Review: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Book 1 of 3)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins

I actually bought this book over two years ago. It had caught my attention because a friend, who hates to read anything more than a one-sentence e-mail, had been convinced to try it and she loved it. She flew through the entire trilogy faster than I ever would have expected. When I saw the first book on sale for $1.99 not long afterward, I decided to snag it.

 

I’ve never seen the movies, so all I knew about the story going into it was what I vaguely remember seeing on the movie trailer. I knew it would probably be a light, quick read judging by its apparent main-stream popularity, so I’ve been saving it for a “rainy day” – a day when I just want a quick and enjoyable read that doesn’t require too much mental effort. That rainy day finally came, and this book was perfect for meeting that need.

 

The writing style grabbed me from the beginning and easily kept my attention. For me, there were no slow parts whatsoever; it held my attention from the first word to the last. The story was completely uncomplicated, but interesting nevertheless. This book was clearly written for a younger audience, but the story is one that adults can appreciate too. The sacrifices and relationships formed in this book are very touching, as is the disparity between the impoverished and powerless versus the rich and powerful.

 

The story is told from the first-person perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl, Katniss. I would have liked the opportunity to read from the perspective of at least a couple of the other characters, but Katniss is a sympathetic and likeable character. Without giving anything away about the plot (if there’s anybody else left who doesn’t already know it!), I was sometimes a little bothered by how easily and willingly she was able to pretend to be what people expected her to be. She didn’t enjoy it, but it seemed like she usually managed to pull off a convincing performance in spite of that. I would have been more satisfied with a heroine who was more true to herself. However, given that the alternative was likely death for herself, and misery or possibly death for the family who depended on her, I suppose I can understand why she made the choices she made. She was putting the people she cared about above everything else. She wasn't trying to change the world or set an example, she was just trying to ensure the well-being of the people she cared about. That, I suppose, made her a pretty realistic character.