Monday, 7 March 2011
The Hunger Games: Book Review - A Recommendation
If it wasn't for youtube I don't think I would have ever heard of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, so it's just one more reason to be grateful for the youtube community.
Now admittedly this trilogy of books currently resides in the children's section of the book store, or Asda where I bought my copies, but don't for one second let that fool you. These books are excellently written, with an intriguing and gripping story line. I couldn't put these books down, even to the point of staying up until stupid o'clock in the morning to finish them. Not a smart move, but one which I could not control. I've yet to read the third book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, but I know without picking it up that it will not be disappointing. It's currently sat next to me enticing me into reading it, but I'm worried as I would like to go to bed before 1:00am tonight.
So here's the blurb on the back of the book,
In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it has her death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
When I first read this I thought 'Battle Royal'. If anyone has not seen this movie, do, it's incredible; gory and violent, but a very good story. Even though this was my initial thought I couldn't have been more wrong. Maybe a slight idea was taken from Battle Royal, but really this story stands so far apart with it's own original take that I could never compare the two.
Secondly, when I bought this book, part of me didn't really care what it was about I only wanted to find out what all the hype was about. So with this in mind, when I originally read the blurb, I either didn't read all of it, or forgot the second part, as it was as much of a shock to me as it was to Katniss when her sister was chosen to take part in the Hunger Games. Part of me feels that everyone should be able to experience this shock, but without ever hearing anything about this book the blurb really does sell you the story. And we can't really have it all now can we?
I've been dying to share my thoughts and opinions (all good) about the specific details of this book with anyone, but unfortunately no-one I know has actually read it. But don't worry I won't be sharing these here... this is purely here to encourage people who either don't know about the book, or who are on the fence about reading it, to read it. In fact I have got to point of recommending it to everyone at work.
One thing people ask me when I explain what the book is about, and it's "is it gory?"
Simply answered it depends on your imagination. Once person may imagine a complete blood bath, where as I don't. It's one aspect where books will always win over movies, and that's imagination. I find that I can be put off a good movie by the over use of blood and guts. Movies now seem to try to freak the audience out though the use of special effects rather than shock them with a well executed plot. Whereas a book means you can never be put off, unless your imagination is really that worrying.
I don't want to go into any details about the where the story takes you as a reader, but with reality TV these days, the ideas in this book do not take much of a stretch in imagination. Don't get me wrong in our versions of reality TV people don't lose their lives but their dignity is almost always lost. Other factors relating to control in regards to governments make you really think. I love a book that if you want, can be an easy and enjoyable read, but can also make you relate certain aspects to your own lives and 'read' more into it if you so wish.
Overall please read these books, and join the growing number of people who cannot get enough of the hunger games.