TITLE: The Hunger Games
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
PUBLISHED: September 14th 2008
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
GENRE: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Romance.
SUMMARY (from goodreads):
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.
If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I absolutely loved this. I understand and believe the hype. Katniss is just badass all around. I find the hardest reviews for me to write are the books that I absolutely love. Sometimes when I am reading something I really, really enjoy I have a hard time putting my ‘blog-brain’ on (the hat I put on to make sure I am catching specific things I either liked or disliked about a novel) and instead I just go for the ride. And then when it is all over and I am feeling either overjoyed or sad (depending on the authors ending) I sit back and think, now what? I almost feel like gushing about such a huge novel is counter-productive. I know it, you know it, you’ve read the reviews, you’ve seen the movie yadi-yadi-yada. Sooo I am going to give a little rant about something that bothered me and I will admit it is more apparent in the movie than the book.
For anyone interested in physics, this book might piss you off. I saw this movie with my brother, a Physics Alumni who specializes in Quantum Mechanics (read: big mistake). We had a good discussion after about the whole movie for hours. Basically you cannot make matter out of nothing. I don’t care how far in the future this is but it is impossible. The Hunger Games is a system designed by creating something out of nothing. If you don’t understand what I mean I think answering my hypothetical questions might make more sense. Or maybe it will just confuse you further. Sorry in advance if my ramblings make no sense today. Too much physics talk with the bro…first it started with the Hunger Games and then it lead to him explaining black holes, Hawking radiation, and what-not.
Q: What if the game is just a hologram? It isn’t because the Game has real visible touchable objects with taste, smells and sounds. When Katniss touches the butterfly in the movie isn’t that proving how “real” everything is? And Foxface dies by eating a berry. The berry can’t be more real than that.
Q: But what if all the objects are real life materials that in the future we can just move around at our will (like in the movie when they moved the tree over in front of Katniss and made it fall)? In the movie the dogs literally appear out of the ground though. Everything is created out of nothing in the Hunger Games, which again is impossible.
Q: What is the problem with having matter created out of nothing in the future, if it was possible somehow? Essentially this is the BIGGEST problem. If the Capitol can design a whole game that creates matter out of nothing then why don’t they just create infinite food? Why don’t they create all the materials they need that they are getting the districts to mine/gather for them? It just doesn’t make sense.
Collins could have made the exact same book without having this “futuristic” gaming system. She could have just made a crazy game that was completely rigged with booby traps and movable trees but all of this done by intricate mechanical systems. Even the dogs could have been bio-engineered using the DNA from the fallen kids which would have been just as cool, or more so, than having these dogs appear out of no where.
So to sum this up it was a little irritating that Collins didn’t think this through. She could have put a little thought into the implication of this all-powerful game.
P.S- The only reason I didn’t give it lower than 5 stars even after this rant is because while I was actually reading the book I was completely enthralled. All the physics problems didn’t even cross my mind until after I closed the book and months passed and I watched the movie. So no, it didn’t take anything away from the book but is just an extra thought.