Book Review: The Hunger Games

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Some of my high school friends and I have formed a little Book Club. It’s a fantastic excuse to catch up on a lazy Sunday morning for a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a bit of a gossip. And we usually get around to chatting about the book du jour at some point.

Over the past year or so our Book Club has read:

  • Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (which I highly recommend)
  • Truth by Peter Temple
  • The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
Our latest book was The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
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I must admit, they were much easier reading than some of the other books we’ve read so far. Which was kinda the point of choosing them – a few of us had felt a little bogged down by some of the previous Book Club books, so we added this Young Adult trilogy into the mix to lighten things up a bit.

We liked that the protagonist Katniss was such a strong female character, although perhaps too self-preserving. We didn’t like how she kept both boys hanging. This seems such a female teenager mentality – to keep options open whilst enjoying an inflated ego from having two boys compete over your affections. The adult in us wanted her to make a decision and stick with it. (Can you tell we’re all decades past the dating scene?)

We LOVED how visual the books are. Collins does an amazing job of painting the different characters, outfits, districts and arenas. None of us had seen the movie yet, however it is easy to imagine how well this book would translate onto the screen.

There were some really interesting messages about power, corruption, commercialism, wealth & poverty, oppression and freedom. The Hunger Games has made me want to read Lord of the Flies,  which I understand mirrors a lot of these themes.

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We discussed the idea of murder out of self preservation and what we would do if we were put in Katniss or Peter’s shoes. Peter’s purity seemed too contrasting. I would have liked more flaws in his character to balance and flesh out his role further.

The relationship between Katniss and her sister Prim and similarly the relationship between Katniss and Rue were beautiful ones. These relationships read really sincerely.

We also liked how quick paced the books were, it made for easy page turning. In fact, I think these books were read in record time by all the Book Club members, which is in stark contrast to some of the previous books where real life sometimes got in the way of our finishing in time for our catch ups. With The Hunger Games however, sometimes it felt as though a bit too much was spelt out for the reader. I know, it is Young Adult, but perhaps The Hunger Games was still a bit too dumbed down… even teenagers wouldn’t necessarily need this explicit explanation of the characters’ internal thoughts. Perhaps some things could have been inferred or left for the reader to speculate.

Have you read The Hunger Games yet? What did you think?

Our next Book Club catch up is set for 3 weeks time, on Sunday 21st October. We are reading All That I Am by Anna Funder. Would you like to read along with us? Feel free to add any thoughts in the comments below and we’ll discuss them. 🙂

As a side note, I’ve been reading lots over the past two and a bit years since JJ came along. We don’t watch television in front of her, so books filled the void. Here’s some other books I’ve been reading lately:

  • Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • Siddon Rock by Glenda Guest
  • The Harry Potter series by JK Rowlings
  • The Millennium series by Steig Larsson (which I recommend)
  • The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Girl Interrupted by Suzanna Kaysen
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (which I recommend)
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Game of Thrones (book one of A Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R. R. Martin
What have you been reading lately?

(This post is not sponsored.  All opinions are my own.)

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