The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
My rating: five stars
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Goodreads Summary: WINNING MEANS FAME AND FORTUNE.LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.THE HUNGER GAMES HAVE BEGUN. . . .
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 once 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 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 weight survival against humanity and life against love.
I have decided to try and re-read this series before the prequel, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, comes out. I have watched the movies several times but only read the books once a long time ago, so I am excited to delve back into this world and see what I think now that I am older.
Likes: I know many people think that dystopian YA novels from around this time are overrated and overused, but I absolutely love them. I do like the plot of this story. The government that was created after the United States fell apart is interesting to read about and the lengths that Katniss goes to keep her family safe, that lead her into terrible situations, are inspiring. I like Suzanne’s writing style; it is descriptive without being over the top. The government and culture that she created is fascinating. It is horrid in too many ways to count, but the stark contrast between the Capital and the Districts is captivating to read about. I liked reading about how the Games work, along with their intricacies. There were so many factors that went along with the Games. It wasn’t just them going into an arena and fighting each other to their death. Katniss had to go through training, had a “test”, interviews, and so much more. This is the main thing that I like about this story, how intricate Suzanne went into creating this world. It could have been so simple, but I can tell that she worked hard to create a detailed world that the readers can immerse themselves in.
Dislikes: I did not care for the love story in this book. In the movies I was completely “team Gale”. I did not like Peeta at all, and felt little sympathy for him. However, I believe he was so much more flushed out in the stories and was actually given a personality. I was rooting for him, and I think that it was terrible how Katniss was using him. I understand that she was doing it to try and stay alive, but I do not believe that she would have kept it a secret from him and used him like that. It was like she did not have any faith that Peeta could keep a secret or act at all. It just didn’t make much sense to me that Katniss would do that, and I think it was very out of character for her. She is an open book usually about what she is feeling and about what is going on, and Peeta is there for her through all of her emotional break downs. It doesn’t make sense for her to not discuss things with him, and I disliked that unbelievability.
Overall, I did rate this book five stars because I did have a great time reading it. It was well paced, I loved the writing style, and the details in it were intriguing and kept me wanting to read more. Yes, I did not enjoy the romance or how Katniss treated Peeta at all, but I am not deducting a star because I still really liked this story.