Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 9/14/2008
Standalone or Series: 1st in The Hunger Games trilogy
Summary taken from Goodreads: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
Review: I was really looking forward to this book because of all the hype behind the series but it just fell short for me. Yes, it was good and it did keep me entertained and interested in the story, but it just was not a knock your socks off type of read for me. I think the problem was that I saw the movie first and even though the book did differ in many ways from the movie the changes were not pronounced enough to make me feel like I was learning about something for the first time. It felt a lot like de ja vue.
I am probably the only person in the history of bloggers who like young adult to not find this book to be amazing and I am apprehensive about the rest of the series. Is my problem that the first book was just too much like the movie and the other books will be better? Or do I just not like this book as much as I would like to. Can I have worked it up too much in my head? I guess I will just have to power through the series and hope for the best.
What I did like:
- The characters. I thought that each character was well written and were people that I could really get to know. I especially liked Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Both characters were very relatable and were people that you wanted to root for. I could feel the emotional tug and pull that Katniss went through with her relationship with Peeta and the fear that she feels for her family; as well as the anxiety and exhaustion of Peeta who just wanted to love Katniss and could not seem to make her understand. The supporting characters were for the most part amazeballs! I was either really rooting for them or against them however I already knew which would and would not make it. So, no surprises... le sigh.
- The imagery and symbolism. I loved how the mockingjay symbol became a beacon of hope in a world that has so much sorrow and despair. Also the imagery that was described in the book was phenomenal and I really did feel like I was there with the contestants.
- The writing. I thought that the writing was freaking fantastic. You will hear no complaints from me.
- The fact that it took place in North America. What can I say 'Merica all the way! We might not be able to advance very far in the FIFA World Cup but we are the backdrop and inspiration to many a wonderful dystopian and post-apocalyptic world books yo!!!!!
What I did not like:
- The fact that I knew the ending. It's my own fault I know but when you know how the book ends and the events to get there it just takes away some of the magic.
- It followed the movie almost verbatim. Some things were changed while others were embellished for theatrical effect but all in all not a whole lot of difference.
- It just didn't resonate with me. I did not find myself thinking about this book after I finished it and I had no strong pull or deep desire to read the next book. No real memorable quotes and no moments (other than the moment with Rue) really stuck with me as being intensely emotional.