Carolyn M. Walker

Old Blog of Carolyn M. Walker

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reader's Delight: A Review of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Review of The Hunger Games Carolyn M WalkerThe tale of Katniss Everdeen, warrior girl in the dystopian young adult novel The Hunger Games strikes gold with readers around the globe with its release in 2008. Since then, the Hunger Games franchise  has ballooned into something of a Hollywood phenomenon with movie deals and fan fascination over whether or not they could survive the arena themselves. Before the mass attention (which came rather rapidly), I was captured by Suzanne Collins' work of fiction from the first chapter. In fact I found myself racing to the store the day Catching Fire came out and biting my nails for the final installment of Mockingjay.

Despite this, I am not one to jump over hills for YA books, but a few have caught my eye in recent times. This is one of the few I felt was worth the review. While the story itself was interesting, it is not one that hasn’t been told before in one manner or another. At first glance, this tale had me recalling Stephen King’s The Running Man, where a similar scenario is presented with a man who is a contestant on a deadly game show where he is to fight for his life. My review however is completely attributed to Collins talents, which I believe is the real reason for this story’s success. The story itself, as presented in the snapshot provided on the back book jacket did not do it justice. It is more than just a futuristic teen drama. Collins’ ability to create strong characters made me adore The Hunger Games.

I found Collins' writing to be fresh, riveting and descriptive in a complex and imaginative way. The main character, Katniss, narrates this harrowing tale in a fashion that breathes sorrow yet defiance. The underlying tension between Katniss and her family, the unbridled curiosity she feeds out in the wilderness when she hunts beyond the barbed wire, and the innuendos presented between Katniss and Gale are all elements that kept me wondering which would boil over first. In addition, the faux affair between Katniss and Peeta adds fuel to the fire for those who favor the idea that “love conquers all.” Collins did a masterful job of balancing and blending all these elements into one progressive story that has the ability to capture young and old readers alike.

Another thing I admired about the Hunger Games was the setting of Panem, the ruined nation of which Katniss and the beloved characters live in. The division of the Districts resonates with corrupt government and factions built to segregate and control mass populations. It is a bold notion that correlates with legislative concerns both happening today and affecting our near future. We've got action, mayhem, potential love interests, political duress and of course teenagers. A sample for all pallets. 

What's not to love?  


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