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Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Blurb: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival

Review by Dale:

A Happy New Year to all my followers and with a new year brings some new books. I have chosen The Hunger Games as the first book to read in 2012. I saw a trailer for the movie and was intrigued as to how the 'running man' theme for a young adult story might play out.

First impression, this book is amazing. The author, Suzanne Collins has a brilliant technique in her writing that makes even the most mundane of plot essentials riveting. She maintains the excitement of the story from page to page so that you can't help but read the entire story in one or two sittings. Obviously a lot of thought has gone into the construction of this meticulously crafted story. I really marvelled out how she has constructed her scenes

The story premise itself is also very powerful. The background of a dystopian future full of government control and censorship. The severe oppression of the subjugated peoples of the 12 districts, the 'reaping' of children; some as young as 12 years old. It is a disturbing theme that you know can't have a happy ending. The whole book has that edgy feel that George Orwell's 1984 or Animal Farm had. The scary faceless government watching and listening to everything the workers say and do. People forced to put on a brave face and hide or bury deep down inside themselves their true feelings.

When we are introduced to the other characters; the naive Peeta, the courageous Rue and the horrible Career fighters, we know by the nature of a death-match there is going to be tragic outcomes for these characters.

Since the writing is close first person how do the other characters fair in gaining our empathy and love? Again Collins does a superb job at this even when the character is present for only a small number of scenes. Rue who is barely in the book is mourned profoundly when she passes. How does Collins achieve this empathic connection with the reader in so few pages? Well you will have to read it to find out.

I consider this an awesome book for young readers. While the sentence structures and writing is easy for younger readers to follow the context and themes in the book might be more suitable for readers 14 years and up?

Highly recommended, 5 stars.

Format: Hardback
Available from Amazon The Hunger Games
Link to Download: Here
Price: $9.50c (at time of review)
Pagecount: 374 pp (appx)
Author: Suzanne Collins

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