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!

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 »)
savetheplanet replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm
I'm sorry LeslieAnn, I read the whole series, and while it was an engaging read you can't possibly tell me that there's anything substantial for you to analyze in that book.  It's just not happening.
Aderes47 replied...
Oct. 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm
Thank you, Lizbard. :)
savetheplanet replied...
Oct. 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm
Lizbard?  ROFLZ, now that's a combination I haven't heard from anyone yet.
Writomania This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 2:41 am

oh wow.. the other day i was seiously considering buying the hunger games... but decided on the lord of the rings..

any other good books that you have in mind?

Aderes18 replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

You should still read The Hunger Games. Maybe you might think differently than me. :) 

Lord of the Rings is books are boring, but the movies are AWESOME, GREAT!

I just read Memoirs of a Geisha. It's very intriguing and beautiful. But just as heart-breaking as The Kite Runner. I didn't cry but there were times when I thought I should have. 

IamtheshyStargirl said...
Jun. 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I'm glad I read this review, everyone I know is excited about this book still, but I'm not sure whether or not if I should read it because I really don't trust pop culture at all. (Twilight, anyone?)

Thanks for writing this, I think I've finally decided not to read 'The Hunger Games'. Maybe :)

Aderes18 replied...
Jun. 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm

You should still read it. Maybe you might think differently than me. :) 

I've read so many action/ thriller books that I tend to have very high standards about them. Plus, I had very high expectations of this book as I said in the review. :) 

savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11:47 pm
Actually I kinda agree with Aderes18.  Yes I've read all three books so I do know what they're about.  The first book was my favorite.  The second was ok.  Then the third was just bad.  So no I don't hate the books, I think they're an interesting read, but no I don't think they're the greatest books ever.  Sorry if I offended anyone who thinks that this is their favorite series.
savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 11:57 am
Um? Do I know you? And even if that is my name, why are you posting it?
Aderes18 replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

See, I follow you. Whenever you post something on Teen Ink, I receive an email. On those emails, your name shows up. If you follow me, you can see my name. By the way, my name's Aicha. And I can always delete that comment, if you want me to. Do you?

I'm so sorry, I did not know that you didn't want your name. But I understand.

savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm
Oh ok that makes more sense.  Yah I would appreciate it if you could delete that.  Sorry if I sounded rude, just you freaked me out a little. No hard feelings :D
Aderes18 replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm
It's cool. :)
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