Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author:  Suzanne Collins

Pages: 374

Why I Read This Book: Oh I’d seen so many reviews and the movie was starting to get talked up more and more and comparisons were being made that I couldn’t relate to not having read The Hunger Games and some of my blog friends had it listed in their all time favorites, so I had to go see what all the fuss was about. And I was in a spot where I needed to dead on escapism.

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis From Goodreads: 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.

My Review/Opinion: So I’m betting the rating I gave this comes as a bit of surprise. I’m sure most of my friends would have expected me to like it more than this. But I had issues with it…but lets do this ‘positive sandwiching style’ shall we?

( I had a hard time writing this review. My emotions toward the book still cloud my analysis of it. I hope I mange to convey my disappointment is a non-threatening way.  If not, chalk it up to raw emotions, not that I’m a prude… deal?)

The Hunger Games was the very definition of escapism when I most needed it. The world that Suzanne Collins devised for her story was amazing and believable! I loved the Muttation, especially calling them Mutts. I loved the district system and the behavior of the Capitol. That seemed very, eerily believable! I loved the black market and the defiance to go where they were told not to. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Prim, etc… I thought about them when I wasn’t reading and wondered what would happen next.

But there was a reason I wanted to know what happened next, it is because I was not thrilled with the premise of the hunger games themselves. And I desperately hoped there would be transcendence from all the tributes. I had, in essence, a more triumphant plot in mind as I read. And as that plot didn’t materialize (I’m trying to vague to avoid spoilers) one by one, I became more frustrated with the book overall. And when that began to happen I became more critical of the writing. It had appeared flat and to the younger of young adult  despite the violence being more to the adult of the young adult and that bothered me. I know lots of folks like the simple straightforward story, but this was some bare bones telling. Prose was not a description I would attribute to it…and I love prose. Then the characters started flattening out for me. Mostly though my problem was with the ‘games’.

I will say straight up that I believe the plot I had hoped for does (or may) come to pass in subsequent books in the series…I’ve not read them, but you know what... I do plan to. I’m into the story enough to want to see if it comes to pass like I hope, to see what the heck Katniss does. Her character was very interesting and I enjoyed the nuances as they arose and look forward to seeing how some of the cliffhangers play out. 

And since one of the reasons I read this book was for some escapism, I’d have to say it achieved a 5 star rating in that respect!

On Goodreads I gave The Hunger Games 4 stars I chose to round up because there are good features to the book, because there are interesting ideas to be explored and  intriguing characters to get to know

Maybe having a teen daughter fighting for her life against cancer makes me a little more sensitive to the blasé attitude toward loss of life better yet waste of life. Or maybe I should be incensed and the more so because so few are too.

1 comment:

  1. "Maybe having a teen daughter fighting for her life against cancer makes me a little more sensitive to the blasé attitude toward loss of life better yet waste of life."

    I can see why this book would affect you the way it did. The book is closer to home for you than most people who read this book.

    I'm glad you read it and enjoyed the escapism it offered. I'm sorry it didn't live up your expectations, though. :)