Jay Daze's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Dec 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s-lit, sf, library-book, female-author
Read from November 24 to December 13, 2010

** spoiler alert ** The Hunger Games works great as a tournament style "The Most Dangerous Game". Children are given in tribute to The Capital by its client districts and forced to battle each other to the death. This being sf, the games are broadcasted ala the TV show Survivor and genetically modified animals add to the danger. Most of the book is very heavy on the thriller aspect of Katniss' survival in the game.

The state uses the games as a way of dividing and controlling the twelve districts under its sway. The reader sees the effects of this state control through Katniss. For example, when a contestant falls in love with another contestant on a reality show - the phenomenon is called a 'showmance'. The romance often lasts only as long as the show is filming. Though it is often interpreted cynically, that the couple is doing it for more air time, a more disturbing idea is that much of human behaviour is extremely malleable. This seems to be the case with Katniss' relationship with her fellow contestant Peeta. How Katniss has to compromise herself to survive is only one of the delights of the book.

The first two-thirds of the book follows this very driving narrative of survival, but because all the adversaries in this section are simply pawns of The Capital the last section of the book veers away from this into a more complicated game of cat and mouse. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books to see how Collins continues her story. Will there be a change in viewpoint character or will there be an opening up of the world to see how this dystopian - which of course means very contemporary feeling world - operates and perhaps falls?
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Reading Progress

11/24/2010 "Just got it from the library. Janine may be reading it first."
12/10/2010 page 18
5.0% "Started! First couple of pages I'm reminded of Lowry's 'The Giver'."
12/12/2010 page 280
75.0% "Zooming through this. (Well, this is zooming for me.) A combo of "The Most Dangerous Game" and the TV show Survivor with a critique on contemporary society. You could call Panem a dystopic society but it all depends on your perspective. For the folks on top in the Capital everything is peachy, just as many folks in the West probably figure that the power structure is great as is - though it ain't staying that way."

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