My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I approached this with caution due to the whole ‘new twilight’ buzz. But I think the comparison is unfair. The Hunger Games is actually well written and NOT complete tosh!
It’s high concept, but well executed (yeah, pun intended), so you go along with it. Battle Royale meets… I’m a celebrity, get me out of here?
The story is compelling and, though Katniss remains a bit unknowable in this first book, I’m sure that’s part of the deal, and we’ll find out more in the later books (which I’m keen to read soon).
My attention started to wander a bit in the second quarter where it was all media frenzy, and stylists and spin doctors, but I liked how it was *so* cynically presented – Of course it’s all spin and playing an angle; media fluff always is. I think it’s quite rare to find a bit of satire in YA fantasy, so that pleased me.
There’s a lot that could have gone wrong with a story like this for a young audience, but I thought the author handled all the difficult themes, the unwholesome events and the dystopian world-building very well and with a lightness of touch (I don’t mean it was light-hearted. I mean she didn’t bludgeon you with world-building detail. Panem was sketched quickly and lightly with broad strokes, but it was enough. It worked). Overall, pleasantly surprised and impressed.