The Hunger Games is written by Suzanne Collins and is about a future in which 12 ghetto-like districts are ruled by a wealthy and powerful capitol. As a sign of its authority and for its own amusement, the capitol organizes annual Hunger Games in which a male and female tribute, ages 12 – 18, are selected from each district. The 24 kids then fight to the death in an outdoors arena, and the last tribute remaining wins. The book is narrated from the perspective of one of these tributes.
This is the first proper novel I have read since school starting. It is a popular “young adult” novel. It is easy to read and engaging; you’ll probably finish it within a couple days of starting. Its subject matter is very brutal and sad, but the author doesn’t address this much. The simplistic writing style allows the reader to fill in a lot of the details about what is going on (which I like), but it hinders the depth of the characters and story somewhat. I’m sure these are conscious decisions on the part of Ms. Collins, probably having something to due with her “young adult” target, but it left me a bit disappointed that she didn’t take advantage of the themes she introduced. The Hunger Games is the first book in a series of three. Although the story has a definite end, it was sort of abrupt and anticlimactic. Hopefully the climax I was expecting will come to fruition in the final two books of the series.
Despite these issues, the overall plot and world are interesting, the protagonist is a mostly kick ass girl, and I liked the irony of thinking that I would be happy to watch a reality TV show like the Hunger Games (at least a movie is in the works). I’m eagerly awaiting for the second book to arrive at the library.
Related Story: The library network back at home has a 250 person waiting list for The Hunger Games, while the university network has four copies of the book available.