Crystal's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Jan 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, dystopian

I am actually not sure how to rate this book. it deserves four stars for the writing, but to say I really liked it seems wrong too. I felt that in many ways this was a brilliant book. It communicated the horror of violence and oppression, of being forced to fight for causes outside of your control, especially for tweens and teens. it was peopled with fully realized, mostly likable characters, and some truly detestable characters. The setting was brilliantly, vividly drawn as well. I felt like I experienced every minute of the story as though I was there.
I LOVED Peeta (although hate the name--sounds like Schwartenneger trying to say Peter.), absolutely loved him and thought he was the sweetest thing ever. and I really loved Katniss too, loved how strong and independent she was. She was dreadfully scarred emotionally, too, but it didn't make her any less likable. and I loved Rue. sniff, sniff. I loved Rue. Just because you KNOW what has to happen to some characters doesn't mean it isn't horrible when it does.
the ending, though, left me wanting--I understand there's two more books to the series, and that set those up. But it still made me sad. part of me wants to read the other books, to see what happens, to make sure that Peeta and Katniss can get happy endings to their stories. But the vividness of the battle scenes, the violence, the brutality--I don't like to read it. I understand that the author is trying to comment on the nature of war and violence, especially relating to teens, but I already know war is horrible. I know that many things happen in it that I don't want to know about. ever. reading about it gave me bad dreams and jumpy nerves, without improving my life in any way or teaching me anything new. So if I do read either of the next two books in the series, it probably won't be for awhile yet. not til I've had time to read plenty of happier things to put my mind back at rest, and sleep well at night. Then maybe I'll think about it.

So I re"read" this book on audio CD, and was captivated/ horrified a second time. I actually enjoyed it more a second time, because I knew what was coming, but also found that the audiobook format made some of the loss and horror seem even more immediate and real. Not a cheerful book, but very compelling. and listening to it, a second time, made me finally go out and get the second book (and then the third) from the library. so I guess the book was a success. Peeta, aside from the name, may be one of my favorite characters ever. He deserved to be happy. sigh.
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Quotes Crystal Liked

Suzanne Collins
“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

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