The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: My Review
So, I have started the Blog of Erised’s Dystopia Reading Challenge 2013 with a stock standard: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s a book I’ve read before, but I chose it because, upon reading it, the genre of Dystopia was first bought to my attention. Of course, I had read dystopian books before, I had just assumed they fell into the post-apocalyptic category. And so, without further adieu let the reviewing begin…
When I first picked up this book, I devoured it in two days. By the end of the week, I had finished the entire series, so I was a little scared to go back. I’ve done that before, revisited a fast fave and discovered all it’s shortcomings in the second sitting.
I was relieved to find this wasn’t the case with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. While there were a few moments when I was disappointed, I was relieved to find that the horror and the ghastly, page-turning, peering between your fingers effect of this book was not lost. I still feel completely ill to my core at the thought of grown adults effectively throwing their children to the lions. There is still that rubber-necking of a road smash at the thought of missing something if you put the book down.
For that I am relieved.
I also still love those little mishaps of words (Katniss, muttations, nightlock, Peeta) that remind you of things that exist in our lifetime yet have been Chinese whispered into something else in The Hunger Games. It effectively shows us that this is no utopian world they are living in. You can tell that the stories they are being spoon-fed by the Capitol are not quite the true version of events. It’s a very clever little trick played by the author to bring the true dystopia feeling of unease that I have come to expect from this genre.
However, I found the whole contrived Katniss doesn’t know Peeta really loves her situation more than I could bear this time round. Katniss is smart, she should be able to work out Peeta’s feelings, the author should also not underestimate the intelligence of her audience by stating the obvious at every given moment. Given this annoyance, though, I found I was still on Team Peeta by the end of the novel and the last page broke my heart just as much as it did the first time round 😦
Sometimes Peeta’s personality gets lost in the crowd. I feel no connection when he ‘wows’ the audience – maybe it’s because this personality trait doesn’t ring true to me. Ditto for Katniss and all her coyness. She’s the girl on fire, not some soppy Victorian princess!
I also get the distinct feeling that Collins has attempted to re-write Romeo and Juliet with the whole poisoned berries ending. So this is what would have happened if the poor star crossed lovers had survived their moment of rebellion?
For the first read, I gave this book 5/5 stars. This time round, I will still be recommending it to my friends, but have given it 4.5/5 stars
The next book on my reading list is: The Running Man by Stephen King/ Richard Bachman