent in their behavior. You could expect them to do or say what they did or said without thinking that was out of character. I don't mean that they were predictable because this is not the case but more that they were who they were, no questions. Another positive-Growth! Loved reading how some of these characters stepped up. :-)
I definitely think this is a book people should read. It can be gory/violent but think of the plot and what these children have been forced to do. It's meant to be violent. This book is meant to shock the reader. It forces you to contemplate a world not too far off if we don't change some of the things happening present day.
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