Wednesday, 13 February 2013

May 2012 - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book was picked due to us never choosing hyped up, currently popular books. We were all a bit sceptical about this read after finding out that it was written in mind for young adults, however we were all pleasantly surprised. The book was easy to get into, a real page turner. Members who refrain from both young adult and science fiction, enjoyed this book. Although the book was very simply written and definitely aimed at young adults it was nice to see the author including distressing and relevant topics. We honestly didn't expect to enjoy this book, but all did.
The book had many similarities to Harry Potter and Twilight with respect to the writing style and certain teenage themes (love triangles to name one). Those of us who have also read or watched Sci Fi books/films before saw many parallels with novels such as The Running Man and Battle Royale. It was nice to have such a strong lead character, the book was obviously written in mind for the big screen. A few of us felt let down by the Capitols decision to allow there to be two winners from a district, it felt a bit cliché for the author to do this and a bit of a sell out on her part.
Katniss was a much liked character, very well portrayed and in tune with her emotions, showing anything from fear to compassion to determination. We believed that Suzanne Collins done a good job at making the characters appealing to her teenage audience. Peter was thought to be a bit wet and soppy for most of us to like, we don’t really feel he was too realistic for a 17 year old boy. Although we liked Katniss, the author done a really good job of somehow making us remember a lot of characters. Some of the best characters were those who featured little and often, such as Rue, Cinna, Effy, and Haymitch. Gale was not a very well developed character, although we would have liked to hear a little more about him, we have a feeling that may be left for the second and third books!
The part which stood out to most of us was the bond that developed between Katniss and Rue. How Rue reminded Katniss of her little sister and how Katniss wanted to protect her and how she dealt with Rue’s murder. It was also nice to see that her compassion for Rue was appreciated by Rue’s home district when they sent Katniss some bread as a thank you. A few other things which stood out were how Katniss took the place of her sister in the Games, how the Capitol forced the contestants out of hiding with fires and tracker jackers and Kato’s death by the mutts which had taken on the characteristics of the dead contestants.
A lot of the ending waffled on a bit, once they were back in their district and getting back on with life. The berries were a good symbol of rebellion – Their way of sticking two fingers up at the Capitol. The ending is certainly set up well for a sequel, but a few thought the trilogy should have actually just been one book.
The writing style was simple and as it was so obviously aimed at young adults most of us would not read any other books by Collins. We feel that her writing style could not accommodate an adult book, some would read a stand alone book by her but not another trilogy. Having said that 6 out of the 13 members had already read both books two and three of the trilogy and the rest of us intend to do so in the near future.
We had 13 members attend tonight scoring an average of 7.5 out of 10, highest score of 9, lowest 5.

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