The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins: reading challenges


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


I do wonder now why I took so long to come to this book; maybe I distrusted the public frenzy over it. I enjoyed the read, and not sure I understand those who say there could be more depth, the characters more detailed. This is an adventure book for the young. Stories fulfil different roles in our lives. And different genres offer different scenarios.

It is a brutish and very nasty world they all live in, sometime in the future, unfortunately this old lady can well believe something of the sort could happen, I have been alive to long I sometimes think! It is against the background of this appalling State /Government/life that all actions must be judged.

I enjoyed it despite misgivings. First of all what’s not to thrill at with a feisty heroine as Katniss, even this old lady enjoyed her fight to best the system. She is not perhaps the most sympathetic heroine. However, she would not have stayed alive and won if she had been the stereotypical ‘female’, and why people still insist on powerful women being gentle, submissive and ‘feminine’ I do not know.


Within the range of her determination to survive, she displays quite a decent morality. Katniss’s first act in the story, after all, is the supreme act of sacrifice, taking her younger sister place in the lottery. During the games she also displays a great reluctance to kill, unlike many of the other contestants.


Katniss shows herself to be an Amazon in the making; she can hunt and is amazingly well versed in self survival skills. Don’t let’s forget the bows and arrows; a good adventure is so much better with those old-fashioned weapons.


I know that as a teenager, Katniss would have been a hero for me to emulate, there were very few female leads in the books at my disposal when I was growing.


I found the violence more graphic and realistically painful than the teenage books offered to us in the 40/50s. The love triangle I was pleased to see was played down, there, but not distracting. Maybe love triangles are cliché but clichés are so because of the commonality of the event. I thought it was handled well. I also liked the extra dimension caused by Katniss use of it to win the day.


I have the next two in the series and will eventually get around to reading them because I would like to know what happened to the characters later, and that connection with the characters I guess is the proof of a good read.


Reading a book such as this though does continue feed my confusion over the term YA. The age group is too wide for me. Hunger Games seems to me to be at the adult end of the range and yet those I would call children still, are in the YA remit. If the book is at the adult end of the range of YA, it would seem to me it could just be an adult book. The violence alone could warrant it, shades of Lord of the Flies, the characters are certainly adults, the age group it is aimed at is of ‘call up and march to war in reality’ age. As always I chaff against the label:)


                                                 angler fish by Vlad Gerasimov

This ticked the New Authors and the Dystopian reading challenges


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