Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Hunger Games



Author: Suzanne Collins

ISBN:978 1407 10908 4

Publisher: Scholastic Ltd.

Genre: YA/Childrens 11+; Science Fiction/ Adventure

Blurb/BackCover:

"WINNING WILL MAKE YOU FAMOUS.
LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: Kill or be killed.

When sixteen- year- old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before.
For her, survival is second nature"

Thoughts overall:

This is an excellent book for its genre. Its a fastpaced adventure which suspends your sense of belief and pulls you into the very dark world of snuff reality TV. This novel is not a literary masterpiece, but does exactly what its meant to do - be entertaining and an enjoyable read.

Overall, i highly recommend this book, its one of the better novels in the YA genre

Plot:

I'm delighted to see someone focus a Science Fiction story on reality TV, especially one aimed at YA and 11+, who would not be familiar with 1984. Its easy to see where the inspiration of the hunger games comes from, which Ms. Collins doesn't hide (e.g. the presenter is called caesar?). The plot is simple enough, survival but i'm delighted to see a bit of foreshadowing in regards to the future sequels, which i believe will be a bit more complex.

Overall, i wasn't bored at any moment. it is a perfect adventure plot with lots of action and suspense.

Characters:

In regards to characters, they were good but not amazing. I liked Katniss as a main character but i wasn't exactly 'pulled' in by her like i have with similar novels. I'm not sure what was 'not right' for me in regards to this main character - Ms. Collins definitely had all the right ingredients (independent, female, spunky, etc), and Katniss is a good but - again not great character.
thankfully though there is no sense of mary sueness in regards to her, which is always a danger with strong female characters. Everything that occurs is within the sense of her abilities and she has weaknesses (such as strength) which are acknowledged.
In regards to Peetra and Gale, well i suppose they are the 'love interest'. good characters but not very memorable.

I think this is my only fault with the book overall, but it is an adventure novel and i may be focusing too much on importance of character development and less on plot.

To reiterate, i liked the characters - but i felt their was much more potential for them? if that makes sense.

Romance:

Good, i think if the novel was in Peetra's perspective we would get a better sense of 'star crossed' lovers but Katniss is not romantic by nature and i'm glad that this continues through the book. Although you can get tired of the 'obliviousness of love' that some characters show, Katniss's makes sense as she is paranoid about Peetra's motives up to the end. Her ignorance of Peetra's true feelings are hinted at continuously and i'm glad she felt guilty about Gale - although they are only friends. The next book will be very interesting in this respect.

My only critique is that the kisses weren't very descriptive and just would happen. I know this is an adventure novel but a little descriptive romance doesn't hurt.

My favourite part of this novel was actually the moment when Peetra was stroking Katniss's hair as she slept. I wish there had been more of these moments but hopefully there will be in the future

Depth & Worldbuilding:

This was ok/good, you get the sense of the life of the districts and the capitol and the relationship between the two. There isn't much detail about the structure of the world, and the founding of the districts - only a bit of information here and there, but this is all thats really necessary. From the avox's and generally the actions of the characters you sense the totalitarian regime etc.

i look forward to more detail in the next book, but for this i think the introduction and worldbuilding was sufficient and thankfully did not bog the reader down with too much detail.

Writing Style:

Simple, but excellent. Perfect for this style of novel. Ms. Collins portrays her characters and their situations clearly but with no purple pose. The story is being told, i was sucked in and could imagine what i was reading so the writing style, although not 'sophisticated' worked perfectly

Putdownablility Factor:

I did not put this book down once. Very suspenseful and exciting.

Time Taken to read:

One night.

Star Rating: 8 STARS

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