Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Inspection: the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Plot Sketch: Katniss Everdeen has taken care of her family ever since her father died. In her dreary existence in District 12, the coal mining district, she illegally hunts with her friend Gale in the forest outside of the gates to provide for her family. She's a whiz with her bow and arrows. Time comes around for The Reaping, an event where names are drawn out to determine who goes to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were instituted after the revolution failed and the Capitol annihilated District 13, leaving the other 12 districts to send two tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18, to the games each year to compete. Naturally, Katniss ends up going to the Games (otherwise, we'd have a different main character, right?) and this is the tale of her journey.

*SPOILER ALERT! I couldn't write an honest review without revealing some spoilers.*

Verdict: No Love. I have a lot to say about our society de-evolving into a blood thirsty mess of morality, but I shall not expound on that here. Mostly, I was disappointed that I already knew what the ending was by the circumstances presented in the early stages of the book. Knowing already that there was a Book 2 means that the characters cannot die. It's in first person, so Katniss can't die. Some bits of foreshadowing that let you know that the book is going to end exactly like you want it to. I do think that Collins did a good job of describing the world that she created in the Hunger Games with one mathematical exception: a train that travels 250mph cannot take 2 days to get from Appalachia to the Rockies (please correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to me like it's bits of The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Lord of the Flies, Star Trek, Battle Royale (heavy on the BR), Survivor and The Lottery all mixed into one. Am I saying she ripped these ideas off? No. I just didn't think they were original. As I discussed a little on Twitter, I also think that my expectations were too high for this book, everyone (including personal friends) talked it up so much that I was expecting a lot more out of it than what I got. It's a good story, but its not amazing in my eyes. I didn't feel like it was a page turner and I felt like I could have walked away at any time... I will read book 2 though because I've seen some reviews that say it's better.
The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
The Hunger Games Arena, The Capitol, Panem

What is the main character's name?
Katniss Everdeen

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Yes, I do. I admire her spirit and her sense of reality.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
2 days

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
Sure. I think a lot of boys/men would like this one.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I think that the narrative could have been changed so that the book wasn't so predictable.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I didn't find one.

Does the author have a website?

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: September 14, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023483

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