I finally got round to reading the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and boy am I disappointed. Not because of the book, but because I judged this novel before reading it. I am not one to openly admit my mistakes, but this one has taken me by surprise. The Hunger Games joins ranks with all-time adventure classics such as Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman as it provides a gripping and fast-paced story that completely captivates the reader.
My misjudgment of this book is because I read the synopsis of the text. The thought of a reality show that starts with 24 children in a forest and ends with all murdered by one was not intriguing to me – making me adamant in my decision not to fall into the commercial hype for the books and upcoming film. I take full responsibility for my bad decision, rectifying the situation by becoming an endorser of the entire Hunger Games phenomenon.
Since I have only read the first part, I can only write a third of the review for the series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story line that dictates the story of Katniss Everdeen, a young girl who lives in a world where you must hunt to survive and face an annual reaping to enter the dreaded yet celebrated Hunger Games. The games are an event that is promoted by the powerful city Capitol, in the country of Panem. The reason behind this annual falsely glorified event is to make an example of the Capitol’s power and the helplessness of the rest of the country.
The novel unravels the story of how Katniss trains and becomes one of the strongest contenders to win the games, however there are many problems that she faces along the way. One of the feats she faces is becoming an object of the Capitol’s entertainment – something that was least expected. The motif of TV show ratings is brought into this weirdly unrealistic situation where kids are put up against each other to survive. The more you entertain, the more chances you have to get sponsors – therefore more chances of winning.
Suzanne Collins writes a compelling novel that juxtaposes the least likely situations together, intricately weaving an intriguing story line. Katniss’ fate is not restricted to the Hunger Games, and thus the story continues over the space of three books. One thing I will say is that the movie justifies this text, regardless of how many people disagree. The book is mostly a better depiction, but the movie faithfully depicts the novel in an unexpected way.
Now I am halfway through Catching Fire which is the second installment in the trilogy – and I can see why these books were such a success. Watch this space for my next review!