Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Hunger Games: A Review

Everytime I finish a book, I am going to post a review. It's a good way for you guys to get some ideas about what you want to read, and a good way for me to keep a record of what I though of a book. So it's win win for both of us, high five!

Hunger Games novel
The last novel I read was The Hunger Games. Not exactly obscure, I'm sure lots of you have seen the film where Katniss is played by the beautful Jennifer Lawrence

Katniss Hunger games

I saw the film first, so when reading the book I was heavily influenced by the actors and production of the film. This isn't always a bad thing. I also read Memoirs of a Geisha after I saw the film and totally loved it. I also am about to read The Green Mile and I've seen that film a thousand times, so lets see if it has an impact.

When I started reading the book, I was thinking the writing was a bit simplistic for my taste. I had just been reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (which I gave up on... naughty) and I wanted something a bit more exciting to read. The Hunger Games isn't full of heavy metaphors and does seem like a teenager has written it at times, but I'm starting to realise not every book I read has to be a literaty masterpiece, as long as the concept is good.

The writing took some adjusting but it does have moments when it is beautifully written, be it far and few between. The book is more about the exciting plot. It is a fairly extreme concept - in a post apocolyptic world the upper classes force the workers to supply children to fight to the death once every year. However, within the concept, it was believable. The way the fighters were treated, the organisation of the games and the sponsorship that goes with it all made sense for the world we had been created. It was reminiscent of Big Brother (which no one watched anymore), only with death served up instead of humiliation.

Although I knew what was coming because of seeing the film, I was still gripped and read the book in a couple of days. It is a relief to have an easy-read now and then so it's a perfect book for a time when you want to just escape into something you can easily pick up and put down. The problem I had with Mansfield Park is that I couldn't keep up with the characters, sometimes referred to by first names, sometimes last names, it had me all confused. The Hunger Games doesn't have this problem despite having a number of characters within the game arena. Each one is memorable and distinguishable.

The book reminded me of a novel I read when I was a teenager called Z is for Zachariah. This novel takes place in an apocolyptic world and is from the point of view of a teenager. Buy it here

Z is for Zachariah book

Overall I would recommend the Hunger Games, and I'm pretty tempted to carry on with the trilogy before the films come out. I can't believe it, I'm a convert!

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