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Book review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A suspenseful, emotional thriller about children forced to fight like gladiators in a massive arena. Their physically and mentally fatiguing struggle for survival, named the Hunger Games, is televised to entertain the comfortable citizens of the Capitol and intimidate the oppressed residents of its districts.

The story is told from the first-person perspective of Katniss, a teenage girl in the Hunger Games. You read her thoughts and opinions, as well as her descriptions of the action taking place around her. I liked watching her try to decipher the motives of Peeta, Haymitch, and the Gamemakers. I kept second-guessing most of the characters, wondering if they were trying to help or harm Katniss. It was interesting to see Katniss try figuring out the effect that her performance in the arena was making on the Capitol audience and her family and friends at home.

The descriptions of the people, places, and emotions are vivid, and there are many flashback scenes from Katniss’ past that provide context to her thoughts and actions in the arena. Characters such as Effie Trinket, Haymitch, and Rue were memorable, and I found myself actually caring what happened to Katniss, which doesn’t always happen in fiction.

The action and cliffhangers make this quite page-turner. The author expertly weaves the primary story of Katniss’ struggles in the arena with the secondary story of her sorting out her romantic feelings for Peeta and Gabe. I hadn’t heard of the Hunger Games books until my girlfriend recommended them, but after reading this first one, I intend to read the rest!

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