While the party may have ended, the band has packed up their instruments and is boarding their bus back to Panem, the streamers have been torn down by the kiddos, and everything that could have been said about THE HUNGER GAMES has probably already been said, I still feel the need to review it. Why? Because I’ve never been very good at marching in step with the rest of the crowd. Plus, as I write this, THE HUNGER GAMES occupies #9 of the Amazon Kindle eBooks Bestseller List for only the 840th day.
So how did Suzanne Collins create this international party with a rabid group of followers? By writing a damn good novel, and despite catering to the YA crowd, she held nothing back with the violence, as she dropped it across the blood spattered pages. As for her main character Katniss Everdeen, she is the real hero of this story, and she’s the glue that holds this entire novel together. Without being inside of her head every second of this novel, the entire structure on which it is built would fall apart. You can claim that this should have been written in third person, and that it would have added suspense, as well as rounded out the other characters. But it would have changed the focus of the novel entirely, and it would have lacked immediacy. In order for first person to work successfully, a novel needs a strong, well-defined main character. Check and check.
She does a great job with world-building, and I was sucked right into the kiddie pool with the surroundings, circumstances, characters, districts, and everything else that she so expertly articulated. So what if the love triangle is overdone? Without it, the story would have lacked heart. Besides, if you really want to talk plot, there are only seven basic plots, according to Cristopher Booker. Sure, this number ends up being a bit arbitrary, but it’s not like authors have an unlimited number of plots to choose from. So what it really boils down to is execution. Over and over again this book proves its point with Katniss, the quick flip of the pages (or push of the button for us Kindle users), the action scenes, how far we get into Katniss’s head, and the world-building. If you haven’t already hopped on THE HUNGER GAMES phenomenon, you better board the bus now, or you’re liable to miss out on the after-party.