Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Hunger Games chapter one review

So I’m going to be reviewing ‘The Hunger Games’ books chapter by chapter which may or may not take a long time. An author called Jennifer Armintrout who has recently been recapping fifty shades of grey on her blog inspired this post. If you aren’t a fan of those books and want something hilarious to read then head over to her blog and give her some love (No seriously, do it) The link is here:http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.co.uk/

So I said to myself ‘Hey me, this chapter by chapter review thing sounds like a fun idea, why don’t I try it?’ and thus I am sat here, typing this. So I’m going to be reviewing another popular bestselling series, this time aimed at young adults. The Hunger Games has gotten a reputation as the next twilight, but I don’t really agree with that. Although now I’ve said that I’ll probably be comparing the two of them constantly.

This also means if you can’t be bothered to read the book then you can just read this. This can be like the lazy man’s alternative to reading the book.

Okay then, on with the show!

The book opens to our heroine Katniss Everdeen waking up to a cold bed on the day of the reaping. What is the reaping I don’t hear you ask? Well whatever it is it sounds distinctly death related. But then keep in mind we’re only on the first page, I’m sure she’ll explain everything later.
We’re introduced to Katniss’ sister Prim and their mother who Katniss subtly insults. We’re then introduced to their cat Buttercup, who Katniss not-so-subtly insults. She claims he hates her, but she also claims she tried to drown him when they first got him, so I don’t really blame him.
I’m getting the impression that Katniss isn’t an animal person.

Katniss puts her boots on, grabs some cheese, and we’re introduced to her home: District 12.

District twelve is the coal mining district, nicknamed the seam. Nobody’s up yet because the reaping’s not till two and everybody’s trying to sleep in. Katniss sneaks under the fence and goes hunting with a bow and arrow which will totally not come in useful in the story. We also find out that her dad died in a mine explosion when she was eleven. Poor Katniss.

We hear the first mention of the capitol, which is swiftly followed by the introduction of Gale. They exchange banter for a while. They joke about the hunger games for a bit. At this point, I don’t feel I actually need to explain what they are, because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year then you should know. If not then maybe this recap isn’t for you, or you can just go and wikipedia the book, because wikipedia solves all problems.

Katniss gives a hint that she’s not a big fan of her mother, which would explain the dig at her earlier, and we find out how her mother and father met. Gale then suggests running away together and Katniss rejects it, because that would probably ruin the plot of this book. Oh and here’s my first comparison to twilight,

“There’s never been anything romantic between Gale and me. When we met, I was a skinny twelve year old, and although he was only two years older, he already looked like a man.”

Poor Gale, he’s just entered the friendzone. This totally won’t become awkward later on. She says that girls whispering about him makes her jealous but y’know, not in that way. She’s jealous because good hunting partners are hard to find. Unless those girls are lining up with bows and arrows begging to be his hunting party, I’m not accepting that statement.
They hunt and because they live in a dystopian society go to the black market to exchange supplies and we meet Greasy Sae, who can make soup from anything. They go to the mayor’s house to sell strawberries and we meet Madge, the mayor’s daughter. They were sort of friends at school, kind of. She’s wearing a nice dress, and this:

I like that badge, that is a nice badge

They exchange banter and Gale makes a dig at madge because she won’t be going to the capitol because her family can afford food. Confused? Well in Panem (The world in which this takes place) if you can’t afford food and you’re a kid you can get tessera, which is basically grain and oil in exchange for having your name entered more times in the reaping, which if you haven’t worked it out by now is the lottery they use for deciding which teenagers are going to be sent off to the titular games. Madge isn’t as poor as the others; therefore she has less chance of being picked.  This pisses Gale off and they leave to get ready for the reaping.

It’s Prim’s first year in the reaping and she’s only been entered once, Katniss’ been entered twenty times. This is going to be very ironic later. They head to the reaping, and there’s an air of forced merriment. I’d just like to say at this point that way they handles this scene in the movie was excellent and really got across the tense atmosphere, even though I’d already read the book.

The reaping starts and Effie trinket, who essentially dresses like a sweet shop, graces the stage. The mayor explains Panem’s history and the ‘Dark days’ where the thirteen districts rose up against the capitol, which runs the country. District thirteen got destroyed in the process and the hunger games got created. Now every year the districts each send a boy and a girl from each district to fight to the death until one remains.This is one of the ways the capitol controls the districts/

We meet haymitch, who is drunk and embaresses Effie and then it’s time to draw the names.
Moment of silence please…

And now we’re going to have one of those chapter cliffhangers which the author does a lot and gets on my nerves a bit because I have to keep reading on.

“Effie trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of pape, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it’s not me.
It’s primrose everdeen.”

Well what were the odds of that? And I would never have guessed this plot twist from reading the blurb on the book. Was this supposed to be a surprise?

Anyway, end of chapter review. See you soon!

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