The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review by Chloe in Year 9
Library age rating: KS3 (this book contains mature themes so is best suited to Year 8+)
Genre: fantasy, adventure, dystopia
Content warning: gore, graphic violence, distressing themes
In the futuristic country of Panem where the country has been divided into districts subservient to the ruling Capitol, Katniss Everdeen finds herself as a tribute. Alongside Peeta Mellark, Katniss and Peeta represent District 12 in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, a brutal and sadistic event hosted by the totalitarian Capitol. It is a bloodthirsty fight to the death, broadcast on screens in every district for all citizens to watch, and the only way to survive is to kill. An ultimate Dystopian tale of survival, governmental control, and heartache, follow Katniss as she competes for her life, and by doing so sparks a revolution that is catching...
What a book! I can’t really express it in words - you just need to read it! Firstly, the whole idea for the novel is incredible. It’s grim, but the making of a brilliant, brilliant story: it can’t help but lure you into a world that is truly like none other - the creativity of the Hunger Games itself, despite its many links and inspirations from history, and reality, is masterfully fresh. You’ve got to give Suzanne Collins credit for such a great idea. Secondly, the writing itself - Collins doesn’t write particularly fancily, or use unnecessarily long words or sentences in her descriptions, but the vividness of the images she paints is insane - you are actually there for every moment. For the couple of days you take to read it (trust me, it won’t take long - it is impossible to put down) you live and breathe Katniss, on a rollercoaster ride of thrilling, but sick, grim and awful sensations and emotions. You feel the hunger, the pain, the fatigue, the heartache. Everything! You live it. Finally, the characters are amazing - deep and complicated, enigmatic and most of them very loveable, you cannot help but be fascinated by the way they all relate. Finally, as I said, the Hunger Games is IMPOSSIBLE to put down - it’s one of the most fast paced, action packed novels I have ever read, and if you want something exciting full of plot twists and drama, you will not be disappointed.
I don’t think there is anything I would change about this book, because then it wouldn’t be the Hunger Games anymore, but it is extremely violent, morbid and generally disturbing, to a degree which I think is questionably unhealthy for the average teenage mind. I hate to think what sort of things Suzanne Collins’ mind must be filled with to create something so horrific.
The Hunger Games is a trilogy, so I’d definitely recommend Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, the sequels. A prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is also now available (and can be found in the library!). If you liked The Hunger Games, and other action-packed Dystopian Fiction, you would definitely enjoy The Maze Runner series by James Dashner. For older readers, try a book by Margaret Atwood, the Queen of Dystopian fiction!