283 of 303 people found the following review helpful
So good I didn't want to finish it!,
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This review is from: The Hunger Games (Paperback)Ever since Harry Potter, I have spent my time trying to find books with characters I love as though they were my own friends, and with a plot so real that I felt it could actually be happening. Most books disappoint me in this area and I've had to settle for a lot of mediocrity. But not this time. Hunger Games drew me so far into its world I didn't want to leave!
Hunger Games is set in the future where North America has been turned into a country called Panem, separated into 12 districts and the Capitol. As if constant hunger wasn't bad enough, the districts are constantly reminded of the "Dark Days", when they rebelled against the Capitol, by punishing their children in the Hunger Games. Every year each District must send one boy and one girl to the Capitol to take part in these Games where they must fight each other to their deaths. The winner is the child who comes out alive, having presumably killed all the others. The Hunger Games is reality TV at its very extreme; mere entertainment for the wealthy and pampered residents of the Captitol, but torturous for the Districts, who have to watch their children year by year go off to the Capitol to be killed.
This book starts on the day of the Reeping, where the teenagers who will enter the Games are chosen at random throughout the districts. We follow Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl of District 12. Katniss has been scarred deeply by the death of her father in a mining disaster several years ago and since then has been breaking the laws of Panem by hunting animals in the forest in order to feed her starving family. You can't help but feel for Katniss, who has lost so much and tries so hard to care for her family, and when her little sister Prim is chosen in the Reeping, you can understand why she volunteers to take her place. And so the story follows her, along with fellow District 12 Tribute Peeta, as they head off to the luxurious Capitol, and finally head into the Hunger Games where you will be unable to put the book down, waiting to see if/how Katniss will survive.
This might all sound a bit morbid and violent and that was definitely a big concern for me when the concept of the Games was first introduced. But I read on anyway and was pleased to discover that while yes, people died and yes the idea of the games is horrific, it was so carefully written that it didn't feel morbid at all. Instead of feeling sick, you're taken on a journey with Katniss as she wakes up to the idea that the world she lives in is highly unfair. It's not a constant bloodbath where murder is just something you have to do; Katniss learns quickly the awful consequences of taking someone's life and death is treated with a heavy heart indeed. It also relates to so many aspects of our own world, and it's not a far stretch to imagine some time in the distant future a society like this. For that reason, instead of being a morbid tale of death and injustice, it will probably open your eyes to many of the injustices in our own world.
But don't worry, the Hunger Games won't leave you feeling completely miserable. The tragic moments are brightened considerably with light-hearted moments and some brilliant characters: I loved Cinna, the stylist, who is incredibly creative; I enjoyed drunken Haymitch, the only Tribute from District 12 who ever came back alive, who is enlisted to help Katniss and Peeta, and has a hidden depth that may surprise you; Peeta brings a certain amount of humour to the story, but also a wisdom that is beyond Katniss. Add to that Career Tributes, from Districts 1, 2, and 4 who have spent their lives training for the Games and see it as a great honour; a would-be love-triangle; and a main character you will feel for not because she's pathetic or a damsel in distress character (she's neither of these things!), but because she is feisty and fighting so hard to find justice in a world that has little, you can't help but hope she succeeds.
So what with the characters I felt I knew personally, a plot that seemed so real I came out of the book in a daze, and enough pace and action to keep me wanting more, I found myself reading this book at every possible moment and hating every second I spent away from it! I did not want to finish this book and finishing it was the most awful moment of the whole book! Possibly one of my favourite books of all time, Hunger Games is a trend-setter like Harry Potter and Twilight before it. It will define a generation of books and those who read it; if you don't read it you will be missing out on a HUGE moment.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Mar 2012 22:47:17 GMT
Mrs. Joy Plowes says:
What a beautifully written review; insightful and helpful. Thank you.
Posted on 21 Mar 2012 07:07:20 GMT
Rob in London says:
I only read the beginning of your review, as I was afraid that it might contain too much detail and wanted to avoid spoiling the fact that I had no idea what the story was about.
That being said, I think your opening words not only mirrored those of the friend the recommended the book to me, but also my feelings, having now read the book.
I am pretty sure I have never shed a tear whilst reading before, but found myself doing so while reading this - I'm sure you'll know where.
Posted on 23 Mar 2012 07:58:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Mar 2012 07:58:29 GMT
Stevie Wonderful says:
My teenage son has much enjoyed this book - thank you for your review which decided a reluctant reader to read.
Posted on 30 Mar 2012 11:30:04 BDT
M. HOFFMAN says:
So glad I read this review after the book, very full of spoilers which is always disappointing. However I agree with your thoughts, it's a great book!
Posted on 30 Mar 2012 11:30:59 BDT
M. HOFFMAN says:
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2012 17:03:38 BDT
Posted on 21 Apr 2012 08:22:51 BDT
Posted on 9 May 2012 14:37:15 BDT
donald munro says:
Spot On! You nailed this book perfectly without giving anything away or going off the rails.
If I could add just one feature to the Kindle Edition of this book it would be a map of the arena, something similar to the map at the beginning of the TV Drama 'Game Of Thrones' for those of you who watch it.
Posted on 26 Aug 2012 14:37:17 BDT
The Demon says:
What a great review! Well done. This is very detailed and sticks to the main points; I think that this by far the best review on hear.
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