Friday, June 15, 2012

Review redux: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult, Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic
My own purchase

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I previously talked about The Hunger Games last fall for Banned Books Week. You can see my previous thoughts here.

I enjoyed this as much the second time around. Collins built a great world- regions of the former United States rising up against the new central government, and failing. Part of the punishment inflicted on the districts is to pick two teens from each, to perform in a battle to the death, every year. Tied with keeping the poorer districts poor, and the excesses and extravagances of the Capitol, Panem is cruel and vindictive government.

Katniss is an ideal modern heroine. She is smart and dependable, taking responsibility for making sure her family is fed since she was eleven. At sixteen, when we enter her world, she is not vain, and does not care about having kids. She just wants to survive. She can use the stereotypical girl behavior, if it suits her needs, but it isn't her.

I still think the movie makers did an awesome job adapting the novel. With the reread, and having just started Catching Fire, I think I get why they changed some of the most noticeable things. I look forward to the DVD release in August so I can compare some more.

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