Willow's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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Well, damn.

There's a reason this book has the sort of following and reviews that it does. It IS that good. I've seen it on shelves, I've heard people talk about how they couldn't put it down, I saw the fever this past year over the buzz of Mockingjay and I kept telling myself, "Read that book finally."

So I'd checked it out a few times only to return it because I could never seem to fit it into my schedule and honestly, I figured I knew what was coming. Girl fighting to the death. Got it. Shocking, yes, but with the expectations so high and the obvious tools they were going to use to do that aforementioned shocking already laid out I figured I'd get to the Mad Max Adventure: High School edition when I did. Sounds horrible, right? But in the YA paranormal and now dysotopian craze, I just thought I knew what was between that front and back cover. Girl starving. Girl killing. Girl running. Girl escaping. Girl winning through the power of believing in herself. The End.


Well, like I said. Damn.

It all begins and ends with Suzanne Collins' writing style. She took what I expected and gave me some of it, but in a way that had me eating it up with a grin in my face and a gasp in my chest. This book is good. The suspense is like a freight train. It does. not. let. up. And the characters? Instantly in love. I cared about everyone. Each of these children and the adults who saw nothing wrong with the game they were thrusting them into. The stakes were incomprehensible. The players were supposed to be playing games in the school yard. Games of pretend, and with the short, sharp way of Collins' writing style, you felt the anxiety and anger and still, looked over your shoulder before saying that aloud. This is a scary world she created, one that looks sort of familiar and that is the terrifying bit. There's a level of believability to it that makes this book impossible to put down. That and Katniss. Always, Katniss. This is a female protagonist that is hard to put into words. But I believed. Always, I believed her. The reaping, the build up, the entrance to the arena, and the games themselves were all...indescribable. And Peeta, this beautiful boy with the bread who has loved her his entire life, and Haymitch, the former victor who is too drunk to understand anything anymore, or may be the sharpest one in the bunch, and Prim walking to the stage with her shirt untucked, and Gale, with too many brothers and sister to feed, always standing beside Katniss, and the ludicrousness of this entire society cheering for the slaughter of children. I wanted to scream and to cry and to give the girl a drink of water.

There's a strong romantic element to the novel I wasn't expecting but was thoroughly enchanted by. These are children discovering and trying to understand crushes and feelings of desire on a stage where death and murder is to be expected. THAT is what makes this book...this book. And why I'm desperately jumping into Catching Fire, the second book, without a drop of hesitation.
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Reading Progress

12/14/2010 "From the first chapter I'm enthralled. Trying to find time to disappear with the book and lose myself in it. This one deserves no less."
12/15/2010 page 89
24.0% "I like her style. Clipped. To the point. With a sharp knife. I feel as though I may get gutted by this one."

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