"In the past week, I have literally devoured The Hunger Games. I had my qualms going into reading this book; I heard many people comment that it was similar to The Giver, a book that physically disturbed me, so I was definitely unsure of how I’d feel about Suzanne Collins’ Bestseller. Although it was definitely gritty and violent, I found it also to be touching and well constructed.
Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of The Hunger Games, is a very likeable character. I very much appreciated that she was not whiny and weak. She was capable, intelligent, street smart, and fiercely protective of those she loved. She volunteers to take the place of her younger sister Prim in the sadistic Hunger Games that the Capitol puts on every year. In these games, one girl and one boy in each of the 12 districts of Panem fight to the death on national television—serving as not only sick entertainment, but also as punishment for the districts’ uprising against the Capitol seventy years ago.
Enough of the background information. I liked this book a lot because I didn’t feel emotionally robbed. This book, unlike The Giver, establishes lots of human relationships that are strong and deep. I like some stability when it comes to characters—I don’t really like it when a character comes across as great all along, but then is suddenly terribly flawed by the book's end. So, for that reason, I really enjoyed coming to conclusions about characters and being right. I was glad that even though Katniss feels and acts like she is a loner, she is actually surrounded by people who love and support her. I felt such a human connection with her and her loved ones that I was okay with other people’s hardships in the games—even the characters I really liked. Obviously, quite a few folks die, and in pretty gruesome ways. But for some reason, having an anchor of emotional stability within Katniss’s circle of friends and family made all of the tragedy okay. I felt like I could trust the author to get the most important characters through the story without killing them off just for shock effect.