“Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins {Book Review}

 

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I know that I am in the VAST minority on this one but I just didn’t really care for this book. I would possibly give it 2 stars, even, but when in doubt I like to ere on the high side. It wasn’t that the concept of the book wasn’t good or that it wasn’t suspenseful, by any means. There are just some real issues that I felt the book has that make it seem way less believable, and I will attempt to explain them here. Please feel free to disagree (or agree) with me in the comments below.

My TOP complaint is character development (or lack thereof). Yes, Katniss has had an extremely difficult life which has left her kind of judgmental and flat, but she also has a rebellious side. I would have liked to have seen that more. I didn’t care for the way she begs for a quick death at the hands of Thresh yet listens to Cato’s seemingly never-ending suffering at the hands of the mutts because she feels the viewers will like it. WHAT?! I bet his parents would beg to differ on that one. I just didn’t really feel for her the way I should have.

Secondly, there were really no other characters to relate to. These kids are going to most certainly die. Why were there no parents throwing their bodies across their children at reapings, no people crying out in terror when they are chosen and why were there no children balled up in the fetal position in the corner in terror in the arena? I am just not believing that everyone follows along like mindless drones, no questions asked, just accepting their impending death – especially children.

Also, I would have liked to have seen more about the history of Panem. Just telling me that District 13 was obliterated (what exactly does that mean?) and that the games are a way of reminding the Districts of what they have to look forward to if they rebel isn’t quite enough. Even if Panem isn’t teaching the history of Panem to it’s people, people talk. It’s our fundamental way of learning, and I can’t believe that people don’t talk about their own history. This country is based on rebellion with our rich war history. I seriously can’t believe a few clowns in the Rocky Mountains could have stopped that with what amounts to simple fear-mongering and withholding of supplies.

Finally, I think this book is really a mash-up of “1984” and “Lord of the Flies” and a modern version of the Gladiators. I don’t really find it has any original ideas. Even the tracker jackers which could have been cool, fell flat. It seems they are just, essentially, killer bees. I found “1984” and “Lord of the Flies” thought provoking, realistic and scary. This book – not so much.

 

 

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for Eat Play Rock and State By State Travel. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, Jay, and their fur babies.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review, and the honesty, I think I will pass on this series. It does not sound very good.

  2. Melanie Johnson says:

    I, too, had a hard time understanding when there wasn’t an uproar when the children were selected and I think it is because I am a free American I feel this way. I like to think of it as it is now in North Korea with the son ruling. He has taken it a step further and will not just kill you, but three generations of your family. How would I fight for my teenager with other little ones holding on to my leg how would pay with their lives if I did? It would be so heartbreaking. Other countries breed their children to be fighters much like the districts in Hunger Games. It’s just part of life for them. Some parts of the world are living some version of the HG daily. Would you strap a bomb to your child and send him out to kill the enemy? Would you make him work for Hitler? That makes these books scary to me. I give these books 5 stars, if for no other reason to appreciate the freedom for myself and my family.

    • Thank you for your opinion. :) And I do agree with what you say, to an extent. This book is scary. I am just not buying that no one threw a fit. Katniss easily volunteered as tribute with no repercussions to her family, so why did no one else ever get upset, ask questions, cry or show any other type of emotion when their child was chosen to die? Especially the 12 year old’s family. It just didn’t seem like real enough human emotion to me, but yes, I am very much in the minority on this one. Out of like 70,000 reviews on Goodreads, this book has like a 4.5. :) I am sure the author is quite pleased! I know I would be! So glad that you enjoyed it.

      Dawn

  3. I haven’t yet read the series (or the first book) but all of my friends are reading it and raving about it. If a friend lent the book to me I might give it a go but I’m not about to shell out extra money for it :) Thanks for your review!

  4. You would have to read the entire series to learn more about District 13 – and only a smidge more about the other districts in general. The author concentrated more on building up the “big bad wolf” (aka the Capitol) rather than the the districts. Also, in the first book it’s the 74th Hunger Games. Considering the Hunger Games have been occurring for 74 years – I would venture to say the people have lost hope of saving their kids at this point {not to mention that any dissent back then would have been grounds for being killed}. This explains why Katniss refuses to get married and have kids because she doesn’t want them to become subjected to the Games.

    With all that said – I love the Hunger Games series. However, I wasn’t particularly fond of Katniss’ character. I don’t think it had to with a lack of character development – I think it had to do with her age (the Hunger Games series begin with Katniss as a 16 year old). Katniss is an opinionated, judgmental and defiant (inadvertently at times) – but she completely lacks the ability to see the bigger picture while constantly second/third/fourth guessing everything! My favorite character is Peeta!

    Ultimately the best part of the series is how good will always rise up against the evil – not without consequence – but it always happens!

    • I liked Peeta a lot, too. I would have liked to have known more about him. :) Glad you enjoyed the series!

      Dawn

  5. First of all thanks for your honest review. I am not a huge fan of YA novels although I have read quite a few. I am in my late 50’s, maybe that is why and I am not real crazy about futuristic stories either. That said, I am not sure if I will be reading this series, although I think I have it on Kindle that I got for free. I have seen the hype for the movie…maybe I will just wait for that.

    • Yeah, even though I didn’t love the book I still think the movie might be good. I will probably end up seeing it at some point. I am just not in any hurry. :) At any rate, the book is pretty short so, if you do decide to read it and turn out not liking it, you aren’t out too much! ;)

      Dawn

  6. I’ve heard a lot about this series – I’d like to read it just to see what all the fuss is about! I enjoyed your review :)

  7. Thank you for the review..I will not be putting this one on my list to read:0

    • I think I will probably be reading the 2nd one. My daughter keeps whining, lol. She says it is better. I will let you know if I agree. :)

      Also, I didn’t love one of the Twilight books but the series {as a whole} is great….and definitely NOT something I would have read, had my daughter not talked me into it. So, I am hoping the next Hunger Games book is better. :)

      Dawn

  8. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    I too had some serious problems in the beginning of the book. Too many things didn’t add up and I agree with you on a lack of character development. Especially for (can’t think of his name right now) the “boy friend” she left behind. We know so little about him. But I confess, half way through the book I got so caught up in and couldn’t put it down. I’m wondering if the next book explains a few more things.

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