I know what your thinking. "Spencer, what the heck are you doing!?". Well I'm reviewing a form of media I haven't even touched in the 5 years of blogging I have done: Books! The book I'm reviewing is none other than Hunger Games. The original book. Also shout-out to my good friend Alex for recommending this book to me in the first place. Also, I don't know how I'm going to do pictures considering Hunger Games is a novel with a lack of pictures.... Well, time for plan B... Use your imagination. :P Also this is the first time I reviewed a book, so the only thing I can talk about are the book's storytelling skills.
Also, a warning. This book does describe some violent scenes (Cato getting mangled by mutated dogs, anyone?). And Haymitch likes getting drunk all the time lol. So, I do not recommend younger viewers reading this book. As for me, I like to keep my blog as PG as possible.
So what is the story of Hunger Games? Basically, North America has been renamed Panem and is essentially a poverty country. The country is now divided into 12 Districts (used to be 13, but the 13th District got destroyed) as well as the Capitol, which rules Panem with an iron fist (rule one of this book; It really likes bringing up political themes). Once upon a time the Districts tried to rebel against the Capitol, and created the titular blood-sport to remind them that the Capitol are the ones in control. Basically, the Capitol are a bunch of control freaks who enjoy watching people murder each other on television.
But what exactly ARE the Hunger Games? Each District is required to send in two "tributes" (as the people competing in the Games are referred too), one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 years, in a large outdoor arena where they must fight to the death. And the best part is the whole thing is televised. And watching it is mandatory. And who they pick is completely random. The prize for winning is you get to be stinking rich. Losing means, well, death. Because....It's...to the death... (CAPTAIN OBVIOUS).
Anyway, the book follows the adventures of Katniss Everdeen. From District 12. Random fun fact! Katniss is the name of a real life plant! Anyway, something I MUST praise this book for is how it is completely written in First Person (the entire story is described through Katniss' point-of-view). I know it's a small thing, but I love it when things do stuff like this. And if you know anything about it at all, you know I prioritize a good story over everything else. A movie can be as visually impressive as it wants but if the story isn't any good then it will be garbage in my eyes. The only thing I prioritize more than a decent story is the gameplay of a video game.
Something else I love about this book is how the book handled it's pacing. There were no massive info dumps, and the lore revealed itself naturally, and in perfect context. Combine that factor with the fact that almost all of the characters, from Katniss' constantly drunk mentor Haymitch, to the Baker's Son Peeta, are memorable in their own way. Except the three minor stylists who help the tributes get ready for opening ceremonies. Because I actually cannot even remember their names, and I finished reading the book literally 5 minutes ago at the time of this post.
Something I was not expecting this book to do was induce feels. But one character's death, I won't spoil who's, was surprisingly sad. What makes it even sadder is that said character's death couldn't be avoided. My biggest pet peeve with Minecraft Story Mode (weird comparison I know, but hear me out) is that Episode 4-6 would have played EXACTLY the same whether SPOILER ALERT! Reuben died or not. Reuben's death didn't offer notable character development and the Order of the Stone reveal was good enough for a plot twist. Here, I'm not sure the story would have ended up the same way unless THAT character died, since Katniss learned from that character's death and received a decent amount of character development for it (her connection to that character winds up saving her life later). Now I'm not saying that killing off central characters is a good thing. What I AM saying is that if you kill off central characters, do it in a way so that the surviving characters learn from it. Which is what goes on in this book! And I love this book for doing it!
Now, I don't really want to spoil the rest of the book but I will talk about some things I have noticed. First and foremost: This book is really popular. It got merchandise, multiple sequels, and even got turned into a movie. Second of all, I have not seen ANY of the movies. And after reading this one book, which I liked so much that I gush over it in a blog post, I think I do want to see the movies (there are, to my knowledge, three movies).
Overall, this is probably my favorite book now. 10/10. Would compete in the Hunger Games again. Actually no. I don't really want to compete in the Hunger Games. Because giving my life experience, survival skills (or lack thereof), and everything I have done to make it to this exact moment, I would probably die. Anyways, there is nothing bad I can say about this book. It is really well written and like I said, this review was pretty much brought to you by my good friend Alex. Thanks for recommending that book to me. You're awesome. The book's awesome. WE'RE ALL AWESOME!!!