The Hunger Games…Bonnie’s Review

Rating: 5*

What to say about The Hunger Games that’s not already been said…well obviously from my rating I loved this book: I couldn’t really put it down, got into the characters and story; it ticked a lot of boxes for me. Now I see what all the fuss is about!

Since finishing this I’ve been trying to think of anything I don’t like…and there’s nothing. Some characters might have done things I didn’t want them to do – but the actions fit with their personalities and so I have to accept maybe I’m just more of a romantic than I thought. Plus it meant I needed to read the other books – like now! 🙂

The plot, action, character development were all great – I guessed some twists but still wanted to read them happen which tells me this is a good book. I liked the parallel drawn with modern obsessions with reality tv with no real consideration given to young people being put before cameras and being ripped apart (figuratively) by judges. The society of haves and have-nots and the great chasms between them.

The first chapter or so it took a little getting used to the first person, present tense narration, but once over that it really started to flow.

(On the wider series): Throughout the trilogy I liked the references/comparisons (obvious and subtle) to the Roman Empire…you pick these up in the first book easily: arenas, tributes, bloodthirsty games to keep districts in line, fighting with tridents and nets… It’s also reflected in the description of the Panem world: each district supplies a particular product or commodity similar to the provinces of the Roman empire, for example, where Egypt was the “breadbasket of Rome”. As the books progress you see elements of the excesses of Roman society in the Capitol inhabitants, such as the feasting/vomiting piece. (According to Seneca, the Romans vomited so they could eat and they ate so they could vomit – who said food issues are a new problem!) I think Collins does a good job of blending these aspects of the Roman empire into The Hunger Games and for me it was a nice basis for the ‘world building’ of Panem – which she acknowledges in Mockingjay with the “Panem et Circenses” quote, which was originally said about Rome and referred to a government who appeased discontent in their citizens through simple, gratuitous recreation and entertainments…wonder what parallels there are to see in that for people in 2012? 🙂

So…overall a really good quality YA book – I didn’t want to put it down. I don’t do 5 star ratings often, but this definitely gets it.

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