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bookmarked: The Hunger Games

It didn’t happen.  Blocking didn’t happen.  Consequently, photos didn’t happen.  So, blogging about said knitting did not happen.

I’m sorry to those of you who come here for the knitting content (or really any other content besides book reviews).  It’s just not happening at this time.  My life has been taken over by the reading bug.  I cannot escape…

The Hunger Games Cover 

Title: The Hunger Games
Series: The Hunger Games::#1
Author: Suzanne Collins
Format: eBook
Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

Ok; let’s get the comparisons out of the way. Many reviewers have compared The Hunger Games to Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale. Sure, when I first read the description for The Hunger Games, the first thought that came to mind was: “This has been done before. This is going to be rip-off of Battle Royale.” I was wrong…

Don’t get me wrong, similarities exist between the two works, but I like each one for very different reasons. Battle Royale is written with a gritty realism – graphic, gory details, psychological suspense and a world not dissimilar from our own waking reality. There is a painfully honest despair and a deep emotional delving to Takami’s story, the extent of which I do not find in The Hunger Games.

I think that this has much to do with the very different target audiences for the two novels. While both works feature main characters in a similar teenage age range (often a telling sign of the intended reading audience), Battle Royale is definitely intended for adult readers in my mind, whereas The Hunger Games caters to a modern young adult audience. This is obvious to me while reading for several reasons: the more distant treatment of death and killing despite the gruesome premise; the quick-to-move-on attitude of characters; the lack of nuanced exploration of the obvious emotional dichotomies that were created throughout the story and the beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-obvious (Panem = Roman Empire anyone?) mentality. All this is not to say that the book was bad, just that it was painfully obvious that it was written for a young adult audience.

Despite this, I, as an adult, found the book engaging and readable. Collins does a good job of keeping up the pace of the novel (once you get past some of the introductory stuff at the beginning) and the story and world that she creates are engrossing. Her descriptions were able to bring an intriguing, scientifically advanced, post-apocalyptic America to life, even if descriptions of Capitol fashion did have me in the mindset of a Who-esque Dr. Seuss creation. I’m interested to see where the rest of the trilogy will go.

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