Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (a re-read review)

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Age: Teen (Officially, but many pre-teens, adults and grandparents read it.)
Species: Human
Rating: 5/5
Interest: The Hunger Games Movie/ Re-reading/ Re-reviewing
Source: Bought

I won't lie, I'm only re-reviewing this because my first review scares me in it's enthusiasm and horrifies me in it's obvious feel of inexperience. Plus, that review feels more like a brief summary than an actual judgement on the book.

This is the third time I've read The Hunger Games and it gets better with every re-read. The best part though, is  having the benefit of knowing what happens. I'm serious. Some people would look at this as a downer, but I see it as an advantage. You get to see things you didn't notice the first couple of times. You also get to analyze everyone's motives much better. As an example, I'd always thought that Madge was a really insignificant character. I basically used to brush her off. However, reading it again... I'm starting to wonder if her father was a person who rebelled against the capital. Seeing his actions through Katniss' eyes, you'd think he's simply lazy or dislikes violence. The same with the peacekeepers which consistently defy their own laws to buy game from Katniss. Could it be that the people of District Twelve were much more defiant and poltical than they were ever portrayed as? With Madge, maybe she just wanted Katniss to have a token... or maybe she was letting others know that rebellion was close at hand in District Twelve and she thought Katniss would be the one to make it boil over. That idea is just so interesting to me!

One thing that never fails to change is my... exasperation with Katniss. It is completely obvious that there are two boys in love with her, madly so. Yet she refuses to acknowledge this throughout the entire book. A case could be made that Katniss has never believed herself worthy of love, that her father's death left her so emotionally stunted that she will not be able to love another male again with out fear, etc. I think that's pretty much crap. I think Katniss, in the very back of her mind, knew exactly what was going down but decided to ignore it because she was selfish. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, a girl has to protect herself after all. I just mean that she didn't want to deal with complicated emotions or failed expectations so she hid from it until it was  too obvious to push aside. Even then, she did a very good job of bottling her feelings and claiming emotional deficeinces when she had to face it.

I'm finding, as time goes on, that the Capitol actually intrigues me. Not the vicious President Snow or any of his posse, but people like Cinna, Ceasar Flickerman and Effie, even Venia, Flavius and Octavia. What do they do in the Captiol when there are no Hunger Games or body modifications to have done? What are their beliefs? How does their society function? Are there people they care about or are beholden to or is everyone in it for themselves? Is the Capitol really the shining ring of perfection it pretends to be? Do people have bad days or feel victimized or experience prejudice? There's so much I want to know about them. I think studying Panem as an entire culture would be absolutely fascinating. I wish there were a book that answered these questions, that went into the customs and activites of all of Panem.

*I tried looking at The Hunger Games from a different perspective this time. I mean the whole thing has just been analyzed, review and fangirled over to death. So, this time I tried to take a more "what if" stand on the book instead of doing what I liked, disliked etc. as I normally do. A vast majority of people have read/ already have opinions on the series/ watched the movies instead. Therefore, I brought out my theorist side to books.*

Happy Reading,

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