Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hunger Games, review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm impressed. This was my first young adult fiction title. Decent writing style, excellent action scenes and a well paced plot. I really enjoyed this book and poured through it in 2 days. Ive never seen so many people reading the same book at one time, but I was probably one of many impressed by the movie trailers. I know I'm not the only one who wants to read the book before seeing the film. Now I'm really anxious about the film and really nervous about some of the casting choices. Like Lenny Kravitz as Cinna? Ugh, not sure about that one. His pep speech during the teaser trailer made me cringe. But this should be about the book, which is excellent, and not the trailers for the films, which are definitely intriguing.

UPDATE1: There were some really intense moments for what is supposedly a YA novel. The violence will stun you and the depressing moments will make your heart ache. The book is told through the eyes of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, and it does a pretty good job making you feel her pain, sadness and anxieties. While driving you through a whole range of emotions, the book also makes you think. The only telling feature, that reminds you that you're reading a YA book, is the 6th grade vocabulary and the lack of 'dirty words' or sex. The violence is there in force as it must also be in the film, definitely rated PG-13. "Watching" children kill each other for fun is sick, but not what the book is about. The book is really a commentary on how disgusting the world is getting, or can get when powers that be go unchecked. There are subversive undertones in the book that the shallow may miss if they fixate on the killing. This book focuses on this sickness, children killing children for sport, while touching on the problems of the world such as world hunger and general cruelty, like the death sentence for stealing in a world where the few have abundance and the rest have little, sound familiar?

It's a good book that makes you think. The fact that this is marketed to kids is impressive, and if these kids get the overall message, it gives me hope. If it inspires more kids to read, awesome. But if it manages to get some of these kids to question "The Capitol", even better. The mocking-jay has potential to be the next generation's Guy Fawkes mask.

UPDATE2: This book is also about food. It's aptly titled, because it goes through the effects of hunger and touches upon the dangers of eating too much when you haven't had much to eat for a long period of time. The way Katniss engorges herself before the games, her almost silly-but cute-focus on Lamb stew and the struggles that the poor have just to eat, while those in the Capitol can press a button and have anything they desire within seconds. Reading this book makes you hungry. It's probably intentional, and almost cheesy. But it works. I'm getting hungry now.

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