The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

May 26, 2011
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is an international best-selling book, following the adventures of Katniss, Peeta, Gale and others throughout Panem. Over ten million copies have been sold. Countless amounts of children and adults have enjoyed this book. But me? Not so much.

I first heard about The Hunger Games from all the raving reviews that I got from friends, teachers, librarians…etc

Listening to them rave about the book really got me interested. It also gave me a lot of high expectations.

Following their advice, I finally picked it up and to my surprise, didn’t meet my expectations!

The Hunger Games is set in Panem in a place that was once North America. Pandem is a brutal empire run by a tyrant. Panem is separated into 12 districts, which each provide a service for the Capitol, a glamorous city where the richest and the most powerful live. The leaders not only give nothing, they play the cruelest game of all, the Hunger Games.

Each year, the government, in a drawing, picks a boy and a girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each district to play the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a tournament to the death. Literally! The goal is to kill everyone and whoever is the last person to survive is crowned the winner! And it’s all on TV! And everyone in Panem has to watch them! Can’t bear to look…that’s just too bad!

In the midst of this all, there’s Katniss, a sixteen year old girl who lives in District Twelve, the coal district, the poorest and dirtiest district of them all.

Katniss, like many people in Pandem, has a sad life. Her father died in a mine explosion (It’s Pandem so no pension). After her father’s death, her mother became chronically depressed and couldn’t take care of Katniss and Prim, her little sister. So in order to survive, Katniss was forced to take up illegal poaching and then selling it on the Black market.

Life is hard but it’s about to get a lot worse!

The time comes for the drawing for the Hunger Games. To everyone’s shock, Prim is chosen. Katniss decides to take Prim’s place.

Let the Hunger Games begin!

Doesn’t this plot sound fascinating?

That’s what I thought while I was reading it. I didn’t hate the whole book and certainly not the beginning. The beginning of The Hunger Games gets the reader hooked because it really hits the ground running. It has a good storyline but the problem is; this book loses steam after the beginning. It’s like a runner who slows down when he should speed up.

I hated how the author chronicled the Hunger Games; it was too hard to get into. The plot was an interesting plot but the author wrote it in such a way that made even the most heart-pounding events seem dull and uninteresting.
I also hated the idea of the Hunger Games, just because it was too creepy for me. It made them sound like Reality TV (I actually enjoy my Reality TV so then it made me feel guilty that I do)

The Hunger Games, themselves, weren’t what I thought it would be.
They were full of action, suspense and thrills just like a great fantasy novel but unlike a great fantasy novel like The Harry Potter series, it didn’t address the moral issues that were being brought up. It not only fails at addressing the moral issues, it failed at emotion. The plot seemed detached from all the emotion that this book should have contained. I mean, a novel where there is much brutality should not have a deadpan disposition! It should contain so much feeling that I should be moved, moved to the point where I should be crying (or at least shed a tear). Over all, I just hate the mood of the story. It’s cold and emotionless when it should be compelling and moving.

The book probably has that tone of tonelessness because of where the perspective comes from, the main character, Katniss. The author thought it was brilliant to make the character hard to relate to and detached from other people. I’ve got news for you, Suzanne Collins, it’s not! The character should be lovable and easy to relate to, especially if she is a heroine. I should love Katniss (or at least admire her) but because I cannot relate to her, it’s virtually impossible to even like her.

I also hate the focus of the story. For me, the story was too focused on the Katniss, Peeta and Gale love triangle (Peeta and Katniss are the official couple but I think it should be Gale and Katniss because Katniss has known Gale way longer and what happened to the Guy code?) Anyway, I hate the idea of the love triangle, I hate how Katniss can’t decide who to like, and it’s not cute or sweet in any way. I also thought it was inconsiderate to focus on a romance where there are much bigger problems to focus on.

In conclusion, this book was a total let-down. The author should have put in more emotion, discussed moral issues, and made the perspective more interesting.
This book needs a serious makeover: Book edition. Quite frankly, I have no idea why so many people are so into this book. This book isn’t as good as people said it would be. Don’t trust the hype!

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This article has 32 comments. Post your own now!

