6 Dec 2010

Review: "The Hunger Games" - I'm hungry for more!

After seeing so many people out there in the blogosphere raving about the Mockingjay series I thought I would give it a chance but to be honest I did not expect much. I kind of expected something rather interesting where I would read the first book in the series - "The Hunger Games" - and then decide that this was nothing for me. How wrong I was. Once I began reading this book there was no putting it down again. I read everywhere until I had turned the last page - and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. On the bus, at the gym, while walking to the gym, even while cooking (and that cannot be recommended unless you are a trained read-while-you-do'er).

So for those of you who haven't yet been convinced to read this yet, what is this all about? "The Hunger Games" is the story of the teenager Katniss who grows up in North America sometime in the future. The world has changed drastically and American has been renamed Panem and is divided into twelve districts, of which Katniss lives in the poorest district where most people work in the coal mines. Katniss has had to take responsibility for her mother and her sisters and is the main breadwinner of the family. She is fiercely protective of her family and when her sisters is called on to take part the hunger games, Katniss volunteers to take her place, thinking that this is sure to be a death sentence. Because the hunger games is not just any old games - it is a reality tv-show where 24 teenagers are forced to fight until only one is still alive and is crowned the winner. Katniss' chances do not look good but she would die for her sister and alongside another teenager from her district, she goes to the capitol to fight for her life.

Normally I am not one for these futuristic/dystopian tales - the only other one I have ever liked is "The Handmaid's Tale" but not liking this book was not an option for me. This is YA at its best. It is well-written and the universe that Katniss exists in is well-constructed and believable. It is logical in the way that it is build up and nothing sticks out as seeming wrong. It is no pleasant universe though. The rules and rulers are evil and inhuman and it takes a lot of courage and cleverness to survive.
Even more courage and cleverness is needed to survive the hunger games and I really enjoyed reading about the way Katniss handled herself. Trying to survive while sticking to her ideals and principles. As a main character I loved Katniss. She has lots of flaws and she is not aware of all of them herself but she is a cool chick with a lot of backbone and a lot of personality. She lets no one mess with her but at the same time she is vulnerable and doesn't always find it easy to understand other people. I loved her instantly.

My only complaint is that I did not buy the next two books in the series when I bought the first one - but I only have myself to blame for that :-)

So here is a question for those of you who have read "The Hunger Games", what did you love most about the book? For me the best part was Katniss, I can't wait to read more about her.


  1. Awesome review, Willa! THG was an incredible surprise for me - I loved it! I think my favourite part was Katniss's firm sense of self, and how she didn't waver from her own character, but I loved how quickly Peeta was willing to play the game to survive and to keep Katniss alive, too :)

  2. This is one of my favorite series and I'm so glad to hear you loved this! I love Katniss and Peeta both equally. I also love the themes interwoven through the book...I can't wait to hear what you think of the rest of them!

  3. Thanks Melissa and Amy, I agree Peeta is great. I really can't wait to read more about him as well!

  4. I read this earlier this year and loved it too. I didn't like the second book as much just because I didn't feel the urgency this had. I still need to read the 3rd!

    One of the aspects I liked best was that the author didn't shy away from brutality. Not that I like violence but I think it's good that she trusted her YA audience. She really painted a harsh picture of what the world could become.