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 steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Let me start off by saying that I knew next to nothing about this book when I finally read started reading it (on 3/25/12.) I had a general idea of the story but not much else. I have had everyone and their mother tell me that I had to read this, that it's the greatest book ever, etc.
Maybe all the hype made me expect too much but I honestly didn't think this book deserves the hype that it received. My first thought at the end of the book was that they could have skipped over the book and just made a movie. The first half had very little action in it and the only reason I kept reading is because I knew it had to get better, which thankfully, it did. The writing wasn't stellar but it wasn't terrible either, so I continued.
I do have to admit that there were moments of brilliance throughout the book. One that sticks out in my mind would be with the boy from District 1, Rue, and Katniss. There were a few others but overall, I wouldn't say it was a work of literary genius or anything. The storyline was different and interesting, the characters were easy enough to like, and of course you're rooting for the Katniss/Peeta romance but again, something was just missing for me. Maybe I would feel differently if there hadn't been so much buzz about it.
Now that I have finished the first book, I am really looking forward to the second and third. I know that seems weird given the review I just gave but I'm not saying the book was bad, just that I don't think it lives up to the hype. The way it leaves off, I am VERY curious to see what could possibly happen next. I am completely stumped as to where Collins can take it from here.
4 out of 5 stars