November 4, 2011

Review ~ The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I'm back with another review! (happy,huh?) This time I bring you a nation divided into 12 districts and a Capitol. Yes that's right. The Hunger Games!

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games  #1
Released: 31st 2008 by Scholastic Press

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

So. I had a push-and-pull relationship with this book. I had heard so much about this book that I just had to get it. But i have huge collection of unread books and this wasn't at the top. However after several months i finally convinced myself to pick it up. 5 days ago, in the morning, I did, i've read barely half page and something came up, so i had to put it down. Then later, i started again from the beginning, i've read 2 pages and someone interrupted me...again. I was like, "GOD! The big daddy up there doesn't want me to read this bloody book..." . 2 days ago i picked up again, logged out from everywhere, turned on my instrumental music (ya, usually i listen instrumental musics -Two Steps from Hell, Immadiate Music, Brand X Music - while i read books.) and started to read from the 2nd page. In about 8 hours i finished and was stunned. I can say, that i'm addicted to the story, the charaters, the world of Hunger Games. I'm trying to leave out the shocking turning points from this review.

So let's see what's in the book...

There are No POV changes in this book. All first person present from Katniss. Which was a little bit weird for me, because i think (if my memory works fine this time...) this was the first story told by first person present i've ever read. But i quickly got used to it.

At the beginning Katniss tell us that she's living in the District 12 in Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America, -where the people can starve to death in safety- with her sister and mother. Each district has their own job. In the middle of the country there is the shining Capitol -ringed by the 12 districts- and people who rule the country. Katniss brakes the rules, and goes to hunt in the woods with her friend Gale to save her family from starving. But this is an even darker day, than usual for two families. This is the day of choosing 2 kids for the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games. Katniss also tell us that, once there was a 13th district, but it has been destroyed. But the Dark Days gave them the Hunger Games. 

The rules of the Hunger Games are simple: Every year the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl (called tributes) to compete in the Hunger Games. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death in a huge outdoor arena. The last tribute standing wins... - And i thought my life sucks... - The Games are televised live by the state.

From District 12 Katniss and Peeta are the chosen ones. One of them is volunteer. You probably asking, why would want anyone to be a part of the Game. The answer is simple. To save his/her family.

One of the most important things you have to do is to get sponsors. They can send gifts into the arena to their "protégé". If someone doesn't have sponsors then it's basically a dead man. These gifts could be lifesaver and the mentors can decide what gifts can you get and when will you get it. To get sponsors the tributes have to show to the people that they're worth it. They can win the Game. Thats why they get stylists. Katniss gets Cinna, he's new in the Capitol (as we can tell from how he treats Kat).

Before the Game begins every tribute get interviewed. It's another chance to get sponsors. Haymitch -Katniss's and Peeta's mentor- has a hard time with teaching Katniss how to impress the other people with her speach. Haymitch wants Katniss and Peeta to be by each other’s side every minute in public, even though they don't like eachother.

The tributes also can training their skills. All the tributes practice together. On the third day of taining, they have to perform in private what they're are capable of, what's their best skill before the Gamemakers. They get scores for it.The higher, the better. It's another chance to get sponsors. The Capitol doesn't televise this. So noone else can see what the tributes get their scores for, only the Gamemakers. Katniss shocks them with her act that she doesn't supposed to do. The question is.. Does it cost her best chance to get sponsors or they're gonna give her a good score?

What you can expect once the Game begins? Deaths. That's the cold truth. You won't know all the tributes, their names, how they died, but there a few of them who contact to Katniss, so she's gonna tell how they died, where are they from. Also you can except action. Yes, when the Game starts to be boring ergo noone dies for days the Gamemakers decide that take control of it, like they trying to drive the separated tributes together with generate fire, so they have to fight with eachother. -Those heartless bastards!-

I have to quote from one of my favorite movie:

"In the end there can be only one."

Question is... Can Peeta work with Katniss and help her, so at least one of them could win, or he teams up with other guys or he will be a 'lone wolf' and take out anyone who tries to stop him?

