The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Soooooo remember when I read The Hunger Games and I liked it and then I read the sequels and I did not like them? If you did, you’re better than me, because I totally forgot the first part of that. And so when my book group decided to read The Hunger Games I was like, uggggggggggggggggggggh I don’t wanna.

And so I sat down and I started reading it, and then I got distracted by other books, and then I decided to just power through it and oh, right, I forgot that this one is actually pretty darn good and so I stayed up until midnight (horrors!) reading it.

In case you also have forgotten this book in the wake of its sequels, the premise is awesome: dystopian future, The Man (well, The Capitol) keeping his subjects down, said subjects unable to rally against The Capitol because they are instead pitted against each other in a yearly deathmatch using children and sadly not claymation. Oh, devious, Capitol. Delightfully evil. Well done.

My favorite parts of this book take place in the arena. Kids killing kids, kids allying with kids who are going to kill them later, kids making up temporary ethics in order to have some semblance of humanity in the midst of all the killing. Watching Katniss devise plans is awesome; watching her carry them out is even more awesome.

The rest? Eh. I had a lot of problems with this book last time I read it because of the love story, which still stinks, and the handful of things that seem super important at the beginning but seem to be forgotten by the end, which still exist and still irk but after reading the whole series I know which ones to just flat-out ignore. I actually got through a lot of the crappier parts of the book that way this time, just remembering that they weren’t really important and thus not worrying about them. I highly recommend this course of action.

Another plus side to the re-read is that I could stop being frustrated that Collins chose to create a love story that I find both implausible and annoying and instead just read her story as written. I still found myself rolling my eyes at many turns, but I could appreciate better the interactions and emotions that Collins created. I’m going to maintain my allegiance to Team Katniss Should Grow A Pair, but I guess I can hang out with the other teams if they’re having a party or something.

Recommendation: If you like a good (bad?) dystopian future and some excellent fighting and logic-using, you should read this book. Just this one.

Rating: 8/10
(A to Z Challenge)

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