The Hunger Games
published in 2008
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. “The Hunger Games” is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever…
I was honestly surprised that I liked this book so much. My expectations were not very high, but I really enjoyed the story. At first I found the style of writing irritating as it was written in the present tense but after a while I got used to it and it didn’t bother me any more. In general I liked the style of writing. Collins creates a believable picture of her world, the desperation & terror in the districts and is able to write scenes that are very emotional.
As a fan of Dystopian Fiction, I found the setting very interesting. Several districts are placed around a mighty capital and everything was once our world. I would have liked to know more about how this world came to be and what happened in the past though. Life in the several districts is very different to life in the capital. There, everything is highly developed and people are rich and glamorous. On the other hand, life in the districts has almost regressed to the middle ages. People have to go hunting for their food, which is scarce and if you are very lucky you do have electricity. It’s a harsh life, that is also controlled by the capital.
I liked Katniss a lot, which is very unusual for me, as female YA protagonists mostly annoy me. But Katniss is tough, brave and caring. I also liked her little sister, as well as Gale and Rue. Most of them were not just boring side-kicks but had their own personalities and made me feel for them. The only person I hated was Peeta, as he’s a whiny annoying prick I couldn’t care less about.
I enjoyed reading about the games, as they were portrayed as quite brutal, real and ruthless – nothing pretty about them. Although you kinda knew that Katniss would make it through them as the main character (I didn’t believe Collins would pull a GRRM), it didn’t take away anything from the story. There was tension and action and I was glued to the pages. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the relationship between Peeta and Katniss. Blah, no.
I will not read the following books, as I already watched the second movie and almost fell asleep. For me, the first book will stay a nice stand alone.