Monday, 23 January 2017

The Hunger Games...Left me wanting to read more

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
ISBN: 978-1-407109-08-4
Rating: 9/10
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Drama
Book: Paperback

"...I know that Rue must have set the first campfire. We'd make sure to gather enough green wood to make the smoke noticeable. The Careers begin to arm themselves at once.
An argument breaks out. It's loud enough for me to hear that it concerns whether or not the boy from District 3 should stay or accompany them.
'He's coming. We need him in the woods, and his job's done here anyway. No one can touch these supplies.' says Cato.
'What about Lover Boy?' says the boy from District 1.
'I keep telling you, forget about him. I know where I cut him. It's a miracle he hasn't bled to death yet. At any rate, he's in no shape to raid us,' says Cato."

If you haven't yet read The Hunger Games then read it, read it now! I have owned these books for a number of years now and they have been sat winking at me to read. Well, January was the month to read the first one. I had just finished Alluvia by JH Lewis and was ready for a new series where I would be left wanting to read more. The Hunger Games did not disappoint.

I am already prepared to read the next books, however, I am going to split up the reading and choose something else first. I had seen the first film but could not fully remember the story. I had high hopes for the first book and I was not disappointed. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 of Panem in North America with her widowed mother and her younger sister, Primrose, Prim. Following the death of her father in the coal mines Katniss has no choice but to become to main wage earner and provider for her family by any means possible. She uses a variety of skills, in particular, the ability to use a bow and arrow, and techniques she has developed, along with the help from her friend Gale, to provide for her family.

Every national of Panem is entered into the reaping between the ages of 12 and 18. A person can be entered on more than one occasion depending on their financial status and needs. Every entry into the reaping gives a family more food and support for the family, this is known as tesserae. Katniss, at the age of sixteen, has her name entered twenty times. Gale, at eighteen, is entered forty-two times. Prim has only been entered once as Katniss will not allow her to be entered anymore. Unfortunately and unexpectedly Prim is pulled from the selection, Katniss nominates herself to takes Prim's place and a whole range of incidents and unexpected outcomes are waiting for Katniss. in my opinion, the Capitol uses the Hunger Games as a way to keep the less privileged and lower social classes in their "rightful" place. Unable to uprise against the Capitol as had previously happened in Panem. The Capitol use this barbaric and, frankly, ridiculous technique to show the others who is in charge. What absolutely baffled me was not that the Capitol was sending people into a controlled environment to slaughter one another for no other reason than being told to, but the fact that they were only, at a push, teenagers which were being forced to act in such a way. This system definitely had a sense of William Golding's, Lord of the Flies. The, to be perfectly honest, children are expected to murder, slaughter and if they feel like it, eat one another to survive. What an awful concept, just to keep the Capital happy with their control.
Katniss is the female chosen to enter the arena and Peeta is the male chosen. Peeta makes a confession during his pre-contest interview about his feelings towards Katniss. Katniss is unsure if this declaration is true or whether Peeta has found a way to appeal to the audience for both their sakes. The couple were separated for a large period of the story. However, a change in the rules means that both Katniss and Peeta could possibly survive and leave the arena together. This means they need to strive to not only stay together but survive. During this time together the pair are able to visit and discuss their feelings towards one another. It is an unfair and controversial last-minute rule change which makes us think that perhaps the couple will not end their story together. Is a Romeo and Juliet moment what the Capitol needs. I did feel very concerned for the lovable characters, were they going to survive? Would another contestant try and challenge them to the death? Would they ever get back to District 12?

There are a number of people to "help" Katniss and Peeta to prepare and progress through the games. Cinna, Katniss' stylist. He becomes a dear friend to Katniss when no one else will listen to her problems and worries before entering the games. Effie Trinket, the Capital representative for District 12. A lady who has never found anything interesting or rewarding come from the district until Katniss and Peeta. Haymitch Abernathy, the only ever Hunger Games winner to come from District 12, now a drunken...bafoon. Other than Gale, Katniss has an affiliation with Madge Undersee, the Mayor's daughter. Madge provides Katniss with a keepsake from District 12, the notorious Mockingjay pin which is seen as a stand to the Capitol as the bird was a mistake made on their part. The Mockingjay bird helps Katniss on a number of occasions through the books and brings her a little reminder from home each time. There is without no question of a doubt that Katniss would not have been anywhere near as successful in The Games without the help from Rue from District 11. Rue becomes Katniss' friend and companion for a period of time in The Games and with her help, they continue to survive and strive. Well done Rue, well done!

I would absolutely, definitely recommend this book to someone else. It has been such a good read and I can't wait to read the next two books. I did feel like Katniss is self-absorbed about her own gains and benefits. She doesn't often take in the thoughts and feelings of Peeta and has more interest in what Gale may be thinking of her whilst he is watching the games unfold. The games have a feeling of Big Brother, minus the murder...well, who knows what the series may lead to, in order to encourage viewings! The contestants are constantly watched and constantly need to be on guard for what they are doing and saying. I look forward to the next books.
Rating: 9/10
10-Word-Review: Absolutely yes! Cannot wait to read the next two books.

I have now moved onto one of the beautiful clothbound Penguin Classic books I was gifted at Christmas. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Written in 1859. I hadn't heard of this book prior to receiving it and I look forward to reading it. I am still listening to The Love Hunt by Fiona Walker as an audiobook but have been spending less time in the car recently for some unbeknown reason but a review will be coming...Steph xx

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