Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hunger Games - a review by Jenn

I just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This book is in the sci-fi/fantasy realm of Young Adult Fiction, but has been read by multiple age groups. In book one, you encounter the 12 districts for the first time. These districts have two types of people, those living a hand to mouth existence and those who have everything they need. Katniss, the protagonist of this story, steps into the spotlight as she sacrifices herself to save her sister. She is one of 24 people (two from each district), between the ages of 12 and 18 who have to fight to the death for the entertainment of the Capital. I decided to read the book after reading a wonderful review in the Sunday paper. The review said that the trilogy is “an overt critique of violence, the series makes warfare deeply personal, forcing readers to contemplate their own roles as desensitized voyeurs.” In retrospect, I find that the review was much better than the book. This subject seems especially troublesome and engaging, since it is something we are facing in today’s society. We are becoming more and more desensitized to the cruelties that the people around us are encountering. However, I don’t think that this novel did justice to this subject. I think that the idea was solid and the concept was interesting, but the reality of the novel just didn’t get to the meat of the subject, at least not for me. I feel like Collins left some vital information out of her novel, namely the reasons why the districts she describes came about. I would have liked more details about the society itself and why the society came to be the way it was. With at least as much emphasis on this as she puts into the violence and deaths encountered in the Hunger Games, I think I would have enjoyed the novel much more. I am told that in the second book, Catching Fire more about the society will be revealed. Overall, I would encourage anyone interested to read it. It was a quick read and I think it would be a good book to incite a discussion on how we, as a society, view reality and entertainment.

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