Can Katniss triumph over the others, who are considered to be the best and swear to the team play?

Can the brain win against power?

Let's talk about the characters:

Katniss: She's our tour guide. Actually like i said earlier, it's all first person present, so basically We are Katniss. She's a sixteen years old, very brave and smart girl. In the Game nearly nothing can stop her, she knows exactly how to hunt and how to survive. Her favourite weapon is the bow and damn.. she's pretty awesome with it. She's a very emotional person but rarely shows it, but when someone gets close to her heart, she never let them down. She saves her sister with a decision she makes what leads her to the Game. (Sis.. i highly recommend you to read this book, you have so much to learn from this girl :P)

Peeta: Is a very interesting character!! He's going to the Game with Katniss from District 12. He's not so chatty when we first meeting him. A little later on their way to the capitol, he talks more, but mostly he's argumentative. - I didn't know what to think about him. I was like "He's going to be a 'lone wolf' and trying to kill Kat or he's going to team-up with her and then screw her over??". Well i would have been sure about my later thought, but i got some spoiler, which i'm not going to tell you now, but i can tell you there are parts where i said "Screw him!! I KNEW I KNEW.. why everyone lied to me about him?? C'mon Kat, play Cupido and shot him in his heart with that arrow!!" (okay it's a little morbid, but seriously he would pisses me off if i were Kat). After that who the hell knew that this guy can be funny??? (NO! Don't lie! You didn't expected it either...) -I love his sarcasm. About his skills... well he is a big guy, and for a long time all we know, that he's really strong and that's it. - I tell you something... The military could use him as a pro spy... i swear!-

Gale: - Oooh Gale!! Would you marry me?- He's Katniss's best friend. He lives in District 12 too (obviously). He and Kat are hunt together. He's in the book only at the beginning, but he's so loveable. He got his own sarcasm as well. - I saw the movie cast before i read the book, so i already had a crush on him. 

Rue: She's one of the trubutes. She lived in District 11. She reminds Katniss of her little sister, so they're teaming up with eachother in the arena. And they're doing it well. Rue is smart and has every ability to survive in a jungle.

Cinna: He is Kat's stylist. He's a very kind and extremely creative person. I think he's my favourite character in the book. Seriosly i can't wait to see those dresses in the movie, what he designed. Sure all credits goes to Suzanne for these awesome ideas. I love how this guy treats his "client". So friendly and he gaves smart advices to Katniss. I give you one sentence, only one... 
"I asked for District 12." 
NO ONE EVER asks for D12!! This man Rocks!!

Haymitch: is the only living Hunger Games victor from District 12 and he's the mentor of Katniss and Peeta. (God save them!) Actually this man was able to get a piece of my heart with his first funny action (plummets off the stage and knocks himself unconscious). He's always drunk. Very drunk. But the kids convince him, that they're worth the try and he's helping them, eventually. It took a little much time to see his changes and his smart-head instead of his "give me a bottle of the old Johnny and that will solve the problem." personality, but the wait was worth it!

Now let’s make a short list about “What i liked / didn’t like”

What I liked:

- I absolutely loved the story of this "World".
- How the Hunger Games work. Every little detail, rules, featured events.
- The characters. Even the minor characters has something in them what makes you can not forget them.
- There isn't an easy solution for every problem. They have to fight for it. They have to suffer for even a minute rest.
- Lots of ACTION!! Yes i'm an adrenaline junkie, so bring it on baby!!

What i didn't like:

- There was one thing, i didn't like. Katniss talking about the same thing over and over. And after several times i got tired of it, that i had to read about it AGAIN.

OVERALL: I'm so so so happy that i've read this book. This is one book worth reading. I was afraid that the slowness at the beginning will be annoying and exhausting, but no. I really liked the story, so it turned out well. You know my favourite genre is in between the Urban Fantasy and the Paranormal romance, and i think this was the second (i have no idea what was the 1st...) Dystopia book i've read. And i just falling in love with this genre. I'm looking very much forward to read Catching Fire.


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