REVIEW: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

This book is 1 of 3 in a series that has become wildly popular. Almost every reader I know has read this book (or the entire series) and loved it. Me, not so much. Not at all actually.

First of all, it’s futuristic and I’m usually not good with that. In this book, the setting is in North America where, for one reason or the other, the United States no longer exists. It’s now the land of Panem, which is 12 Districts ruled by one, not so very nice, Capitol. Because of the rebellion of District 13 back in the day, each remaining district is required to send 1 boy and 1 girl (via a completely rigged lottery system) to fight in the Hunger Games. Basically, they are sent to duke it out among 23 other “tributes” until the last person remains. Literally.
Secondly, the whole idea of The Capitol and the unfair practices they promote are sickening. They dole out the food, the electricity, the supplies. Everything. It’s no surprise that they are pretty stingy with the goods. People die from starvation in the Districts every single day. All the while, folks at The Capitol are living high on the hog too busy to notice or even care about what’s going on in the rest of their world. It was a little to realistic and possible for me to want to think about. Let’s just say that I went to bed being extra thankful for heat and food this week.
Thirdly, the tyrannic theme that runs throughout the book was very unsettling to me. I was anxious the whole time I was reading. Not because the book was a page turner but because I was in constant fear of what unfair practice the Capitol would rationalize next or what impossible task they would require. I’ve never been a fan of not having free will. The Capitol basically eliminates all hope of that for their people. Sure, you can make whatever choice you want but it comes at a high consequence for you (and mostly likely your family too).
I will admit that the author writes in such a way that keeps you wanting to know more and wanting to find out what the outcome is. Maybe that’s what all the hype is about. It definitely got a bit better in part 2 of the book (The Games). However, there is an underlying romance being developed between the main character (Katniss) and her fellow District 12 tribute (Peeta) that I thought was poor, at best. I feel certain that this develops even further in the remainder of the series but I won’t be picking up the next book to find out. Though, the book breaks at a point where fans of the book will HAVE to run out and pick up the next one to get the complete story of how The Hunger Games ends.
I’ve been a nervous wreck for days just trying to finish this book. The storyline made me physically anxious. No, not kidding. It captured enough of my interest to try to stick it out and see if it were salvageable but, alas, it’s not for me. I honestly think I made my mind up somewhere in the middle (maybe even before) that, if I could just finish this one, I would leave it alone. These characters are still on my mind but I’ve read the reviews of the future books and it looks like things get a lot worse before they get better. In my mind, this book was bad enough. That’s gonna be an “over and out” for me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *