Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I don't think there is a lot of uncovered territory with this one. Two tributes from each of twelve districts are ordered by the Capitol government to fight each other to the death in a booby-trapped arena. Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to fight in place of her initially selected younger sister Primrose. We're also introduced to Haymitch, District 12's Hunger Games mentor, Peeta, Katniss' friend and competitor in the Games, Gale, Katniss' hunting partner (and yes -- those latter two are the points on the Love Triangle, which I totally don't want to talk about.)

I also totally don't want to talk about the Battle Royale comparisons. I haven't done my book review on that one yet, so I don't want to talk too much BR in my HG review, but I'm just going to say that they both draw from the same premise, but it's not like BR invented the premise either. So to say that HG ripped off BR is, in my opinion, really silly and willfully ignorant of a long tradition of gladiatorial stories in literature.

Anyhoo, this book became an instant favorite. It's quickly-paced and I found the characters immediately compelling. The writing is not super sophisticated, but it's completely serviceable and probably a pretty accurate representation of the internal monologue of a 16 year-old. I'm not going to wax sociological about the heavy themes here, either, because honestly, that's everywhere on the Internet. I'm just going to blithely add my voice to the chorus of those who loved this book.

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