Yesterday at Steve's parents' house I was browsing HelloGiggles and stumbled upon yet another post about how The Hunger Games is coming out in cinema very soon. The Hunger Games keeps showing up everywhere these days and so I had to look it up. I immediately liked the concept (although strikingly similar to Battle Royale). The one thing that annoyed me was that the novel has been out for years without me being aware of it, and so I decided to buy it and at least make a start to the novel before I go and see the movie.
I finished the book shortly after midnight.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is set in the future in the country of Panem, which lies where North America once was. It is not clear exactly what happened to our world but it was obviously not good things. The country is split into the Capitol (where everyone lives extravagant lives) and twelve districts, one poorer than the other. To remind the districts of the control that the Capitol have over them, every year one girl and one boy between 12 and 18 from each district is chosen to compete against each other in the Hunger Games. They are thrown out in an arena and for weeks the fight for their lives. The winner is the last survivor.
There are several flaws with the first book (it's a trilogy) and I could nag about them all, but they all sort of diminish when I realise that I spent most of my Sunday evening reading it as soon as I had a chance, because I could not stop. The story is so action-packed (and oh yes, there is a few twists) and I found myself gasping out loud for particularly tense moments. I can see how this can be translated well into a movie. There is also several emotional moments where I couldn't help but cry a little, as well as romance. The romantic plot is a little bit unoriginal but bearable, however it stands no chance to the friendly relationships that are portrayed in the book. These are the ones that really keep your heart in a tight grip throughout the reading.
There is nothing obviously wrong with the way that the book is written other than that it feels like it could do with a richer language at times. At times it becomes too obvious that it's really a book for teens that you're reading, but I'm willing to let that pass. After all, the narrator of the book is supposed to be a 16-year old girl and I'm not the one to expect a 16-year old to sound like Dostoyevsky in her head. And to be honest, most of the times I couldn't give a damn about the language because I was so excited to see where the story was heading. Saying that, the action was slightly unevenly packed at times, slowly building, peaking at some point in the middle, slowly falling and then peaking towards the end again.
All in all, this is a really good, gruesome story. I have convinced Steve to go and watch it when it comes out in cinema, and until then... Well, I'm almost halfway into the second book.