The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is a hugely popular book series, but what’s all the fuss about? Does it really deserve all this hype? Well, when it comes to this first book of the series, yes. It is well deserving of its popularity.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will probably have already gathered the basic premise of the story. In a post-apocalyptic future, the country of Panem has sprung from the ashes of what used to be North America. This country is run from a big, filthy rich city called The Capitol.
To help prevent an uprising in the surrounding districts, as happened once in the past, The Capitol holds a lottery each year, "reaping" two children from each district. The people in the Capitol feed them, dress them up, and show them off to the world. Finally, all 24 youths are deposited into an outdoor, Capitol-controlled arena to fight to the death while the whole country is forced to watch.
To the people of the Capitol this is light entertainment. To the people of the districts it is a horrible window into the nightmare your fellow citizen, child, friend, neighbour, brother, or sister is facing.
It’s kind of like ancient Rome combined with Big Brother.
I couldn’t put The Hunger Games down. The concept itself would probably have been enough to keep me reading, but the constant twists and cliff-hangers, not to mention the fact that I became quite emotionally invested in the characters, ensured a sleepless night of reading.
When I first read The Hunger Games, it struck me as having a very similar feel to Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I mean, The Hunger Games is certainly unique, but if you liked those other books, then that's all the more reason to give this book a go.
The only negative thing I could say about The Hunger Games is that the main character, Katniss, can seem just a tad unlikable at times. Although, considering what she goes through, I suppose she has every excuse.
The Hunger Games is smart, thought-provoking, suspenseful and utterly thrilling. You’ll be roaming the streets for the next book in no time. However, just one word of caution: this book is undeniably about teenagers fighting to the death, and while it’s not horribly graphic in my opinion, I’d steer clear if you have a low tolerance for violence.
4 out of 5.
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