Book Review – THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games Synopsis

Every year, twelve boys and twelve girls are chosen to take part in the Hunger Games. Watched by the entire nation, this is action-packed reality TV at its most exciting – and most dangerous. Katniss Everdeen has grown up struggling to save the people close to her. Now she faces the biggest challenge of all – the fight for her life. Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death. (TheNile)


I have found myself reading a surprising amount of dystopian fiction lately – a lot for my normal reading tastes anyway. But up until now I had not read any young adult fiction in twenty years. I am a little behind the popular crowd, but finally got around to reading Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games. I now completely understand what all the fuss has been about.

The basic premise, teenagers being forced to participate in a challenge to the death while all the gory action is broadcast to captivated television audiences, is in itself  obviously wrong on so many levels. (I have no idea how the violence will be portrayed for younger audiences in movie format.) But it is the story within that story, the growth of the characters themselves, that readers are encouraged to focus on that is really special.

Katniss Everdeen is a wonderful character developed with great care and sensitivity by Collins. For a character with such strength of character and feisty attitude it is her very realistic weaknesses that make her most endearing.

In The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins has written with such compelling and unrelenting intensity that makes putting this book down extremely difficult.

Or in my case, turning off the audio book. Narrator Carolyn McCormick does an outstanding job maintaining the fast pace and thrilling intensity of the action-packed storyline without sacrificing clarity of prose and expert character differentiation.

Although ostensibly young adult fiction, the dystopian future crafted by Collins is sufficiently evocative and thought provoking to capture the hearts and minds of a more mature audience. This in itself I believe is they key to its success.
It is hard to imagine that the second and third novel in this trilogy could live up to this benchmark, but I will definitely be seeking out a copy of Catching Fire to follow the plights of the characters further.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 /5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: The Hunger Games (Audible);  The Hunger Games (Amazon); The Hunger Games (Kobobooks – epub)

Genre: Action-Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi-Fantasy, Audio

Author Information: Suzanne Collins is an American television writer and novelist.

– Checkout Suzanne Collins website for her work in children’s media prior to becoming a best-selling author

– See cast photos and trailers for The Hunger Games movie set to be released in March 2012.

Other Reviews of The Hunger Games: Dear Author ; Hey Lady ; Farm Lane Books ; Semicolon

Other titles by Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire, Mockingjay, The Underland Chronicles