BOOK REVIEW: The Hunger Games

Recently, I’ve been seeing quite a bit of press about a new film coming out called The Hunger Games. The image of a pretty, and not stupidly dressed, girl firing a bow caught my interest.  Reading the premise it sounds like a westernised Battle Royale and what I didn’t like about Battle Royale was the fact the girls used sex to generally survive.

While I can openly admit lots of women to use their feminine ways to get by, reading about 16 year olds doing it makes me cringe.

Anyway, that image kept showing up and making what to know more.  Eventually I gave in and got a copy of The Hunger Games for my e-reader and just over 24 hours later I have to tell you all about it.

The Hunger Games is aimed at “young adults” so from ages 14-21 really, which makes it quite an easy read however it doesn’t read like a teenagers book.  This really is a book for everyone, action, adventure, friendship and even a bit of romance (more on that later).

The premise is simple, in a post-apocalyptic America, now known as Panem, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts must fight to the death in the Hunger Games and in the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her younger sister.

Katniss is from the poorest district, the 12th district and we meet her when she’s effectively poaching with her friend Gale.  The opening chapters set the scene very well and set out an almost Orwellian America where the central government, the Capitol, punishes the 12 districts each year, for a rebellion that happened nearly a century ago, with the Hunger Games.  The book is written in the first person, which means you start to empathise with Katniss very early on.  Within a few chapters she has taken her sister’s place in the Hunger Games and is thrust into a world of violence, danger and deceit.

Katniss is a fantastic character who is realistic if not a little older than her years but her backstory given in a few pages explains that very quickly.  Other characters such as Rue and Peeta are also well written and make me wish for a George R. R. Martin approach where we could also read what they are thinking.

The violence is depicted very carefully; not too gory but not sugar coating it either.  Probably the most interesting aspects in this book are the relationships and the notion of trust which is questioned.

Now back to the romance. I had heard about a romance element before I read the book and I was worried that the book was going to turn into a 300 page teenage whine about unrequited love with a bit of violence thrown in to keep the lads interested.  However the romance storyline is very carefully played and very refreshing and real.

I am having to be very careful as there’s so much I’d love to tell you all so I’m going to sum it all up by saying this is a must for a quick adventure/sci-fi read.  This book will appeal to pretty much anyone and I can see why it’s been made into a film.  Also with two sequel books you can pretty much guarantee that there will be sequel films.  I am now getting ready to get the other books for my e-reader and they will definitely be a set which I buy in hard copy to have pride of place on my bookshelf.

Rate It: 4.5 / 5
Dry Slaps: 0
GS Reviewer: Little Witch

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