JesusandHisLawyers said...
Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:40 am
As a rule, I do not read YA lit. It's always medicore. There are some, albit very few, that's I've enjoyed soley as a guilty pleasure (Heroes by Perry Moore, Speak by Anderson, that's about it) but other than that, YA lit is not my thing. The Hunger Games did not change my opinion about this. YA dystopics are such a joke. This book as atrocious world-building, intolerable characters, and relationships which I frankly can't be bothered to care about. Our main character i... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm
I agree with you on some points, but to agree, yes, it does not make sense how the capitol agrees with the hunger games. The point of the book is not that they agree, but that they are oppressed. I disagree with you about Gale. He is a signficant plot point. I hated the books but I really like the movies. I thought they were packed full of action and made very well and I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Helmsworth. I will take your advice on Battle Royale.
SaphiraBrightscales This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Though I read all three, which is proof that I wanted to know how it would end. I totally agree with you. At first, when I finished the series I couldn't decide what I felt about it. I was angry, a lot. That why are authors so hell bent into forcibly pushing in sensatinalism in places where it isn't appropriate or even required for that fact. I couldn't decide whether I should let my firends borrow it or suggest it to them even, but then I thought let them decide for themselves. ... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 29, 2013 at 1:24 am
SO TRUE! But I LOVED the Hunger Games movie. Can't wait for the next one. #teamGale
SaphiraBrightscales This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm
Yes, The Movie was WAY better, because you couldn't hear Katniss' stupid thoughts... haha... NO yea it was one of those rare ones where the movie is mostly better. Did you see "The Hobbit"??? Guess what frickin insane thing happened when I watched it.
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm
No, I did not see the Hobbit. But everyone I know who saw it really enjoyed it.
SaphiraBrightscales This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm
Well It WAS awesome.. but Guess what Miss. Super Oblivious Me didn't know there were gonna be three movies and when that one ended I was saying "What??? How can that be the end!! There's still so much more!" I was furious at the director making me wait for the next movies,, gosh! My heart raced all through the movie though...You should see it.
Sandy cheakes said...
May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am
i lived that book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(;
Kalie said...
Jan. 14, 2012 at 12:02 am
I love this book from the minute i picked it up i couldnt put it down
Aderes47 replied...
Jan. 14, 2012 at 10:26 am
That's very nice to know.
Loleeta96 said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm
This is so true I love your review!
Aderes47 replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Aw, Thank you! 

:) :) :)

Saphirra said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm
I enjpyed the Hunger Games series, but some of your points are true, about the love triangle and I thought that the games were creepy too, I also agree on the absence of the heart-pounding moments, but to me, that's because there is what, 24 people fighting to the death? its easy to see what's going to happen, that they're all dying.  It was sad for me when Rue died, i liked her character. Great Review by the way :) (in the 23rd? line where it says "Katness, like many people in Pandem..." Panem)
Aderes47 replied...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm
OK, I don't mind when things are creepy and they have an underlying message but this book just sucked. The book was a bit too predictable. I liked Rue too! I mean, I knew she was going to die but I was P.i.ssed when she did! Thanks! And let me see if I can correct that!
Tink1350 said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm
The Hunger Games series are the absolute best books i have ever read. I loved everything about them. <3
Aderes18 replied...
Jul. 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm
That's great. 
loverrloverr said...
Jun. 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm
i loved THE HUNGER GAMES WITH A PASSIONN!! i dont know what your talking about @Aderes18 bc this book is amazing!!
Aderes18 replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm
See, that's YOUR opinion and this article is my opinion. :)
LeslieAnn said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm
My question to you is, have you read the entire series? Unless you've read all three books the plot and the detached emotions aren't going to make any sense at all. The theme of the entire series is war. About how the brutality and mindlessness of it destroys everything, without any compassion for the people being subjected to it. The series isn't just about the games and it certainly isn't about the love tiangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Those things are just tools that Collins use... (more »)
Aderes18 replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I have not read Mockingjay, but I have read Catching Fire. I plan on reading Mockingjay. I agree what you said about the theme. I never said that the series is just about The Hunger Games. I disagree with that. But I feel that the author spent too much time focusing on the action than on the moral issues, that I agree with and that's what I said in my review. 

Every fricking page in Catching Fire had something to do with the love triangle. I a... (more »)

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