Review - The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 350+
Publisher's Description:
Katniss is a sixteen-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used to 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 the 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 thoughts:
I guess I'll start with my expectations--I had none. All I knew before reading the book was that it's really popular. I didn't know a plot synopsis or any spoilers, so I basically went in blind. And in the end I really enjoyed the book. It was very fast-paced and to the point. Katniss is a likeable character, talented but not super-human. The circumstances of the people living in District 12 and I suppose many of the other Districts are unfavorable, and The Hunger Games really just makes life terrible. If I lived there, I would agree with Katniss; having kids just wouldn't be an option.

I really like the action described in the games, not the preparation leading up to, but the actual release into the terrain and the events that follow. The pomp and circumstance during the preparation in the Capitol was ridiculous. The only thing that interested me was the bathroom that dried and styled your hair without any effort on your part. I would really like to have one of those. At the arena, I kind of wanted the violence to be more graphic or full of more gore, but then again this is "teen" fiction. Nonetheless, I was satisfied. One thing that did annoy me was the excessive amount of affection exchanged between Katniss and Peeta. Pretend or not, it just seemed out of place. But it did get them survival gifts from sponsors...I don't know, it just made me raise an eyebrow. All this kissing and hand-holding, while you starve or freeze or bleed out...I mean really? And then Katniss had Gale back home. I'm so glad the Romeo and Juliet-esque double suicide attempt near the end wasn't successful, that would have annoyed me like no other. Then again I knew she wouldn't die because its a trilogy. I assumed Katniss would somehow survive the berry poisoning but Peeta wouldn't be so lucky.

The end did leave me quite intrigued. I can understand the confusion on Katniss' behalf. She has two unique bonds with two different young suitors--oh, the young teenage angst! My guess is Gale won't want here anymore for obvious reasons, and then Peeta won't want her as much because she's not really into him. But the good news is she's rich. Right? Unless the rule-makers renege on a promise or the tradition. This also wouldn't surprise me...I'm curious to see how the movie turns out and I'll definitely be reading the second book soon. 

The Hunger Games
Four stars.


  1. Hey Amber, this is Will's sister Maya. I pretty much agree with you about this book. I really liked it but felt the "romance" blooming between Katniss and Peeta was out of place. I get that they needed sponsors but their romance simply did not interest me.

    I also wished there was more violence and gore. It was especially skipped on in the movie. Anyway, I thought Katniss, Rue, and Foxface were great, clever characters. They were my favorites. Peeta was a bit too "loverboy" for me.

    A teen dystopia novel I really recommend is The Long Walk by Stephen King. It's dark and gritty without being as commercial or romantic as the Hunger Games.

    1. Hey Maya, I will keep The Long Walk in mind. I like dark and gritty. I had to read this to see what all the fuss was about...