Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count/Review Word Count: 458
I watched the movie before reading the book I’m afraid, and I only did that because they were all added to Netflix and so I thought, “Why not?” It turns out that the movies are pretty good, and so I figured that I might as well check out the source material too. I don’t regret it.
Sure, there are elements to the story that I don’t like, but you get that with most things and I can’t really fault it for it. For example, it’s written in first person which is always a bugbear for me, and while I understand that it was to show readers an insight into Katniss’s mind, that doesn’t change the fact that I just don’t enjoy reading first person books.
But I got over it , and I soon found myself getting absorbed into the story despite the fact that I already knew what was going to happen. I also pictured each of the characters as the actors and actresses who played them, which worked well for some characters (Katniss and Haymitch, for example), but which didn’t work so well for others (Peeta, Gayle and the guy who hosts the games on TV). I also don’t remember seeing much of the big hitters like President Snow, but hey ho.
My main feeling about this book is that it’s the story line that carries it, and that any half-competent writer could have pulled off the book. The true testament of Collins’ ability isn’t the words that she wrote but the idea that she had, and her world-building is far better than the writing itself. But that really doesn’t matter because the story itself is so good and she did a great job of creating the government and the history of Panem.
Weirdly, I feel as though something like this could actually happen, and it’s arguably more realistic now than it was when it was first written. I also wonder how much films like The Purge are inspired by the success of The Hunger Games, but then I suppose that The Hunger Games is inspired by a cross between Battle Royale and 1984.
All in all then, The Hunger Games passed me by the first time and I think I was reluctant to pick it up just because it was so hyped. I shouldn’t have let it put me off though, because it was a pretty good read and indisputably one of the most influential novels in YA literature. And sure, while it might not have been perfect, it still had a lot going on and I’m glad I got to it.