Nicolas Ward's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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Apr 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, young-adult, fiction, sci-fi

This book has been out for a while, and has been on my list for some time, based both on the general buzz and direct recommendations, not to mention that dystopian near-future young adult sci-fi is right up my alley. I got the boxed set as a Christmas gift, and I started reading after finishing up some non-fiction that I was in the middle of tackling.

A non-trivial motivation was, of course, the upcoming film; I strongly prefer to read the book before seeing the movie, so that my imagination can run a bit more freely than whatever vision the filmmakers may have. I do very much enjoy what the director and various designers manage to do in bringing words to life (the Lord of the Rings films, for example), but the written word gives me the ability to see things in my own way. In this case that's a little broken by having seen some of the trailers already, and having an awareness of the casting, but I think I was able to keep that out of my mind while reading. Collins is pretty good at describing the visuals of a scene, through Katniss' eyes.

Overall, this was a good, exciting read, and because it is so action-heavy, especially in the second half, well-suited to its film adaptation. I was a little worried that the first-person narration by Katniss would annoy me, but I think the dystopian setting managed to mute whatever teenage angst might otherwise have dominated.

Another aspect of its YA target audience is that it was an extremely fast read for me - I was getting close to 3 PPM, and read the whole thing in just 3 sessions. On the other hand, that confirms that it's a good read, and tough to put down once the plot gets going. I have a tendency to devour books in this way, especially fiction that I find immersive.

I was also glad that the plot wasn't too predictable, particularly with regards to who would live and who would die, while still touching on the expected tropes. Obviously the availability of a trilogy implies certain things about the survival of certain characters, but that's nigh impossible to avoid.

I would recommend to anyone of any age with a slight sci-fi bent that they pick up this trilogy and dive in. I am definitely looking forward to the movie, which opens next weekend.
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Reading Progress

April 14, 2011 – Shelved
January 16, 2012 – Started Reading
January 16, 2012 –
page 73
19.52% "Pretty standard post-apocalyptic hero introduction so far."
February 26, 2012 –
page 247
66.04% "Good action, but somewhat predictable. Not sure if the first person narration is annoying now that Andrle pointed it out."
February 26, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopian
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: sci-fi

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