Rebecca's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Sep 17, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: read2010, scifi, ya
Read in December, 2010

This is about as brilliantly executed as formulaic dystopian YA fiction can get.

1. The heroes face real consequences based on real strengths and weaknesses, not just because they're caught up in some Special Destiny. And I love love love how subversively gendered they are - no symbolic knives of manhood here! The moral decisions they make are courageous but human, not superhuman or fraught with religious significance.

2. You may have noticed that I have very little patience for over-indulgence in talking creatures and mythology and the like. The Hunger Games offers plenty of flora and fauna and symbolic names, but they impressed me as relevant bits of world-building.

3. The plotting takes nailbiting twists and deadly turns, but the carnage is never titillating. I can't get over how respectfully the themes of violence and romance are handled here! (Are you SURE this is a YA bestseller??)

So. What does all of this add up to? The social critique is appreciated but nothing you haven't seen before. And can I get a backstory around here? If you're going to yada-yada the cataclysm just go ahead and title your book Generic North American Post-Apocalyptic Adventure #32984634586. Ultimately Collins IS sticking to a formula, and that makes this book stray toward forgettable for me.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Andrea Glad you liked it! The first is awesome, but I felt a deeper connection with the characters and the plot by the end of the third. Amazing series. I read way too much YA. Have you read any of the Uglies/Pretties Series?

message 2: by Rebecca (last edited Dec 19, 2010 02:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rebecca Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens back in the real world. No, I haven't read the ugly/pretty books! I've heard mixed reviews... By the way, there is no such thing as too much YA.

Katie M. The U/P series (I only read through Specials, though I think there've been more books since then?) is definitely a mixed bag - I wouldn't give them a glowing rec but I wouldn't unrecommend them either. Also in Scott Westerfeld's defense his wife is one of a handful of well-known white YA authors who actually say stuff out loud about representation of POC in novels and YA lit. Which admittedly has absolutely nothing to do with Westerfeld's writing. But at least he has good taste in humans...

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