Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Yes, I, Fred Reads, dare to review such a ragingly popular book as The Hunger Games. After a while of blogging, I’m ready to review a book with more reviews than possible to count. Some people may not agree on my opinion, but hey, they don’t have to. And by the way, is it just me, or have I been reading a lot of really good books lately? I’m quickly running out of original sentences that I use for these kinds of books.
You know how sometimes you read a book that you honestly don’t want to end? Like, seriously, you would want it to have so many pages it just goes on and on and on? Well, this is one of those books. No, wait, that sentence was way, way too calm for the emotions that I’m feeling right now. No, it was more like… HOLY BUCKETS!!!!!!! THIS BOOK IS SO TOTALLY FREAKIN’ AWESOME IT’S SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, that’s more like it. I was, as it may have come across, totally addicted to this book. I mean, literally, I had to peel my eyes and hands off this book after the first two and a half hours straight of reading. Without blinking. Or going to the bathroom. This book just generates this fast-paced… thing. I can hardly even describe it. Think about it as the world’s biggest, most totally awesome burrito ever created in the history of man-kind. It has suspense, action, sadness, anger, despair, humor (though not a lot, I mean, the people try to kill each other), betrayal, uncertainty, stuff that I don’t even know the name of, and, yes, a little bit of mushy stuff called love. Oh, and it’s rolled in a tortilla of perfect, incredible storytelling. Suzanne Collins is a literary twin of J.K. Rowling. She delivers the perfect punch in a book, giving you a surprise as soon as you’re sure you know what’s going to happen. She makes a perfect pie, in a way, putting the perfect amounts of everything in, none overpowering the others. I’m actually getting a little teary, this book is so perfect. Thank god, there are other books in the trilogy. I’m actually kind of mad at myself for not getting the whole set at once, because now that I’m done with the first book, I have to get the next one.
The plot of this book is inventive, perfectly paced, and more than slightly disturbing. I won’t sugar-coat it – this is a violent book with life and death scenarios, and there is blood in it, though not so much that it’s bad. Our protagonist is a sixteen year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen. She lives with her mother, her sister Prim, a goat, and an ugly, misshaped cat. They all live in the seam, an area in District 12. District 12 is one of the districts surrounding Panem, a shining, glorified, arrogant capitol. The twelve districts and Panem make up an area once known as North America. Almost everyone in district twelve is starving, and it’s the same scenario with the other outer districts. But every year they have a chance to fix that, to get more food than they could imagine for a whole year. But this happens in a grizzly, terrible way. The event called The Hunger Games, hosted by the capitol, brings together one girl and one boy from each district – twenty four people from the ages 12 to 18 – to fight to the death on live television. This year, Katniss and her best friend, Gale, are extremely nervous. The people get chosen randomly from the thousands of teenagers in their district, but someone has to get picked, and the odds are totally random. Luckily, neither Gale nor Katniss get picked. No, Prim, her little sister, the only person in the world that she could certainly say she loved, gets picked. Katniss is in a daze, and almost faints, as her only sibling walks onto the stage in front of thousands of people. Katniss snaps out of it, and volunteers herself in place of her sister. She’s sure she won’t win, but it’s the only way. Then the boy gets picked. Peeta Mellark. Laughably, the exact person she was hoping wouldn’t get picked. He has an interesting history with Katniss that’s revealed in the book, but do you seriously think I’m going to tell you what it is? She says her good-byes and gets whisked off to the capitol.
Before the games begin, her mentor (the only living person in District 12 that’s won the games), Haymitch, a drunk man, gives Katniss and Peeta some advice. Then she meets her stylist, Cinna, a very interesting character, who is awesome at designing clothes with expert techniques that make Katniss look beautiful. She’s almost in a state of repose. Then they get in the arena. All the audience thinks that they are madly in love, because of something Peeta said at his interview. She vacillates over running for cover or going into the thick of things when they are released at the cornucopia, a place with supplies that the competitors need to survive. She gets a backpack, and then makes for the trees. In the games she faces many dangers and setbacks, makes allies and loses them, and the book comes to an uncertain end that makes you want to read the next one.
I thought this book was just the right length for a young adult book. It’s not a gazillion pages long, so it’s not repelling, but it’s not twenty pages long with lots of colorful pictures, either, if you know what I mean. Like I said before, this book is indeed violent, but that should not give anyone a bad impression. I would simply give this book an age recommendation of anyone about 14 and up.
Posted by Fred Reads