This is something that I love to do, and thought it would be neat to do reviews from back in the day before I was a book blogger. It adds a little something to the blog I think, with the fun element of doing a review entirely from memory as well as expanding my book blog to a variety of books and not just the ones I have just read.
My dad was the one who got me into this series actually, my dad! Way back before it was even a big deal or a movie franchise. Before anyone was ever talking about it my dad tells me “this is a really good series you have to read it.” so I bought them. He had only read the first but he couldn’t stop talking about it. In case you don’t know about the hunger games, or the premise of the series:
The hunger games takes place in a dystopian America. After years of war the ruling government had finally found a way to control the left over population and have “peace”. To keep the peace, they had a hunger games every year. Each year in the 12 outlying districts from the capital they would draw two names from each district. A boy and a girl ages 12-18, they would then have to go to the capital for their training and take place in the hunger games. A fight to the death. Broadcasting it live as a tv show, it would be shown to the whole nation as entertainment. We follow Katniss, from District 12 (the lowest and poorest district) and she and her fellow school mate are chosen for the games. There is only one survivor and only one way out alive. Win.
The entire premise of this book is amazing, and the characters themselves are very intricate. The author doesn’t just shove us into the story without any knowledge either, she spends a good first half of the book introducing the characters and their personalities. What made them this way, their quirks and emotions. Katniss is a very bitter and angry person. She lives in a world with a government telling and forcing children to kill each other for entertainment. Living in one of the poorer districts, Katniss doesn’t see the value in this. She struggles each day for food and to just survive already. Thrust into a world where she has to fight children who have trained for this their entire lives, children who live in districts so rich they could be the capitol. Those kids don’t do it because they have to, they do it because they want to. They want the glory, they believe the lie of this whole facade and are happy to do so.
People like to point out that Katniss wasn’t a good main character, that she showed no emotion or even acted liked any of this was emotional to her. Especially people who had only watched the movie (which by the way as a very well done franchise) say that she should be crying or getting upset. To this I say no, she lives in a world so cold she has shut herself down in anger and bitterness. Katniss is exactly who and what she needs to be. She has emotion, but she just has the anger and the bitterness. Mad at the world and the people who made her world this way.
The action in this book is also very well written, the whole book is well written actually. The story itself is such an intricate and complicated one, with a history to back it all up. I love how the author includes clips of the past throughout, to give us an idea why things are like this and why characters are like this. My only complaint would really have to be that we didn’t get a whole lot of depth from the characters from higher up districts. I have questions as to what the kids from districts 1-4 thought, how they trained and did they really believe in this system or is that just what they were told to do. I would have loved to seen more about them and how they handled the world that they lived in. What were their lives like? Did they have good lives or were they like Katniss leading a miserable existence just barely surviving. They mentioned that those districts were rich but they still were separate from the capitol so how much did they differ. I really hope we can get a spin off of these questions at some point.
I rated this book a 5/5 on Goodreads way back in the day. I was like 15 or younger when I first read this book. It is a wonderful book, although it can be a very dark one. I recommend this book to dystopian lovers, or anyone looking for a good dark action book. If you want a book with a strong female lead then this is for you, Katniss is a very strong female lead. And if you just haven’t read this book yet then read it, it’s very good.