Read: June 2012
Rated: 3 ½ out of 5
Hunger Games pictures a dystopian world where the United States, if not the entire world—it is not clear which—has been decimated through a civil war. The Capital has won the civil war and the Districts supply resources to make the Capital run. Each year two tributes-a male and a female--are selected from each of the 12 Districts to participate in the Hunger Games. The catch is that the Games are manipulated through the Gamemakers, who can unleash a variety of challenges and torments. The games are to the death with only one victor each game. All of the books are written in the first person, through the voice of Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old female.
The first story tells how Katniss from District 12 competes in the games. The second book continues her story and her turning rebellion with the Capital. The last book then talks about the rebellion.
This is not a deep book. But there are a few things which Collins touches on. I do not know if Collins puts these points in or they are there because as you cannot help saying something if you do write, even if you do not mean so.
- What caused civilization to a point of near annihilation? Collins does not go into this. But she gives some hints, such as the need to be powerful, the lack of resources, and the need to be on top.
- When faced with death, survival takes precedent over goodness or being moral. Except for one character in the book. His love superseded everything, except for being “hijacked”.
- What is right in war? When is killing ok?
- The people of the Capital have time for only leisure activities—they are the high-life people, while the people in the districts work. The people in the Capital go to more and more extremes to make a statement and to stand out. Is this what happens when a life becomes meaningless, too full of leisure and not the pursuit of survival of meaning?
The first book is the best. It rated a four out of five. The storyline was pretty crisp and compelling. The writing was not remarkable, but as a whole it was engaging. The second and third books were more along the lines until either I or the author ran out of steam and decided to end the book. Collins tried to intersperse the action parts with descriptions of things like the President of the Capital's rose garden. But in reality, Hunger Games is a book of bloodshed, violence and something which Collins tries to make as romance.
- First Line: When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
- Last Line: But there is much worse games to play.