In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The 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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
Summary from Amazon
*This review contains no spoilers*
Reading THG for the second really gave me a different view of the book. Here are some things that struck me when I reread:
1. I didn't like it as much the second time round. Before my reread, if someone asked me to rate this book, I'd have given it five stars with no hesitation whatsoever. But now, I don't think it deserves a full rating. Katniss was not very likeable the first time, and her character was even worse the second time, really rubbing me up the wrong way. And there were certain moments in the storyline that left me slightly bored, especially scenes in the arena. But after she teamed up properly with Peeta, I really started enjoying it again.
2. The brutality of the Games struck me harder. In my first read, I kind of let it slide over me, comcentrating more on the plot than the setting. But rereading suddenly made me realize the whole theme of the book.
3. Peeta was even more adorable. Now that I knew that everything Peeta did was for Katniss, it made me appreciate him more than ever. It dawned on me how much he actually did for Katniss, and how Katniss took him for granted. While rereading, I was, like, the heck, Katniss? How can you treat him like that?
4. I saw problems with the world building. Many reviews that I read on Amazon pointed that out, so I could actually see it for myself when I read. Katniss was always going on about how cruel the Capitol was, how the horrible the Games were. how everyone suffered because of it. Well, if it was so terrible, then how come people had never rebelled against it? There must have been someone brave or desperate enough to act against it, especially if the Hunger Games had been going on for so long.
And although rereading has not allowed me to write the glowing review I otherwise would have written, there are plenty of redeeming points, like the writing style, which I felt captured action very well - a must for a book like this. Also the overall plot was enjoyable, with Katniss escaping from seemingly hopeless situations in a completely unexpected way. The ending could have been better. I felt that the reader was just hanging loose on the Katniss/Peeta thing, and though maybe that was the objective, I still want a more satifying end.
Who do I recommend this to?
Ha. Unless you're living under a rock, you've had to have known about THG. If you haven't read it, give it a try. It's pretty good. I mean, all that hype couldn't have been for nothing.