Tag: The Hunger Games

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.

 


Scott Westerfeld – Uglies | Review

Title: Uglies

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 446

Rating: 3*/5

 

Scott Westerfeld - Uglies

Scott Westerfeld – Uglies

 

This book was okay, but I didn’t think it lived up to the hype. I actually picked this up from a charity shop after having read and enjoyed Zeroes, but I think that set my expectations too high because while this read was okay, it just wasn’t enough to impress me.

It’s pretty cool that Westerfeld used the YA genre to hold a mirror up towards our own society, and to use it to reflect on whether we spend too much time worrying about the way that we look, but it did also feel cliche in places. The worldbuilding was good, but because I didn’t like the world  it was set in, that doesn’t really count for much. That said, in many ways that’s the point – that’s why it’s dystopian.

In the world of this trilogy, people are ‘ugly‘ until they turn sixteen, when they have an operation to make them beautiful. But it’s not quite as idyllic as it might sound, and our hero finds herself trying to get to the bottom of a mystery that plagues all of society. It’s pretty standard YA dystopian stuff, which explains two things to me – why everyone raves about this book, and why it didn’t really grab my attention. It just didn’t stand out. And I get annoyed by the front cover, which says, “Before The Hunger Games, there was… Uglies.” It doesn’t really sell it to me, because I haven’t read The Hunger Games and I have no desire to.

 

Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld

 

I actually think this would have worked better as a standalone. I mean, that’s how I read it, and how it’ll stay in my memory, because I have no desire to finish off the series. But the fact that it was written as the first book in a series was a turn off for me because I didn’t want to keep reading – if it had ended where it did, it would’ve been the perfect length, but it didn’t.

And so overall, I think there’s some potential here, but I can’t hold my hand on my heart and recommend this book over others. It’s the sort of thing that you should read if all of your friends have read it, but that you’re not going to enjoy so much if they haven’t. It’s also a good read if you’re into dystopian fiction or if you’re a young adult yourself.

If you don’t want to take the risk, then go for Zeroes – which is by the same author – instead. I felt like the characters were more developed, and the story was better.

 

Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld

 

Click here to buy Uglies.

 


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