Hunger Games is not your typical story of slave society. As soon as I read the general plot, I thought about the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The setting mimics ancient Rome (brutal games for the masses, fresskultur of the high society; even some names in the book are purposely Latin). It is also a critique of today’s TV reality shows. Put all of this together and it would be a glimpse of Hunger Games.

When one usually hears of teenage main characters, one expects a romantic commedy or just a plain sissy romance. In Hunger Games, it is the brutality of one teen against another, all in the name of entertainment, that is the disturbing element of this story. Yet the true horror of it, the thing that made me sweat when I read it, lies in the tiniest detail: the color of one’s eyes, the smell of another’s breath. This is a seriously twisted story. I’ve read many and I dare say this is the first one that has ever made me gasp.

Hunger Games is in fact a trilogy. I’ve read all three books one after another in one go. First book offers adventure. Second a sense of battle among titans. Third is nothing but staggering from one abuse to the next.
Once as a beginner writer, I was told that in order to develop a compelling plot, I must torture my characters. This story goes overboard. Severely. At the end, the main character is 17 years old. She seems to be a hundred. Too much abuse, not enough reprieve. It’s hard to say such a book was enjoyable. Interesting. Compelling. Gripping. Mesmerizing. Not enjoyable. For that I would need to be a sadist and I guess I’m not.

All and all, it’s a tragedy. It shows what people on the top are willing to do to stay on the top and what others are capable of doing to get there. Is it worth it in the end? That’s for everyone to decide for themselves. I’ve learned much from it writer-wise, but enjoy it? I honestly cannot say.

It is a masterpiece. A sick, majestic masterpiece. It puts a whole new meaning to the words innocent and twisted. There are many sick gadgets in this story. The book doesn’t stoop to tell you how they work. And yet you don’t doubt it. It is the only book that has shown me the limit of my reading pleasure and kicked me across it. I will never be sorry to have read it but it will forever haunt me in my dreams. It shows that the greatest monsters in the world enjoy quiet music, grow flowers and drink the finest wines.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  1. I haven’t actually gotten to the final book yet, but the first two, I agree are brutal. But I think what is really scary is that is quite realistic-it’s not as if these things haven’t happened before- they could easily come together and happen again- and that is what makes it all the more terrifying.


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