My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finally picked up this book—much to the delight of my daughter who is practically obsessed with The Hunger Games. I mean—obsessed to the point that her friends call her Katniss. She has read the book at least three times and she’s been on my case to read them. I failed the first time I tried reading because of the first person perspective—it’s just so hard for me to read that perspective for some reason but I was determined to make it through and read it for her and because I was sure it had to be better than the poor acting in the movie that I was not at all pleased with. So—here is my review (finally) and I’ll try to put into words what I thought.
I’m sure that I’m wasting my time really typing up what this story is about since I’m probably the only person in the world that hasn’t read this story up until now. I’ll give it a go anyway just in the off chance that you haven’t read the book yet. This story is narrated by Katniss Everdeen and she is from post-apocalyptic America which is now known as Panem. There was once a rebellion and now the Capital punishes each of the twelve surrounding districts with “The Hunger Games.” Each year two children, ages twelve to eighteen, are taken to fight to the death in a massive outdoor arena. Katniss steps forward to take her young sister’s place as a tribute for district twelve and the rest of the story follows her fear and agony through the games. There are plenty of bittersweet moments in this story that I could touch on—a budding romance that is doomed from the start and a friendship not meant to be—but I’ll leave my little summary at that since I’m sure that most everyone has already read this story and I don’t want to ruin it for those that haven’t!
This story was so hard for me to rate and it’s largely due to the fact that I have a hard time reading first person perspective. I will say this—the story was fantastic and the only reason that I’m giving it four stars is because of the perspective it is written in. This is simply personal preference when it comes to reading –don’t let it sway your decisions to read (or not read) the book based on my personal preference on a writing style. I think with first person I miss a lot of detail—the descriptions that make colors and characters jump off of the pages and paint a picture in my mind. I didn’t feel my heart racing when I read like it does with other fantasy/adventure stories. I get caught up in the descriptions that make it play a movie in my head and I miss that when reading first person. For example—I can’t really picture what the characters look like from the Hunger Games and have to just visualize the movie characters instead. For that reason alone I give a four star rating—no other. The story was really interesting and I look forward to doing a bit more research into the author and getting to know all the symbolism in the books that I am sure exists. I am glad I made myself read this book even though I’m not a fan of the perspective and I would definitely recommend the book to friends.
Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.
While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.
Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find…? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles.
Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.
The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.
You can find out more about this author by visiting her website at http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/