Hullo, hullo everyone! Here is my slightly late Morning Muse post. I’m feeling very tired recently. Too much work and too much everything else to be fit in around it. How do people manage to find time to do everything they have to do? I’m flabbergasted! I really am. So today I’ll be reviewing an old love. I’m sure some of you have heard of it. It’s Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
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.
If there was one word to describe this book then it would be ridiculously long and possibly a tongue twister. This book was Amazing, Awesome, Beautifully Written, Brilliant, Captivating, Creative, Dashing, Daring, Elegant, Extremely Riveting and so on and so on.
I reread this book just to prevent another White Cat incident where I couldn’t really remember what made it so good… and I’m extremely glad I did. To find out why, please read on!
Author’s Voice/ POV:
The author uses a first person POV and speaks in the present tense. As I started to reread this was very obvious and I wondered if it would distract me from the story. It didn’t. The use of the present tense as well as a clear, frank tone make the story more vivid. The tense makes me feel as though I’m living the moment along with the characters and the voice makes me feel like I’m really inside of Katniss’ skull. It is her tone being used and this only makes Katniss the character more real for me.
Katniss Everdeen. What can I say about her? She’s our protagonist. A girl painted as being extremely attached to her younger sister but somewhat indifferent where her mother is concerned. When Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place, we see that devotion really flare into life. It flickers in teh beginning and then burns steadily as we realise along with her what she’s really done and what the outcome could be. That devotion is cemented when she doesn’t regret her choice. Against the backdrop of horror and gore, the author paints a picture of a girl who has needed to be as tough as nails but also manages to care deeply for others, andto be fiercely protective. We learn first hand that Katniss is smart and resourceful but we also she her failings quite clearly and she cannot properly manage affairs of the heart.
Peeta Mellark is a boy who surprises, right from the start. First we learn of the important role he played in Katniss’ life. Then we see that he knows how to fool us into thinking he’s one way when he’s actually not. He makes a startling declaration that we never see coming but can easily believe. Once the Hunger Games has started and he’s made a choice that seems much like a betrayal, the reader is on edge wondering exactly how he’ll rectify the situation and regain Katniss’ trust. When the Gamekeepers change the rules, throwing him and Katniss together we watch him bare himself open, exposing the truth of himself to Katniss even though she cannot see it for what it truly is. He is strong in character and given to love. When the story ends my heart aches for him as he realises that nothing was real and that Katniss’ feelings were all just part of a part she played for the cameras. I want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay and that Katniss is a silly girl who will come around. But I can’t. Instead I must sit and wait and see how he handles himself, on his own.
I loved what the author did with this story. She took a dystopia and a character who wasn’t all the way down on her luck and put her in a dangerous situation so we could see how she’d react to the events. Even more incredibly, she managed to make sure that Katniss seemed perfectly suited to what was about to happen instead of having to learn a ton of new skills like many protagonists do. Kudos to you!
Cover & Blurb:
The cover is plain and simple. Looking at it at first it’s okay but after reading the book, it seems fitting. It is simple, not fussy, just like Katniss. The blurb is also nice and makes me want to find out more about the book and exactly what is happening.
Highlight of the Novel
There were several highlights to this particular book. The most notable is the way the author managed to evoke the exact right emotions at exactly the right moment. As I reread I fell into the same traps that I did when I first read the Hunger Games even though I knew that they were coming.
In the beginning, I walked through Katniss’ day with her, listened to her describe the Hunger Games, didn’t expect what was to happen and was floored when it did. I felt the cold clutching at my chest as she did the unspeakable and volunteered to take her sister’s place. I felt her despair at being in the games. I felt, I felt, I felt. I felt everything.
This book rates a solid 4.5 out of 5 because of the way it was the written, the way it encourages feelings, the beauty of the characters and so on and so on. Suzanne Collins struck gold when she came up with this idea. It might not have looked like gold in the beginning but with some polishing, it became a masterpiece.
This is the end of this week’s Morning Muse post. Hope you all enjoyed it immensely. Tomorrow, my post for Baffled Books will go up as usual. Look out for my weekly writing exercise on Friday. And Friday’s post is cancelled. Ah everything so hectic right now but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Toodles my beauties!
K, the Popinjay.