THE HUNGER GAMES/Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 and 1/2 stars

Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year old girl living in Panem, a nation lying in the ruins of a place known as North America, consisting of 12 outlying districts and one shining city called the Capitol. Every year, each district has to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games, a reality show on TV where contenders have to fight to death. The Hunger Games is forced by the Capitol upon the districts in order to put them all under its control. When Katniss takes the place of her sister in the Games, she is forced to take chances and follow her instincts towards survival. But if she wants to survive, she must choose between love and life.

The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy published by Scholastic Press in 2008.

My copy is in paperback and I got it as a birthday gift this year. 🙂

In terms of book reading (and in some other stuff), I always call myself a late bloomer. While everyone else has been raving and ranting about this book the moment it was released, I delayed my gratification up to late this year when everyone else has already been sighing in fascination after finishing the last book of the series. Haha! But allow me to rave and rant this one time.

I love the book. And I don’t feel bad about being labeled “left-behind”. Though I like reading science fiction, I don’t usually read YA contemporary fiction. Well, except maybe out of curiosity like Twilight and Harry Potter, both books I didn’t bother to finish. This is the second dystopian novel I’ve read, the first was The Running Man, where I remember having palpitations while reading it.

I love the way Suzanne Collins writes — simple, smart, not frivolous. She has created each character with depth and insight and she made sure that each chapter is action-packed and thrilling, oftentimes with cliffhangers.

I love the main character/narrator, Katniss Everdeen, I have been rooting for her since Day 1 of the Games. Oh, I love Haymitch too, including his alcoholic/sympathetic/fatherly image. 🙂

WARNING: A little spoiler.

And the love story. I love the love story. It isn’t mushy or exaggerated, and has been brilliantly woven into the thrill of the story. At least, Katniss does not develop any feelings for Peeta (or thinks she has) just because he is an “eye-candy”, as opposed to some other YA fiction I’ve read. 😛

If I were a little younger, I would have given this 5 stars. But too much reading other thrillers/suspense/mysteries in the past has made me somewhat looking for more edge-of-the-seat action than what has been present in the story, not like the heart-stopping suspense of Running Man, anyway.

But all in all, Book 1 had been an amazing read. I have to get my hands on Book 2. ASAP.

*book cover image from GOOGLE.

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