Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I realize that The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has been reviewed by nearly every single book blogger on Blogspot, but I felt the need to toss my hat into the ring anyway. Better late than never, right?

The reason why it took me so long to read it is because I'm a library patron these days. I can't remember the last time I bought a recent release. It's just not in my budget, unfortunately.

So I had to wait patiently while the sixty-three people in front of me in the hold list read the book.

I'm glad I did.

If you know the premise of the story, skip ahead, intrepid reader. For those not in the know, Katniss Everdeen is a young girl who lives in the Seam in post-apocalyptic North America. The United States has been transformed into Panem, a twelve-district colony that is ruled cruelly by the Capitol. Katniss' district happens to be the twelfth—the poorest, saddest district out of the dozen. She takes care of her mother and sister Prim by hunting and gathering in the forests.

Each year, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games, a battle royale between twenty-four tributes, a male and female from each district. Every child between the ages of 11 and 18 is eligible to be chosen through a lottery system called the reaping. This is Prim's first reaping and she is chosen.

Katniss volunteers in her place to save the child from certain death, even though it might mean her own death.

I love a good dystopic society story. I think it makes me feel better about living in my own society because, hey, at least they don't make children battle each other to the death in an arena while the rest of the nation watches anxiously through television. Plus, these sort of stories are challenges to the author because she essentially has to create a brand new world, without making it sound like it's a Brave New World, if you catch my drift.

Collins successfully constructs a world that I have not read of before. It's different than a lot of the other dystopic novels I've read in that it's a much more natural world. A lot of authors assume that if society is going to get worse, it's because everyone moves into the cities and plugs in, but Collins sets the society back by wiping the slate clean and creating a new colony, one she can virtually play with endlessly.

Given that this is Book 1, I'm eager to find out what happens next. I won't spoil the outcome of the novel for you, but it's definitely worth a read.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2009

Books Read:

1. Jaime Hernandez: Locas: The Maggie & Hopey Stories
2. Andrew Davidson: The Gargoyle
3. Neil Gaiman: Coraline
4. Neil Gaiman: The Sandman Vol 2: The Doll's House
5. Jason Lutes: Jar of Fools
6. Laurie R. King: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Books Currently Reading:

1. Geert Mak: In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century

Challenge Update
1. To-Be-Read Challenge: 2/12
2. Graphic Novel Challenge: 8/12