Tag: 1984

Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games | Review

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 458

Rating: 4/5



I watched the movie before reading the book I’m afraid, and I only did that because they were all added to Netflix and so I thought, “Why not?” It turns out that the movies are pretty good, and so I figured that I might as well check out the source material too. I don’t regret it.

Sure, there are elements to the story that I don’t like, but you get that with most things and I can’t really fault it for it. For example, it’s written in first person which is always a bugbear for me, and while I understand that it was to show readers an insight into Katniss’s mind, that doesn’t change the fact that I just don’t enjoy reading first person books.

But I got over it , and I soon found myself getting absorbed into the story despite the fact that I already knew what was going to happen. I also pictured each of the characters as the actors and actresses who played them, which worked well for some characters (Katniss and Haymitch, for example), but which didn’t work so well for others (Peeta, Gayle and the guy who hosts the games on TV). I also don’t remember seeing much of the big hitters like President Snow, but hey ho.


LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 12: Author Suzanne Collins arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere “The Hunger Games” at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)


My main feeling about this book is that it’s the story line that carries it, and that any half-competent writer could have pulled off the book. The true testament of Collins’ ability isn’t the words that she wrote but the idea that she had, and her world-building is far better than the writing itself. But that really doesn’t matter because the story itself is so good and she did a great job of creating the government and the history of Panem.

Weirdly, I feel as though something like this could actually happen, and it’s arguably more realistic now than it was when it was first written. I also wonder how much films like The Purge are inspired by the success of The Hunger Games, but then I suppose that The Hunger Games is inspired by a cross between Battle Royale and 1984.

All in all then, The Hunger Games passed me by the first time and I think I was reluctant to pick it up just because it was so hyped. I shouldn’t have let it put me off though, because it was a pretty good read and indisputably one of the most influential novels in YA literature. And sure, while it might not have been perfect, it still had a lot going on and I’m glad I got to it.



Click here to buy The Hunger Games.

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale | Review

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 324

Rating: 5*/5


Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale


This one is a serious contender for my book of the year so far and I can’t believe it took me this long to read it. As dystopian novels go, this is up there with 1984, and I personally preferred it. That’s quite the statement to make, especially when you consider that I’m an Orwell fan.

There are only three minor quibbles that I had with it. The first is that Atwood gets overzealous with commas and likes to use them, in weird places. A bit like that. The second is that the novel itself had the perfect ambiguous ending which was then immediately watered down by the “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale” at the end which basically removes the ambiguity of the first ending and sets up a second, slightly weaker ambiguous ending. And the third is that in the end, Offred basically gets brought down because she gets involved with a man. I was hoping all the way through that she’d have more common sense than that, but she didn’t.

Other than that, though, it’s an insightful dystopian novel which examines themes of sexuality, gender and feminism, but not in a way that will push you away if you’re a dude. Actually, the men in the book aren’t exactly in the best of situations, although they are admittedly better off than the women. But the historical stuff that happened which led up to the events of the novel feels plausible, and I can’t help but wonder how much inspiration Atwood found in the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Having just got back from Latvia, which was devastated by years of German and Russian oppression, it really hit close to the bone.

All in all, then, everyone should read this book, if only because it’s a warning. We’re lucky it’s just a story.


Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood


Click here to buy The Handmaid’s Tale.