This is the first review of a book outside the BBC Top 100. I had come across a copy in a charity shop and as the world had gone pretty Hunger Games crazy I thought why not discover what all the fuss is about? I must admit I was really glad of the change of genre. I had pretty much been reading classics for several months and this book came like a breathe of fresh air.
I know that dystopian-futures is a huge sub-genre of YA literature but I don’t think any ‘world’ can beat the one in The Hunger Games. It feels familiar in a way that suggest it might just be a possibility for humanity and that is why it is so unnerving. Wait, never mind unnerving it is terrifying. Whilst reading this I felt it hang over me like the threat of mutually assured destruction during the Cold War. Deep down I believe that this is how society will end up and it’s like Collins knows my fear and has built on it.
Katniss Everdeen is one of my favourite protagonist ever written in spite of the fact I don’t like her very much. She is a product of her society and as a result is cynical and bitter and that is why I love her as a narrator but not as a person. She should be angry, she has every right to feel injustice because it isn’t fair and had she been a loveable girl next door type this book would never have been the success it is because its impact is its reality. Furthermore, it is a testament to the writing of the novel that I can become so invested with a character I don’t like; the story is gripping.
I read this book in a few hours that is how absorbing it is. Yes, as it is YA it is quite an easy read but even with the double spaced text I couldn’t get through it quick enough. I had to know what happened. The Games them self are awful but you can’t stop you can’t look away it’s like this morbid fascination is keeping you reading. How are they going to die? Who will kill who? Will Katniss survive? The answers can’t come quick enough.
Then as you are racing through the ‘feels’ hit you and every cruel move by the Capitol, every injustice in Panem is a personally attack and I swear to God I was so roused I could’ve started a revolution. Because this isn’t just a book for teenagers about a kick-ass heroine, it’s about fighting the system and I think in some of the glamour of the movies that has been lost. Make no mistakes this is a book about questioning authority and fighting and dying if you don’t like what you see.
to: if you love getting emotionally invested in books and don’t mind a bit of violence.
Side note: Although this is young adult novel, it really isn’t suitable for anyone under 13. I know that saying something is unsuitable is a sure fire way to get them to read it, but yeah, don’t read it to your children as a bed time story.