Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: 2008 (Scholastic)
Date Started: February 15, 2012 Date Finished: February 23, 2012
Rating: Three and a half out of five
Worthy of Note: worldwide phenomenon, from what I understand. The movie is to be released on March 23, 2012.
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
First, I really must get out of the way my need to express my annoyance with the use of both sentence fragments and comma splices throughout this book. I understand that it is pitched as a YA book and that it is narrated from first person, but to a grammar nazi like me, committing two opposing grammatical sins is not so much modern and badass as it is headdesk-inducing. The occasional felony I can chalk up to style, but I will not condone more than a few, and there were a lot.
But I can adjust, especially when the story manages to rise above the style in which it was written. Collins has created a great heroine in Katniss Everdeen, in a fascinating sense more than a flawless sense. She is smart and realistic, a rebel and a hard worker. Her successes are earned through skill, rather that provided by the simple fact that she is the main character and has to survive. The “badassness” of The Hunger Games, for me, lies in its harsh consequences. It is laid out quite early on that the point of this story is that many people – children – have to die, and Katniss has no more “plot armour” than anyone else.
Of course, the odds have not been very dependable of late.
I am a latecomer to this series, and though I heard many people talk about it, praise it, I never quite gathered what it was about. When it was announced that the movie was coming out, I felt pressure to understand the phenomenon before the hype really kicked in. It was an engrossing read, especially once the characters entered the arena, and much more enjoyable than the last series I read just to understand the phenomenon (Twilight… there’s a few thousand pages I’ll never get back). I have heard from other readers to check my enthusiasm, though, as I move forward through the series.
I will not be reading the trilogy back-to-back, partially because I am away from home and don’t have Catching Fire at hand and partially to draw out what I have been told is not the most satisfying of endings. But I remain open-minded with the excitement that the deadly titular Hunger Games instilled in me.