Monday, February 13, 2012

The Hunger Games

Title The Hunger Games
Genre Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages 374
Stand alone or series The Hunger Games (3-part series)
My Average 47 pages a day
Reading Difficulty 
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)

The Hunger Games

Just in time for ♥ Valentines day ♥. Love can develop and grow in the strangest of places. 

In a futuristic time, where what used to be North America is now a country called Panem, and states no longer exist, the government rules with a cold, disconnected fist. As a reminder or their power, the Capital collects one girl and one boy from each of the 12 districts every year to compete in a battle to the death – The Hunger Games. Only one can survive and return home. Katniss quietly rejects the government's rule. She and a friend constantly sneak out to forbidden areas outside District 12 to hunt, survive, but when her younger sister is chosen to compete in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place, and leave everything behind. She is joined by Peeta, a boy who saved her life a long time ago. A boy she can't imagine killing for her own survival. 

"The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate." 
"The sky is still dark, but I can feel the first sigs of dawn approaching. I'm beginning to think we – meaning the person whose death I'm now devising and I – we might actually have gone unnoticed."

Hit The Mark:
I laughed, I cried, I dreamt of The Hunger Games. This novel's speed and constant intensity drew me in at the very beginning and never let me go. I stayed up much later than I should have because I just couldn't put the book down. Just like I would imagine life would be in the games, there was no time to stop and take a breath when you read this novel. It actually stirred up some old, inner-narrative that I stopped by writing a novel. I found myself inspired and got up several times in the night to jot down ideas to make my book better. 

I loved that the entire first part of the book is a build-up to the actual games. You know it's coming, and you can feel Katniss' restlessness, anger, fear... and a few other stirring feelings. Even though the first part does not contain any hunting or killing, I was still intrigued by the completely different world of the Capitol. The glamor. You might compare the Capital to a poisonous dart-frog, beautiful to look at but toxic to the touch. 

Of coarse, who can't do with a little romance, even if it's is planned. The budding romance, though acting to Katniss, adds a little something extra. It makes the whole bloody event seem less harsh. I love Dark novels, but they always need something to make you feel human while reading it. I love that Katniss is not sure of her feelings. She keeps telling herself that it is all for show, but how much really is for show? You'll just have to find out. 

Though the scenery wasn't underdeveloped, it wasn't overdeveloped either. There was a perfect amount of description of the scene, enough to let you know what's going on but not too much to take away from the action. 

Needs Improvement:
There was very little that I didn't like in this novel  as you can see by my rating below. I thought Katniss, though a well-rounded character, could have used a touch more softness. She plays the gruff, street-urchin prepared to do almost whatever it takes to survive. She is human, and has feelings about killing another person, but the one time she kills out of pure hatred, she has no feelings whatsoever. I would have loved a little more of her music, I didn't know until the end of the novel that she had a singing voice like her fathers. I thought that could have been brought up a smidge (not too much, just a hint).

All in all, the characters were well rounded and lovable, even the pseudo villians. There is an instant connection with the main character and a sense of loyalty to her. You want her to succeed. The plot was amazing. What an interesting idea for a dystopian novel. I want to drop everything and read this novel again  read the sequel, but I will be good and read the next book in my list instead.

Rating: A+

If you like Ender's Game, Divergent, City of Glass, City of Ember, you might like this novel.

The Games begin March 23, 2012 

About the Author
Suzanne Collins

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/​Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

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