My Review: So after a few years of zero interest, I have finally read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve seen all the movies, & I honestly didn’t feel the need to read the books after that. I just didn’t care enough.
But after a ton of friends & my mother wouldn’t stop asking me to AT LEAST give it a chance, that I’d actually like the books (especially as I liked the movies), I finally gave in.
And they were right. I did like it.
I’m pretty sure everyone already knows the plot by now; Katniss Everdeen fights for her life in The Hunger Games, because it’s kill or be killed by 23 other kids under the age of 18 from 12 Districts across their country, Panem. The government runs it, it’s televised, & it’s law.
Immediately, this will bring to mind (at least with me & quite a few others) of Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. But, honestly, besides it being about a government run program that throws a group of kids into an isolated area to kill each other, where only 1 can be declared a winner, they’re not all that similar. There’s a lot more going on in both books that you HAVE to take into account, & those make these 2 books exactly that. Two different books.
I loved Battle Royale. I’ve watched the film a TON of times, & just last year I finally got to read the massive novel (& it is MASSIVE, guys). So I wasn’t too keen on The Hunger Games when I heard what it was about. I am not ashamed to admit that I felt I was hearing about a cheap imitation of one of my favourite stories, & I wasn’t happy about it. But then I actually took the time to look into it a little further. And that’s when the first movie came out, so I went to see it. And I really liked it.
It’s gonna be hard for me to write a review without comparing it to the film, so I’m sorry. But I’m doing it anyway!
I hated Peeta in the film, & his “relationship” with Katniss pissed me off. It felt more like an adrenaline-fueled danger lust. Like they only ever wanted to be intimate when their deaths were looming over their heads. And I hated it. I am still, 100%, Team Gale with the movies. And nobody can convince me otherwise.
IN THE BOOK, however, there are all these nuances in Katniss’s head that shows just how much she actually really feels when it comes to Peeta. And you don’t get these thoughts in the film. You get the feeling that Peeta really does care for Katniss. You can see all the conflict Katniss is struggling with inside her throughout the book towards Peeta & all that’s happening around her. If this had been properly portrayed in the film, I might’ve liked them together in both formats, to be honest.
There’s a lot more action & violence than I anticipated. I mean, yea, it’s about kids killing each other. But it’s also a Young Adult novel, and it USED to be classified as a children’s book, regularly peddled to middle schoolers, so I wasn’t expecting the level of violence that is here. And I’m glad it’s there. I love a good violent novel. It’s not as gory & disturbing as Battle Royale is, but that is totally okay.
I liked the writing right from the start. It’s fast-paced & every scene flows nicely into the next. There’s great character development & you can’t help but root for a lot of certain ones right out of the gate. I feel like Suzanne Collins really knows how to set a scene & she does it very well. I cried a little, I cared about these kids, thrown into a horrible game that no one should have to play. I laughed, not a whole lot, but there are moments where you can’t help it. Especially where Haymitch & Effie were involved. I think those 2 together are my favourite. They’re great.
Apparently I like dystopian novels better than I thought I ever would, & I would definitely recommend this one to other fans of the genre. Or even people who generally don’t like dystopians, but love action, some violence, & stories of survival. Cause it’s all here.
And I can’t wait to read Mockingjay once I get the chance.