The Hunger Games [book review]

the hunger games book 1The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Okay, I know I’m behind in reading this book, but to be fair I had planned on reading the books before I saw the first movie.  It just so happened that a friend of mine was in town for one day and had wanted to go see The Hunger Games, so I couldn’t say no.

Synopsis (from

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

So it was a new experience for me to read the book after seeing the movie already, multiple times.  I can honestly say there were not any major surprises since I knew what would happen as I read on.  There were a few key things though that made reading the book a much better experience than seeing the movie.

The-Hunger-Games-PosterFirst off, I’m guessing any Hunger Games fan loves to point out that the movie did not reference Katniss’ hearing loss at all which really put a damper on her being able to defend herself in the games.  That was really a key issue that should probably have been placed in the movie.  However, I can see that it is more affective to read about her hearing loss than to “see” it on the screen.  That goes along with the next one, which is that the movie did not really focus on the actual hunger that affected the tributes in The Games.  Seriously, not having any food available at all times really hurts the body and their ability to stay alive in The Games.

But enough of the book and movie differences.

As I had mentioned, I knew what major events would happen as I read the book, but thanks to the movie it was easier to picture the characters and the setting.  Being able to read the descriptions of the events that took place was much more pleasant as I did not mix up what the characters would look like in my mind.  One thing I really enjoyed about the book was that there was a nice focus on the ‘romance’ between Katniss and Peeta and as this went on I was able to know exactly what was going on in Katniss’ mind before and during this.

For the final thing that I really loved about reading the book was that it was all in Katniss’ point of view.  Having her narrate the events unfolding was a much better way for me to understand her character than I could ever imagine by just watching the movies.  It was also a different experience to read about her journey in The Games and her not knowing what was going on with the Capitol and the Districts who were watching.  At the same time though, it bothered me because I wanted to know what their reactions were during certain events that happened with Katniss that were not portrayed in the movie.

In short, I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games.  To be completely honest, I’m actually happy I had seen the movie beforehand because like I said, it made everything easier to picture.

So if you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you do.  There will be no disappointments.

Happy Saturday and may the odds be ever in your favor!


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