Dana Salman's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: movies, read-2012, ebooks, series-debut, just-plain-fun
Read in April, 2012

This review is written in a way that assumes you have already read the book.



No, I did not only read this because of the movie. I knew about The Hunger Games ages ago. I never bothered reading them because friends of mine on this site who had read it before gave me reasons in their reviews not to. Not that they thought it was a horrible book, but from what I read I could tell it was not that big a deal. Now, with the movie out, suddenly everyone's gushing about how amazing they are. Worse than the people who haven't even heard of the series before and are now reading them because they thought the movie was amazing are the people who have read the book before and thought it wasn't anything special, then suddenly think it's the best book in the world just so they can say 'Oh I've always been a fan!'
But anyway. I did not watch the movie and I did not read the book just so I can say I've read it. I was bored, and after reading a book as difficult as The Lord of the Rings I needed something a bit closer to my time and a bit more simplistic. For me these kind of books are chocolate, while books that I really love (like The Lord of the Rings) are an entire feast. The only other incentive I had was that the head of my book club was making it the next book for us to read. But even after I'd downloaded The Hunger Games I couldn't get into it because the writing style was too simplistic. It took me weeks to get past the first chapter. Eventually what really got me started was I saw a copy on the desk of one of my classmates (naturally they're all reading it now; just like the Twilight fad in seventh grade). On the back were praises for the book from other authors. Stephanie Meyer (reason for me not to read) but under that Stephen King (reason for me to read).

Anyway. I do have this habit of going on about how I come to read a book and never seem to get around to what I think of the book itself. I don't really know what to say about it. It had me gripped, I'll admit that - after starting (officially) yesterday I finished it in around one hour this morning. I can't really find the right adjectives for it though. It was nothing spectacular it was just... nice. Well okay it was more than that. I suppose it must've been good if it didn't bore me so easily. It felt pretty short, but maybe that's just cause of how fast I raced through it.

Oh I know what to say. Initially the other reason I was reluctant to read the book was because I couldn't get the plot: why exactly does the Capitol want to pit a bunch of teenagers against each other and force the whole country to watch? Although the book explains that it was a sort of way to keep everyone under their thumb it still felt a little extreme to me. But once you start reading you forget that. That's how good The Hunger Games is; it keeps you so hooked on what's happening you forget to question why these kids are killing each other in the first place. And really, the situation is so unlikely and unrealistic that, to give the author credit, it is rather difficult to give a legitimate reason. But she went and wrote a book about just such a situation anyway, and I'd like to say she pulled it off pretty well: though you know the whole thing is unrealistic, in the end it's still just a book and you can pretend for awhile that The Hunger Games are real. Infact, you don't even have to pretend. You know The Hunger Games are real and dangerous, and you know it was a smart move of Peeta to start a star-crossed-lovers thing with Katniss. You know the importance of Katniss pulling it off and making that romance believable. When you think about these things in real life it might seem silly. But in The Hunger Games, it makes perfect sense, and Collins did such a good job of presenting The Hunger Games to us that we understand everything. Never once was there a question in my mind as to why this or that was done. I know in a lot of other books things that characters do sometimes bug me because I can see other, sometimes pretty obvious alternatives.

So, though I have to admit now that I'm back in the real world that The Hunger Games is an unbelievable story, and some parts (such as the wolves at the end - couldn't they have been just normal wolves?) were a bit weird, and Collins uses too many fragments (they're okay on their own, but not in excessive amounts), The Hunger Games gets three stars from me. In fact, because I like Peeta so much I'd give it four stars, but the book ended at the wrong point in time, in my opinion. But I will be reading Catching Fire sometime later. Just not too soon, because I'm not sure what could happen next and nothing in the ending is making me that eager to continue.
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