I was feeling kinda hungry and I wanted to read a book. Hunger Games seemed like the right answer, especially with the word Hunger on the cover. I went into the book with the expectation that it would be a good story about some cooks and chefs in a competition of somekind. Hopefully, something with some recipes that I could use, and good scenes of violence as the cooks and chefs battle their way to the top of the Game.
Boy was I wrong. There are no cooks or chefs in this book. There is a lot of food, but the food is all food that the main character had to catch or forage for while stuck in the middle of this televised game to the death. She does spend most of the book hungry. So I have to admit that the title did make sense, just not like I had hoped.
Without a doubt Hunger Games is a page turner. I finished the book in under a day, staying up late to finish the last 3/4ths of the book. Without giving much away, in a post-apocalyptic future America is divided into districts controlled by a central district. Each year the central district demands two tributes, a boy and a girl, from the surrounding districts. These tributes, always under the age of 18, are sent to the central district where they are trained and evaluated before being thrown into the game where it is kill or be killed. The survivor is guaranteed a life of luxury back in their own district.
The first part of the book is how the main characters get chosen, trained, evaluated, judged and their backstory which continues to be told throughout the book. The second part is the competition. There are no dull moments. I didn’t find a one. I was expecting a few, but the author Suzanne Collins, maintains a steady pace that keeps you reading. She has done an excellent job of crafting a world that is alien, but familiar and believable all in one book. For the detail oriented reader there are plenty of small details that give the world a rich feel and depth, from simple things like where baked bread comes from.
When the action starts it is fast and well paced. The pacing of Hunger Games, is action, brief downtime, and then right back to the action. For those looking for violence there is plenty of that, nothing is over the top in the terms of descriptions or how graphic, but there are some shocking moments and some moving moments throughout the competition sections. I would give details, but that would only lessen the impact.
I don’t have a gripe or bone to pick with Hunger Games other than the lack of recipes and cooks fighting each other like I had expected. Hunger Games is the first of a trilogy and a movie. Lack of recipes aside I highly recommend Hunger Games to everyone. I am looking forward to reading the next books: Catching Fire and Mockingjay.