The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Yes, I finally read this widely read, highly acclaimed, soon-to-be major motion picture book, and it was good. The story was familiar. The idea of people being chosen by lottery to kill each other has been done before. I feel every review should at least mention Battle Royale. I have not read the book but I've seen the movie of the same title and many elements are the same. Both stories center around teens who are forced to kill each other until there is one victor.
This is not to say that Battle Royale was the originator of this storyline. Go back to gladiator days and this story was actually lived by some poor souls. The idea of kill or be killed is plum storyline material. How Collins story stands out I think is in the character of Katniss Everdeen. She has lived a hard life and had only herself to rely upon, but she is still a good person. She's fiercely protective of her sister, is entirely self-reliant, and has a strong moral code. But she doesn't trust people and views everyone with suspicion and cannot accept things people say to her at face value. Her struggle to accept that other people might actually care for her and confusion of who she might care for beyond her family is wonderfully handled. I plan to read Catching Fire and am intrigued with how the story will progress beyond The Hunger Games. The world Collins created is still largely unknown but what Collins revealed in the first book makes me eager to learn more.
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