"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The 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. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed."- Amazon Summary
It was inevitable. I just can't write a YA book review blog without including 'The Hunger Games'. I'm fairly certain that everyone who reads this review has already heard of the series, read the books, seen the movie, or had some annoying teenager spoil the ending when you overhear them on the train. Well, either this, or you live under a rock.
Set in the futuristic dystopia of North America, Katniss literally has to kill off the other children to survive the annual 'Hunger Games'. One of my favorite aspects of this series is the amicable cast of unique characters, each with their own interesting quirks and spunky characteristics. Katniss, the female protagonist and narrator, is pretty darn badass. She has been hardened by years of loss and suffering, and as she must provide the food for her mother and younger sister, Prim, she has become a skilled huntress. Katniss was a likable heroine; strong-willed, courageous, and intelligent. I enjoyed watching her overcome her mental and emotional obstacles, and eventually bring her guard down around the people she comes to love.
Peeta and Gale. Where do I start? Not one, but two gorgeous, protective, loyal, sexy boys. I think its my birthday. Normally I have one very clear opinion on which guy I prefer in a love triangle, however in this series, the lines were blurred. Peeta is so sweet, I can't even explain. He is affectionate and loving, and never leaves Katniss's side. Kinda like a puppy. Gale is more rugged than Peeta, and closer fits the "Dangerous and intrepid badass" profile that we know and love in YA fiction. In the end though, as much as I love Gale, I ended up choosing Peeta as 'the one' for Katniss. I think my decision was influenced by ultimate lack of Katniss/Gale moments versus the abundance of Katniss/Peeta fluffy scenes. We barely even see Gale in the first book! FYI, I feel like the casting for Peeta and Gale should have been switched in the movie. Liam Hemsworth (playing Gale), who is generally considered the sexier, better actor by the fandom, was cast as the fatally under-appreciated love interest, as opposed to the male protagonist. I just don't understand.
This series has a wonderful group of supporting characters, such as Rue (she ripped my heart out!), Finnick (my love), and Cinna (Awesome. 'Nuff said.). Okay, am I the only one who found Haymitch sexy? Yeah, yeah, I know he's an old drunk in the movie, but I found him kind of hot in the book. He had that whole 'seductive-and-mysterious-flirt-with-a-hard-past-who-drowns-his-sorrows-in-alcohol' thing going for him. Plus, when I read the books, I didn't realize he was actually 40 years old... Lets just say that I will never skim the character descriptions again. There were some interesting tributes to read about, like the cunning fox-face (I never did find out her name, did I?) and the dangerous Cato. (Fun fact: My Latin teacher used to teach Alexander Ludwig (the guy who plays Cato.. hot!) in elementary school!)
Was I the only one who found this book really left-wing? I felt like the whole novel was a warning about corrupt, greedy politicians taking advantage of the underprivileged in society. The 'capitol' could be a metaphor for capitalism, and the whole fact that Panem is supposed to be a futuristic North America could be the author telling us that this is what she thinks will happen to us... That said, my musings could just be a product of my chocolate button overdose.
Well, to conclude my review, I really loved this novel, and I strongly suggest reading it before you watch the movie. Press the little blue 'Join this site!' button on the right sidebar to follow my site, and keep up to date will all my latest reviews! I will love you forever. Comments and book recommendations are always appreciated!
Until next time,
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