“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 3.5/5
I was always put off reading this book due to the astounding similarities which the synopsis has to one of my favourite novels, “Battle Royale” by Koushon Takami. Sadly, these similarities are not only found in the synopsis but do tend to resurface throughout the whole book. It’s difficult to believe that Suzanne Collins has not read Battle Royale and taken inspiration from it, yet apparently she had no knowledge of it. Regardless, The Hunger Games does tell a new story, just within a familiar framework. Conceptual similarities aside there is genuinely gripping storytelling to be discovered. Shockingly basic prose and minuscule sentences encapsulate the feelings of the main characters, yet there are more than enough hints at a bigger picture to make me interested to read the next in the series. The Orwellian politics that plays as a subtext to the action is interesting and has great potential; thus far in the series it seems sorely under-utilised, but then again, this is essentially a children’s book and grand ideas aren’t expected to be dissected (no disrespect to children’s books intended, I’m a huge fan). Characters are well presented and have great potential to develop in the sequels. The large typeface of simple language which spans 400+ pages is incredibly easy to read and therefore addictive. Surprisingly, it only took me three days to consume without any binging. The Hunger Games is great fun, easy to read yet with subtle hints at something grand, and for these reasons I recommend it. But while we’re on the subject of a government that makes teenagers fight to the death as punishment for social rebellion, you should definitely read Battle Royale.