Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Book Review #39

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
From goodreads.com

I’m probably the last person to read this book. I heard a lot about it when it first came out, then when the second book came out I heard even more. However, there was nothing that interested me in this book. Synopsis seemed blunt, the cover not catching and even hundreds of positive reviews didn’t convince me to read it. Another turn-off for me was that this book was classified as dystopian and I seriously don’t like dystopia, not in any form, not even in YA book. That was a ground on which I stood… until the April 2010 when I started to think how I choose books that I read and decided to give a chance to some books that I never had any interest in, but so many people had a high praise for. One of these books was a The Hunger Game.

When I started reading it my suspicions how awfully sad full of absolute desperation this novel would be only became stronger. Somewhere at the beginning it made me think about Germinal by Émile Zola. Yes, I know that Germinal is not a dystopia and The Hunger Games doesn’t have any resemblance to it, but I guess it was mines and hunger that linked these two books for me. The thoughts about Germinal made me really want to give up The Hunger Game and when I read to the scene when Peeta gives Katniss a loaf of bread I almost did give it up, because it made me cry. And I mean literally cry, not just a think how sad it was, not just a small sob. No, I was actually crying with huge tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m not the person who cries easily, I think I can count books that made me cry on the fingers of one hand. So you can see it was a big deal. I even put the book down. However, in a while I remembered about giving a chance to the books I think I will not like and decided to finish it, even if it will make me cry throughout the whole book.

I’m glad I didn’t give up. The Hunger Games turned out to be not full of absolute desperation, but on the contrary full of hope. I couldn’t put this book down and once again I mean literally, not figuratively. I was constantly thinking I finish this chapter and this is it, but one chapter became two, after that a three and so on, until I realized that I was almost four in the morning.

The Huger Games was absolutely hypnotizing and breathtaking. Somewhere in the middle of the book I realized that it didn’t have any dialogs, at least not for a while. It was only a description of what Katniss saw, thought and did. This realization pinned me down to the floor, because I think like Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?” Ok, it might not be saying much good about me, but the truth is I’m getting seriously bored in very short time from long descriptions in the fiction books. However, with The Hunger Games I wasn’t bored and more than that, as I already said, I couldn’t put it down. It didn’t have any dull moments throughout the whole book.

To summarize, what turned out to be, a rant, rather than review, I have to say that even though the idea of the book is not even close to be an original, Suzanne Collins created a stunning, magnificent and unforgettable peace of fiction.


Dystopian Journal said...

You well illustrate the foray of many into the realm of dystopia. I find the genre illuminating and extremely insightful to the human society and condition. Thanks!

The Dystopian Journal

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