Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Hunger Games. A book I’d been meaning to read for ages. Thank goodness for Robinson’s in Frankston having a sale, otherwise I might never have got around to reading this wonderful book!

Katniss lives in District 12 of the continent called Panem. District 12 is poor – coal-dirty, gut-wrenchingly, famine-plagued poor. She and her friend Gale keep Katniss’ family alive by hunting and gathering from the Forest. It’s always been this way. Ever since Katniss’ dad died in a mine accident.

It is the time of The Hunger Games when we join Katniss’ story. The Hunger Games are, ostensibly, a tribute to the prosperity of Panem, but in reality they are a brutal and stage-managed reality show which results in the death of all but one of the contestants, and which is broadcast to the entire nation to great acclaim and fanfare. And when Katniss becomes one of the chosen ‘tributes’ the game becomes more than personal.

This is an amazing idea, and one that left me gasping at times. It is a logical progression of the reality shows we have on our tv screens now, where the producers have to ‘up the ante’ in every series so that the viewers keep watching and the advertisers keep buying air time. How far will they go to keep us watching? Will it involve killing, starving and manipulating the ‘contestants’ to this extent?

I felt that the story became bogged down in the middle of the book. I wanted to know what happened to Katniss, and there seemed to be a lot of hanging around for a while there. That said, it is a trilogy, and considering the ending, the middle is necessary, if a little frustrating.

The Hunger Games is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted, but if you are prepared to have your mind expanded, and thought provoked, The Hunger Games is for you.

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