The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games trilogy #1
Published by: Scholastic
Date: Sept. 24, 2008
How did I get this book? Purchased
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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I probably should have gathered my thoughts on this book before I went ahead and read the whole series, but I couldn't tear myself away long enough to write up a review. To be fair, I do think I can separate my feelings about this one book from my feelings about the series as a whole, so here goes...
First off, I devoured this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I could not stop reading until I reached the end. It was addicting in the way only a really great book can be. It pulled me in, making me desperate for more and dreading the turning of the last pages. The Hunger Games is an amazing book in and of itself and I think it could actually stand on it's own without either of the sequels. Call me selfish, but I'm glad it didn't end there because I wouldn't have known what to read next. If nothing else, The Hunger Games is a tough act to follow.
Before I completely go off the deep end, let's cover a little bit of background information:
The country of Panem is divided -- the Capitol vs. the districts. As punishment for a failed rebellion 74 years ago, once a year, each district is forced to offer up one boy and one girl as tribute to fight to the death in a spectacle known as the Hunger Games. This brought to mind the barbaric Roman gladiators, only in this modern day version, it has been turned into a sick and twisted reality TV show. The children chosen to fight are disposable and provide entertainment for the citizens of the Capitol while crippling and crushing the spirits of the districts.
The book is a fascinating account of the games from the heroine's point of view. Katniss is her family's provider and eeks out what little happiness she can living in district 12 until a cruel twist of fate leads her to become one of the Hunger Games' female tributes. She is faced with impossible choices, but is incredibly strong and despite how much she doubts herself, she manages to hold onto her dignity and humanity. She touches people (both other characters and readers of the book) and makes a difference just by being herself and doing what she knows to be right.
If you've passed over this book because of it's larger-than-life popularity, I challenge you to give it a chance. It's not often that a book can live up to all that hype, but in my opinion this one surpasses all expectations.