Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This review contains some spoilers.

Think of a world where people are segregated due to a war fought years ago. Where there is a divide between the Capitol, who reins supreme, and the lowly districts. The Capitol forever lets the districts know- they are at their mercy and will. Each year, to show how much power they can wield, they take two children from each district. These children are chosen to compete in a game where it’s prime-time television for the people of the Capitol. Just like a reality show, the competition will be shown across television screens for entertainment. It’s not a popularity contest though, it’s not for the people to vote for who they like the best. No. These youngsters are to compete against one another. They must compete to survive in the wilderness, where strange, mutated animals roam free and where they have to fight for their lives. Pitted against one another, they must kill each other until there is only one remaining. One winner. Welcome to The Hunger Games.

This book is harsh, gritty, raw and simply brilliant. We meet Katniss, the heroine of the story, a sixteen year old girl who lives in district 12, where their speciality is coal mining. Katniss’ existence has been harsh, and she’s learnt how cruel life is from a young age. Since her father was killed in a mining explosion, she has been the care giver of her family- looking after sister Prim, and her mother who broke down completely when their father was killed. Katniss is probably one of the most self-reliant heroines I have read about in a long time. She hunts and kills for her own food, despite the punishment that could be showered on her. She haggles with the other trades people in district 12 to survive, and knows that the way of life in the districts is unfair and in-humane. But, she knows there is no point in crying or getting angry about their situation. It doesn’t fill up their bellies with food.

There were times where I had to put the book down because it felt so real. This is not a story that hides away from the harsh truths. It shows the ugly side of life and human nature, which comes in the form of the Capitol. The Capitol had originally chosen Prim for the games, much to Katniss’ surprise and horror. Without thinking, Katniss steps forward and takes her sisters place. The other chosen player from district 12 is Peeta, who we learn has shared a moment with Katniss when she was younger and in despair. Throughout the games, Katniss shows what a remarkable teenager she is. She forms alliances, knows and feels despair but still manages to keep going.

The Hunger Games is fast paced with non stop action that leaves you in a state of suspension. You feel yourself on edge along with Katniss, not knowing who to trust. Katniss is courageous, smart, fearless and yet at times a frightened teenager where life has knocked her too many times.

Suzanne Collins has shown the cruel and unforgiving nature of humans, yet this book is a compelling read which certainly makes you think of what would you do for survival? And how far would you go?

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My first eva’ Mills and Boon.

The Most Marvellous Summer. That was my first introduction to Mills and Boon. I can remember it vividly. I was fifteen years of age, and was staying with my Grandparents for two weeks while I did Work Experience for school. At that time, I was firmly a Sci-Fantasy girl. Reading romance never even crossed my mind. I was immersed in the worlds of Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey.

From time to time at my Grandparents house, I got bored. What does one bored fifteen year old girl do at 7pm at night, away from friends? I snooped. I raided the back-room, looking in each drawer and cupboard, tip toeing so the floorboards wouldn’t creak. I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for, but they always had pretty neat stuff laying around.

Anyway, coming up blank on my snooping, I returned to the bedroom and flopped back onto the bed. It felt like my brain was on the verge of combustion due to extreme boredom. I flopped my head dramatically on the pillow, and turned side ways. I spotted a book tucked away on the side table. It was very small, and looked very unappealing. I read the title and author:

A Most Marvellous Summer by Betty Neels.

Betty Neels is my comfort read, especially if it’s been a shitty day. The lack of physical love making in her books has never bothered me. Even now in my early twenties, her books still give me that ‘feel good’ feeing. I like me some sex in my books, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you crave something that is old and delivers comfort.

The Most Marvellous Summer remains one of my favourites of the late Betty, maybe because it was my first. I can say the same of Homeport by Nora Roberts. Favourite book, and first of La Nora.

As it’s been noted that Harlequin has been doing pretty good in the sales department, despite the credit crunch, I’m going to give away two paperback Harlequin titles by Maya Banks, and because Maya rocks!

To enter, comment and tell me: What was your first eva’ Harlequin/romance book?

It’s open to everyone, and the winner will be announced next Wednesday, 13th May at 11:00pm GMT.

Good luck!

Edit: Also allowing users from the Hurog message board to enter.

Edit: Whoops, forgot to close it. Contest is now closed, and will post winner soon.

3d Time’s the Charm Winner of Blue Diablo Giveaway

Edit: Ok David and Marnie never sent me their address so I am trying this for the third time. Lets hope it is the charm as the saying goes. This time the random generator picked *drumroll* Dragonflydonna! Congrats. Please sent me your address by midnight Friday 8 May so I can send it off on Saturday.

Wow,

I had fun reading all of your entries, thank you for participating. So much fun in fact that I couldn’t pick just “one” that I liked the best so I let the random number generator do the picking for me. The winning number was “5” which corresponds to David Barnes. Congrats David!

Please send your snail-mail address to:

BookPushersAnonymous AT gmail DOT com so I can send you your new copy of Blue Diablo.

If I don’t hear from you by 9 pm Friday 24 April 09 then I will have to select another winner.

Edit: I never heard from David so I went back to the random number generator. This time the number that appeared is “7” which corresponds to Marnie!

Marnie, please send your snail-mail address to the e-mail address above. If I don’t hear from you by 9PM EST on Thursday 30 April then I will have to re-draw.

Blue Diablo Giveaway!

I had the great pleasure of spending several hours this weekend enjoying Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre. Since I was lucky enough to have two copies, I decided to pay it forward and put a copy up as a prize for a contest, and share Corine Solomon’s world with another person.

This contest will closeat 7:00 PM EST Monday, 20th April 09 and is only open in the United States. To enter leave a comment responding to the following:

If you had to leave your home and life behind and start over, what country would you pick and how would you earn your living?

Amazon Rank

Amazon is EVIL!

Seriously though, what they have done is shit worthy to the extreme.

They have decided to censor it’s rankings on the basis of adult content. This means that LGBT books have been de-ranked and taken off the search engine. Amazon, you suck!

Amazon Rank

More information about Amazons censorship: Dear Author