Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

ISBN: 9781407109084

I really struggled to put this book down, and when I did I couldn't stop thinking about it. Set in a dystopia future for the USA, the Hunger Games are a way for the Capitol to keep the people under its thumb, reminding them that they are owned.

Each year at the reaping, two young people are picked at random from each district and all are forced to fight to the death... while the whole country watches on their television screens. Collins weaves romance into the plot in a way that isn't twee or mushy, but stark. She portrays the conflicting emotions and desires that come with being sixteen years old accurately, but with the added dimension of the need to murder your peers.

I am wary, now, when reading teen fiction surrounded by hype, for the commonest comment is 'but it's so badly written!' Well I was so wrapped up in this novel that I forgot to take stock of the language at all! I devoured it how a dog wolfs down his dinner without tasting it. It was entirely satisfying, without Collins spoon-feeding us every answer. The first person present tense narrative was a bold choice, but one which highlights the claustrophobia of the Games and also the immediacy of everything when you know that death could spring upon you at any moment.

In this grim update of 1984, Collins raises questions about how we get our entertainment, how relationships develop under the most extreme pressure, and how far we are willing to go to survive.

Rating: 9/10

3 comments:

  1. Sounds an intriguing book, thank you for the review :)

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    1. Just wanted to let you know Katie that I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! The full posting will appear on my blogsite on Monday - all will be revealed!

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  2. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: news@apolitical.info. Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92126

    I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.

    Yours,
    James.

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