Every year, twelve boys and twelve girls are chosen to take part in the Hunger Games. Watched by the entire nation, this is action-packed reality TV at its most exciting – and most dangerous. Katniss Everdeen has grown up struggling to save the people close to her. Now she faces the biggest challenge of all – the fight for her life. Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.
I don’t tend to read many books that are extremely popular. There’s something off-putting about how many people are obsessed with them. Maybe i think I’m above everyone’s tastes. Such a snob!
Anyway friends’ opinions who i generally trust have told me how great the trilogy is so i thought that I’d give the books a go. And I’m not sorry i did!
This review is about the first book.
The story is about Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl who lives a life of poverty, like most of the country, illegally hunting to feed her mother and younger sister, Prim. Each year the richest part of the country, the Capitol, holds The Hunger Games, their annual reality TV show. There are twelve districts that must compete, each with a male and female tribute. It’s a fight to the death and there is only one winner. Much to Katniss’ horror, Prim is chosen. In act of complete selflessness, Katniss volunteers in her place. In order to keep her family alive, Katniss has no choice but to win.
I think i was irrevocably drawn into this story from about page three. I could not put it down. I’m a dogged reader and will read to the end (unless it contains sex) even if it never draws me in. This drew me in. And it wasn’t just because it was interesting, it was the way it was written. It was written in first person, in present tense. Each moment was written as it was happening. It is not easy to pull this off. You can get it so terribly wrong. The author got it so, so right. It was amazing and she really used it to her advantage in how the story unfolds.
The story is aimed at young adults and it’s not a terribly long story however i found it really interesting that the book spans no more than a few weeks. This is generally unheard of in books. Usually it’s at least a few months, if not longer. It made the book seem a lot longer than it actually was because time didn’t pass very fast at all. I think it developed the characters and the story well. It was really detailed and you were able to experience each moment as Katniss did. Some might find this tiresome however i did not. I really enjoyed it.
As it was aimed at young adults, the story is very much from the point of view of a sixteen year old female. Even though Katniss is very mature, smart and interesting, she is also experiencing things that only sixteen year old girls would. However even as an adult (albeit not much older than Katniss) i still enjoyed getting to know her and rooting for her in her battle to survive. I really liked all the characters in the story and it was really well done how the author portrayed each child (because that’s what they are!) trying to survive The Games. There were some bits that i thought were a little silly, mainly the silly kisses (i don’t want to give too much away) however I’m not sure if that was the whole point.
The premise of the story is quite brutal and is not easily dismissed. It lingers long after you’ve finished reading.
Overall i really enjoyed reading this and i would highly recommend it. I’m hoping that the next two books are as good, or even better.