Title: “The Hunger Games”
Author: Suzanne Collins
Length of Audiobook: 11 hours 14 minutes (9 CDs)
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
Synopsis (from back of CD case):
“Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
- character death
Representation in the novel:
- disabled character
- black characters
- non-black characters of color
Yes, yes, yes, I know. I’m so behind in terms of the hype; it got really popular back in 2011 or 2012. But at least I got to it, right?
And, this is special for a number of reasons: not only did I finally get to a very popular YA book, and enjoyed it, but this was also the first book I listened to on audiobook! Before, I never really got into them because I didn’t know if I would like them. So I decided to try them out with a book that I knew was pretty popular and action-y. And I don’t think I could have picked a better book!
To start, I really enjoyed the narration. Carolyn McCormick, I thought, did a wonderful job portraying each of the characters. I enjoyed her voice, and I didn’t have as hard of a time concentrating as I thought I did. I just can’t do anything else outside of listen to the book because then I would miss some details. Also, being read to was nice because I concentrated my energy on what the narrator was saying, having an easier time reacting than if I were reading it to myself.
On to the actual plot. I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, obviously, but I still really enjoyed myself, in a weird sort of way. The plot was engaging and full of action, with a good amount of time taken to also flesh out the characters. I especially liked how Katniss was portrayed: her fight to survive and how what she went through affected her afterwards.
However, there were a few things that annoyed me, one being the beginning of the love triangle between Katniss and the two other characters. Nothing against the three characters specifically, but I’m just not fond of the old “teenage girl has to choose between the boy she barely knows and the boy she knew all her life” trope. And I know that The Hunger Games was published during the peak time for that trope, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
The other thing I wasn’t fond of was the whole “Peeta just doesn’t understand how to survive” thing. I understand that the book is from Katniss’ perspective, and she just underestimates Peeta throughout the book because of how he grew up, but it was just kind of tacky to me for it to be brought up time and time again. It’s not really a big deal, and it’s kind of nitpicky, but it just bugged me as I was listening to the book.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this first book in the trilogy, and can’t wait to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay!