Books I Read: The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Published: 2008
Content Rating: PG-13 for violence*

Growing up in District 12 is hard for Katniss. She has to hunt, illegally, just to feed her family, and every year two children are chosen from their district to fight in the tyrannical Hunger Games. This year, it's Katniss' turn. She must fight for her life against 23 other teenagers put in the same position -- all for the amusement of the citizens of Panem.

No joke, this book reached into my chest, gripped me by the ventricles, and didn't let go. Katniss is an awesome character: tough, often heartless, yet willing to do anything to protect the people she loves. The characters she meets are awesome: the boy who may or may not secretly like her; her surprisingly-sympathetic stylist; her mentor, a previous winner of the Games driven to drunkness, but who makes himself (basically) sober when he sees Katniss has a fighting chance.

The world is awesome: a post-apocalyptic America where the majority does hard labor for the few. And the games... Geez, it's like Survivor had a baby with Lord of the Flies and then gave it steroids. It's that cool. Before I read this, my favorite book was easily Ender's Game. Now... I'm not so sure.

One warning though: it leaves you hanging. I mean, the games end and everything, but the end of the book is not The End, strictly speaking. Fortunately there's a sequel (and more fortunately, I have it on my shelf).

* Content ratings based on what I think a movie might be rated, if the things shown in the book were shown in the movie. Ratings are very subjective, and I don't always remember/notice things. If you're unsure whether the book is right for you, do some research so you can make your own decision.


Myrna Foster said...

I read this one a couple of weeks ago, and I agree with you. It was a great opening to the series. The second book disappointed me, but you'll have to let us know what you think.

Joshua McCune said...

Great book and, unlike Myrna, I found the 2nd book equally taut.

Adam Heine said...

Myrna and Bane, you have expressed both opinions I've heard about the sequel (in exactly the proportions I've heard them). I'm cautiously optimistic about the sequel, and I'll definitely let you know what I think :-)

Myrna Foster said...

I didn't mean to imply the sequel wasn't any good. It was hard to put down, and I'll definitely be finishing the series. I can't explain why it disappointed without spoilers, so maybe I shouldn't have said what I did.

Adam Heine said...

No worries, Myrna. The opinion I've heard is not that it was bad, but that it wasn't as good as the first, or wasn't quite what the reader-in-question was expecting. It's cool. I'm fully prepared to come to my own conclusions.