It’s time for the first Book Friday of 2012. I thought I’d start with a BANG! and give you a review on a book that I know a lot of people LOVE. I recently got this book, but then again I read it in only 1 day (yeah – it was kind of amazing).
I thought I would give my reviews a new look on the blog. New structure in the post + actually start rating the books in stars. So…here we go. The first book of 2012!
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Book 1 in The Hunger Games triology
Published: September 14th, 2008
Buy it: Amazon
The Hunger Games is placed in future America. America is destroyed, and the new land is called Panem. Panem is devided into the Capitol and 13 other districts, Capitol being the richest, and District 13 being the poorest.
The main character of this book is Katniss Everdeen. She lives with her mom and little sister Primrose in District 12. They are poor, but survive on Katniss’ hunting, her moms apothecary knowledge and Primrose’s goat.
Every year the Capitol holds The Hunger Games. 1 boy and 1 girl between the age of 12 and 18 from each district are sent into an arena to fight each other. The last one alive has won The Hunger Games. The game is broadcasted live on television in all districts, and sponsors watching can send the contestants gifts during the game.
This year, Primrose is selected to join the games by a lottery selection. Katniss can’t stand watching her little sister being sent off to die, so she vaulenteers to go instead of Primrose. Together with a boy from the District, Peeta Mellark, she is shipped to the Capitol to prepare for the games.
In the Capitol Katniss and Peeta train for the big game. They are also given a mentor and stylist to make sure they are as prepared and stylish as they can be (since it’s all being broadcasted). Their mentor is Haymitch Abernathy, a survivor of The Hunger Games from District 12. He’s a drunk and doesn’t seem willing to help. He does come up with a plan, but only seems to tell Peeta in on it. Peeta is supposed to be madly in love with Katniss. This will make their story special and hopefully make the viewers, audiences and sponsor love them more than the other contestants.
The Hunger Games takes place in a huge arena with lakes, forests and fields. Katniss is a trained hunter and things are starting off pretty good. She manages to hunt her own food, and she knows basic survival skills. As people start dying, the contestants hide in the arena and make allies. Soon Katniss will experience that her best allie will be Peeta, the ordinary boy who has a crush on her (or does he, really?). Together they have to fight other strong, smart contestants. There can only be 1 winner in The Hunger Games…they are told.
I have always heard people on blogs, YouTube etc. saying this book is wonderful. They are all madly in love with it, and I really don’t know why I kept putting it off for so long. Not to spoil any thoughts here, but: this book is AMAZIIIING!!! Yes, that’s true.
Suzanne Collins seems to know exactly who she is writing for. YA’s will adore this book, and I think grown-ups will as well. I have reluctantly been recommending this book to 12-13 year olds, as I though the whole fight-until-death theme was a bit harsh. But after having read it I must say it’s not as violent as it seems.
Katniss is such a strong character, and you realise very early she is bound to become a great heroine. I enjoyed getting to know her, hear her thoughts and read on while she planned her game tactics. Katniss is both vaulnerable and strong at the same time, and I think that’s why we readers love her. When you think she’s making a mistake, she’s really planning out a new move to survive in the arena.
The Hunger Games itself is an already used theme (ever heard about Battle Royale?). Being famililar with that story, I think maybe that’s the reason I kept putting this book on hold. But even though I knew the consept of the story, Suzanne Collins manages to wrap the story together with Katniss’ life, and what you get is a wonderful, heartwarming, suspenseful and action packed story. It somehow feels personal. I felt as if I was spying on Katniss at times when I probably shouldn’t. Katniss gives so much of herself, and I truly felt like I knew her while reading this book.
The language in this book is easy and straight forward. It was an easy, fast read, and since it also was the most exciting book I have read in a very long time, I finished it in just one reading.
One of my favourite parts of this book was its ending. I can’t reveal too much in case any of you haven’t read it yet, but the ending was perfect. Instead of spending many pages on finishing off this story, Suzanne makes it short, but still clear. It wrappes up the story perfectly, but it also makes you wanna run and get book number 2 in the series. Luckily, I got all 3 books for Christmas, and can start reading book 2 Catching Fire right away!
I hope you all run and get this book. Read it this weekend – you’re destined to love it!