Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
Author: Suzanne Collins Website | Goodreads
Published: December 2009 (First published on September 2008)
Publisher: Scholastic Singapore
Source: Bought from MPH Click
Buy: Malaysian online bookstores: MPH | Times Bookstore | Bookurve | Kinokuniya
        US-based bookstores: The Book Depository | Amazon

Never judge a book by its cover. I think this is the perfect time to use this idiom. It's not that beautiful, not that fancy either. I liked it, nevertheless (I can be pretty biased; I'm a fangirl). But but! The story beyond the cover is mind-blowing! To the point that you could forgive the unfancyness (it's not a word, I know ;P) of the cover. I wrapped the book (and the other two books in the trilogy) because they're my prrrrreciouss (read the 'precious' word like how Gollum would read it xD).

I bought it January last year, but it seems like I've already owned it for 50 years. That yellowing! *sighs*

I've read the book for the second time now and I loved it! I've written a detailed texts of my feelings and thoughts in my commonplace book (It's just a note book I keep so that I could jot down some notes here and there as I read. Also, it serves as my reading journal just in case the electricity in this world decided to shut off for years and this blog would do no purpose by that time. I think I watched too much Revolution, I'm getting paranoid xD). And by saying detailed texts of my feelings and thoughts, it's just what it is -- a written feelings of a fangirl *smiles sheepishly* and thoughts from a girl who sees the world around her from her perspective. It might gets incoherent at times ;P

Something inside me says that I've got to mention this because what I'm going to write or what I've written in my note book might y'know rub off people in a wrong way.

Anyway, this very book, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is the book that made me want to read again; to read more and more books.

Before reading this book, I mostly read a book because of 'no choice' situations. Like, I read because I have to do it (hint: school) . I read because there was no electricity; a blackout (which is the only thing that would separate me from video games, other than getting my laptops and modems and consoles fried, and yeah I've seen enough sparks from them before they're deemed forever broken). I can read in the dark. I lied; I can't, teehee. A candle is enough.

But, after reading this gem, I found myself reading because I want to! And for that, I'm eternally thankful to Suzanne Collins for the wisdom behind the book. Everyone is a reader, if you're not, you haven't found your favorite book yet (I can't remember where I read this quote). I'm glad I've found mine ;)

You are a reader!
Photo credit: Anonymous ART of Revolution

This book tells the story from Katniss Everdeen point of view who lives in a messed-up country called Panem (formerly known as the United States of America). This messed up country has an equally messed up citizens in its capital city, called Capitol and is ruled by a messed up president. Everything is messed up, including people who lived in the districts all around Panem (the districts people are more of the victims of the situation, though).

There were 13 districts, but only 12 remains. Each district has its own industry. Like District 12 specializes in coal mining, District 11 is for agriculture and so on. All of these districts have to channel their yield/harvest to Capitol and those who live in the districts gets very little to survive. People in the districts live in poverty, and so is Katniss and her family and basically everyone else that isn't living in Capitol.

To make it worse, they had to participate in The Hunger Games each year; only children ages 12-18 are forced to enter the Games. The drill is that, each year, one boy and one girl from twelve districts will be chosen from some sort of lottery and thrown into the arena (televised to the whole country) where they kill each other until only one left. Only one can come out. This Games is President Snow idea (a sick idea at that) of keeping people in their place, so as to prevent rebellion that had happened before which resulted in District 13 being completely wiped out of the map.

I couldn't put down the book. I stayed up late in the night just to find out what would happen next and next and next. I only stopped for restroom breaks and stuff that would keep my heart going. It was an engrossing read. It felt like the book bit me and glued its pages of words to my hands so that I'd continue reading. I've never felt anything like this about a book before.

I could relate with Panem; the obsession with reality TV, power-hungry ruler, messed-up government, poverty-stricken people, genetically modified animals, and other things that would make up the world we live in today.

It seems like reading/getting a glimpse of our future, if we're not careful enough (of choosing power-hungry leader, and says/does nothing about it). And, that reality TV concept for the Games! It made me shudder as you've got to watch innocent kids died killing each other.

The world that Suzanne created is so believable that it frightens me, as it seems so related to my surrounding. Not that we kill people in a televised game here where I live. It's just that, leaders/political figures like President Snow can be found in abundance in my country; the one that grabs our money (by increasing price of petrol and hence increases the cost of almost anything you need to buy to sustain your life). Poor, homeless and hungry people who beg in the streets aren't that uncommon here.

I feel connected to Katniss. The writing made me feel like I was there with her in the arena. I feel sad when she's sad, I feel afraid when she's afraid and I feel all gushy mushy when Peeta *inserts fangirl screams here* just being Peeta. OK. That last part isn't really Katniss's feelings, it's mine xD.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Peeta is the boy that got picked up for the 74th Hunger Games, a District 12 representative along with Katniss (Katniss volunteers to take up her sister's place in the Games). I'm really bad at organizing my writings (aka writing reviews), please pardon me for that.

I enjoyed reading the book as it made me anxious the entire ride. I give this book 6/5 stars ;)
Eekk! Look at this heaps of texts.

I found this book in my native language (Bahasa Melayu)! Woot! The Hunger Games edisi Bahasa Melayu. I'll be hunting down this book, at any cost. It's cheap, much cheaper than the English version, so why not? :)

May peace be upon you.