Justyn Rampa's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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Dec 14, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I had heard various recommendations of the book from people I didn't know. At the time of its release, the book didn't immediately appeal to me so I didn't pursue it. One of the members of the GRT (Goodreads Trifecta) emphatically recommended the book upon listening to it on audio and claimed that it was one of the best books he had read in a long time. Well, what's a boy detective to do other than read said book.

So I did.

The pace of the book is breathtaking. I truly would go through fifty, sixty pages in what felt like a blink. My heart raced as I struggled to read just one more chapter before having to return to the daily grind of my life. The book was so engrossing that it demanded to be read. I read this book with the thought that it would be similar to "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding (A book I adore!) in that both books deal with a brutal life and death scenario with young children whose actions offer insight and commentary on humanity, society, etc. The book certainly lived up to this expectation. There was blood, death, children killing children, and plenty of subtextual commentary on our world, particularly the United States. Isn't that what any good post-apocalyptic romp should do?

Unlike "LotF", however, "The Hunger Games" was able to tap in to the reality television obsessed culture of present day America by having "The Hunger Games" broadcast to every district. The games are integral to the society for many reasons but also to maintain the status quo as dictated by the ruling body known as The Capital. The scenario is taken to the extreme as 24 tributes are put into an arena with only one survivor but I appreciated how the author spent so much time explaining how tributes are trained and treated up to the main event. They are expected to establish "characters" for the games as well as develop a story arc for the viewers watching at home not only for entertainment value but to receive gifts from wealthy sponsors that may save their life. The whole process of celebrity and audience perception was fascinating to read, but again somewhat expected.

What was not expected was the love story aspect of "The Hunger Games". While the tiny thread of the love story was placed near the beginning of the novel, it doesn't truly overwhelm you until the end of the book. In a way completely unexpected, this book is heartbreaking. To love someone and not have that love returned in quite the same way is extremely palpable. One of the strongest narrative threads of "The Hunger Games" was subtle, understated, and surprisingly powerful. I also love that the author used the phrase "the boy with the bread" several times throughout the text with specific intent. I don't know quite how I feel about the boy with the bread but it was captivating to hear this familiar love story from the perspective of the unknowing object of affection. I have never really read a love story quite like this and I greatly admire when an author is able to revitalize and reinvent such a common literary trope.

At the end of the book I am left with many questions but mostly they all lead back to one thing, The Capitol. I was stoked to find out that "The Hunger Games" was the first book in a planned trilogy. I eagerly await the moment that I can begin "Catching Fire" and hopefully get some answers.
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Reading Progress

12/08 page 34
9.09% "I don't care for the font or margins. The writing becomes almost immediately gripping. Hope this pace and tension is maintained."
12/09 page 86
22.99% "I am truly digging this book! The writing is completely absorbing and I have no idea how this will end! The final kind of make me laugh:-)"
12/10 page 103
27.54% "I've realized, perhaps too late, that Katrina is playing "The Reading Games" with me. Being my friend, chatting so that she finishes first." 1 comment
12/11 page 208
55.61% "For as unconscionable as this plot is, the book is remarkably well written and utterly engaging. One hundred pages went like that!"
04/08 marked as: read

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Your reviews are so deep! Love it!


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