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Customer Reviews: 2
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Helpful Votes: 651

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Leslie Gornstein RSS Feed (Los Angeles, CA)

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The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.43
543 used & new from $0.01

650 of 817 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing novel, major flaw, July 10, 2009
You've got to hand it to Collins: No one can plot a fantasy novel like her. Nobody. She has you not from the first page or the first graf, but the first *word*. She creates believable, likable and riveting characters, ridiculously addictive survival scenarios and a rich world to boot. If you aren't up until 4 a.m. finishing this thing, you're a corpse.

My only problem with this novel also happens to be a very big problem: the overall premise. I'm not spoiling anything by mentioning that the plot involves kids pitted against each other in a giant outdoor slugfest to the death. Again: Kids pitted against each other in a fight to the death. Oh, and it's all on TV. Everyone in this post-apocalyptic world either thinks that's neat, or throws up his or her hands and figures there's nothing that can be done about it.

The author explains this away by creating a world of poverty and hunger; the parents of the young gladiators are so beaten down and afraid of the totalitarian regime that they just hug their kids and shut up and pray, but -- and this is just my opinion -- that's not an effective enough mechanism. It simply doesn't jibe with human nature. Even the starving, terrorized parents of child soldiers in Africa have been known to drag themselves into the bush and track their kids down or die trying. As much as I loved everything else about this book, I can't get past the basic setup. Isn't there one parent out there, one crazy uncle or scrappy rebellious mom, who'd stand up and protest at this amazingly cruel custom? There's not a single voice among the privileged rich in Capital City who might kick up a fuss? I know we're talking about a cruel dictatorship -- and an all-powerful one, at that -- but parental bonds have been known to be very strong things, and I think the author could have done a better job selling us on why the barbarism continues.
Comment Comments (158) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2015 4:40 PM PST

Portly McSwine
Portly McSwine
by James Marshall
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from $10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for "worrywart" children, February 23, 2006
This review is from: Portly McSwine (Hardcover)
This book is wonderful for children, particularly those who may have trouble recognizing or controlling their own anxieties. I myself was a "worrywart" child, and this book still lives in my memory as a source of comfort, reason and laughs.

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