The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Released: September 14, 2008
Series: The Hunger Games [Book One]
Pages: 454 (2009 Paperback)
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping) | Amazon
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.
The Hunger Games would have to be my favourite book I have read this year. Amazing. Incredible. Just awesome. I don't know how to express my love for this book - this is probably the hardest review I have done yet. It's almost impossible to find the right words to truly express how I feel about it. When I finished I was in some sort of shock. I just lay there and stared off into space thinking about the book and the characters and what would happen next!
I could not put this book down. Collins created a such a dramatic, chaotic world that completely drew me in. The futuristic and post-apocalyptic was intriguing, along with all of the elements created by Collins. The contrast between the lifestyles of different districts, the technological advances, the futuristic fashions and the frightening mutated creatures that the tributes engage with, are only some of the aspects which just captivate you even more.
Katniss Everdeen. An incredibly well crafted protagonist. Her strength was immensely valuable to the whole story, and I don't think The Hunger Games would have been as magnificent from the perspective of any other personality or character. Katniss' passion and love for her sister, Prim, is inspirational and truly reflects her inner strength - she goes to the extreme to protect her. Her strength and bravery really shines through when in the arena, and you begin to truly understand the hardships she has had to endure.
The supporting characters were effectively and appropriately developed, and the relationships between some of the characters and Katniss are so vivid; you feel as if you really know them. As a result of some of these relationships, there are some really emotional scenes. There is so much loss and pain.
In particular, the relationship and romance between Katniss and Peeta (male tribute for their district) makes me all bubbly inside, and my stomach flutters a little. Their relationship is controlled a lot by their situation in the Games, and they are forced to be very affectionate to win over their audience, but I love them nonetheless. The romance was expertly intertwined throughout the novel, adding a layer of softness to the story and it sure made the Games all the more entertaining.
My only issue is the cliff hanger at the end. The most annoying ending I have come across yet, because I didn't have the second book and it would take me a while to get it.. The wait was torture! I couldn't stop thinking about Katniss, Peeta, Gale, the arena and what on earth could happen next!
This book deserves all of the hype it can possibly get. Truly amazing, terrifying, heart wrenching and full of action. If you have not read this.. you are insane! Go and buy the whole trilogy. You won't regret it.