I'd like to share this review that my 14-year-old younger brother wrote for The Hunger Games. It isn't a review as it is a defensive response to negative Amazon reviews. I don't know many readers who don't love The Hunger Games - so this little essay may not affect many of you, but I was really impressed when my brother sent it to me. I think it is amazingly well written and I was kind of in shock when I read it!
I wrote this review to clear up some things that other reviewers have said prematurely and possibly without thinking very deeply about the meaning and depth of this book. First off I will address commonly mentioned “flaws” of the book.
Many times The Hunger Games has been called a rip-off of other stories from more accomplished authors. All I have to say is that this claim is completely unwarranted. Really there is no possible way to know that Suzanne Collins did not come up with this book on her own. I can also tell you right now that no author’s idea has ever been 100% original. I do not dispute that Collins was not the first to write about a situation like this, but that has no holding against how enjoyable of a story this is. Also people have mentioned multiple books they claim Collins has copied for her book…. Does this not imply that these other books were also copying each other? Suffice to say, I believe that the idea of Collins copying other books is totally ludicrous.
Next I will address the bizarre names that have apparently left so many reviewers dumbfounded. First of all, this is a fictional story. The names of the characters should not detract from the quality of the book, and if they do, you are a substandard reader and your imagination is simply too confined to understand that you are reading about a different world where people see things in a completely different way that the way you do. O.K. now I will start with Katniss & Peeta. These characters are from District 12, in which the people are considered barbaric to the rest of the districts. Their names reflect that, they are simplistic and strange. Next is Glimmer, who comes from an industrial district. I would suppose that he name reflects some kind of product produced there. Now Rue, who is from an agricultural district. Rue is an herb used as an antispasmodic. Her name is possibly derived from this herb that they may have grown in their district and were familiar with. I believe all this is enough to void the claim that the names Collins created were thoughtless and shallow.
Now, about the character Katniss. Yes she is irritating at times, but only because of her personality, which is part of the story. If she didn’t have this personality she would be a different person, and the story would go in a different direction. I don’t believe that this detracts from the quality of the book.
Last there is the claim that the only reason this book ever made it was because it was recommended by Stephanie Meyers. All I can say about this is that it is ridiculous to even think that the recommendation of an author of a substandard overstated series would be the single thing that makes a book successful.
Now for a short and simple summary of what I think of this book. Despite all that I have talked about already, I would rate this book with a 4 and half out of 5 stars rating. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and was both interesting and exciting. I enjoyed getting to know the complex futuristic idea of a possible post apocalyptic North America. I liked getting to follow along with Katniss as she realized the whole truth about the rest of the districts and the capitol. I was depressed by the seemingly impossible to overcome corrupt government, and then enlightened by the appearance of good people amongst this. (e.g. Cinna) Perhaps the book could have been better in some ways but overall it was much better than some reviewers implied.