I bought this book about ten seconds after I finished reading Semicolon’s review for it, and I’m really glad I did, as I think this is my favourite book of the year so far.
The Hunger Games is an annual televised event in which twenty-four children fight-to-the-death. Two children from each of the twelve regions of Panem, a new land created from the ruins of post-apocalyptic North America, are randomly selected to take part.
This sounds like a scary, violent book, and if I’d have thought about it too much I may not have bought it. I admit that when I was reading the first chapter I was worried about the kind of book I’d started, and wondered how on earth it could be suitable for eleven-year-olds (the age suggested on the back cover). I didn’t have to worry, although the children do fight to the death, it isn’t graphic, and in a strange way you are hoping that each of them die, so that the narrator, Katniss, can survive.
Many important issues are raised in the book, including poverty, war, the misuse of power and the evolution of reality television – for this reason I think it would be great for reading groups.
The book is perfectly paced; the plot drives the book on so well that I didn’t want to put it down, but at no point was it going so fast that I was skimming sections. The characters are well thought out, and although survival is a large part of the book, I think the main theme is love. Katniss’s confusion over who she truly loves is very touching. I enjoyed this book so much that I have already pre-ordered the second book in the trilogy, which is released in September.
I can’t fault it. Highly recommended.