Rosie Reads: The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

SPOILERS ALERT: There are indeed some spoilers.

The Hunger Games came out on DVD in the UK today and I did indeed race off to Tesco before work to get me a copy. In light of that, I’m going to get round to finishing off my Hunger Games book review which I started in March and never got round to posting.

In all honesty, I’d not heard about The Hunger Games until January of this year and I heard a lot of good things about it, which immediately put me off. You see, the last book I heard a lot of good things about was Twilight, and I in no way enjoyed that.

Another problem that plagues me is comparing everything to my beloved Harry Potter and nothing beats Potter, so I’m usually disappointed, until now.

Plot: I found the first chapter or so a bit slow, but all of a sudden it drags you in and you can’t put it down, I ended up finishing the book over a weekend.

The story is set in future America, now know as Panem, which is split up into 12 districts. Each year, the Capitol holds a ‘reaping’ to randomly choose two children, a boy and a girl, from each district and pit them against each other in a screwed up last man standing reality show called ‘the Hunger Games’.

On the day of the reaping, our protagnist Katniss Everdeen finds to her horror that her little sister Primrose has been selected, so she selflessly and instantaneously volunteers herself to take her place. The male tribute from District 12 is a boy called Peeta Mellark, who Katniss later realises, saved her life when she was younger. This makes the idea of having to kill him harder for Katniss to stomach.

Preparation for The Games: We then follow Katniss and Peeta through their preparation for the games and read about their competition, all of which are certainly much stronger than the two of them, leaving us thinking that Peeta really doesn’t have much of a chance and Katniss probably doesn’t either. (Of course, we know better than to think Katniss will die as there wouldn’t be another two books otherwise.)

I really liked the members of her prep-team and how different they were from Katniss and Peeta. These differences are relatable, the kinds of things we see on TV and in the news daily; one moment we see poor people with hardly enough money to survive, the next some self-absorbed plastic ‘celebrity’ with more money than sense.

The Games: The action in the arena is exciting and well-written, though sometimes a little predictable. The death of Rue and how Katniss decorates her body was enough to nearly bring a tear to my eyes and I don’t do leaking from the eyes.

Katniss’ and Peeta’s ‘relationship’ is frustrating at times, so much so that I found myself shouting ‘YOU LOVE HIM YOU IDIOT’ at the book, it didn’t help though, she still continued with the ‘do I, don’t I?’ malarky. (It lasts another two books by the way)

The ending was a little disappointing, it was as if the author had fallen in love with the characters and thought ‘No I can’t kill them both so…’ I’ll change the rules. It all just felt very out of place, the rest of the book was absolutely fantastic and I’m sure there could have been an equally fantastic ending, where Katniss could have played the Games Makers at their own game somehow without them changing the rules.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, I’ve not enjoyed a book this much since the end of the Harry Potter series and I picked up the second book, Catching Fire, straight away.

Rating: 4.5/5

A bit on the Film: I intend on doing a review on the film at some point, but I just wanted a little rant on the UK ratings of the film when it came out in the cinema.

The UK version of the film saw a few seconds of the film containing blood and gore being cut from the film so it could be rated 12A. Now, personally I think it’s a moral issue that it’s kids killing kids and that’s bad enough, whether you see the blood or not. Maybe that’s just me?

What did you think of the book? Like it or loathe it?