I put off reading this book for a really long time. I found the hype about it off putting and the constant comparisons to Battle Royale (which I am a huge fan of) made me even more reluctant. In the end I decided that I needed to see what all the fuss was about so I gave it ago and boy am I glad I did.
The Hunger Games is emotional, heartbreaking, thrilling, nerve wracking and strangely beautiful. Is it perfect? No. There are mistakes, just little things here and there but they don't detract from the story as a whole. There are times where I want to smack the the main character, Katniss, round the head with a wooden plank. Then I remember that she is only 16 and she has been thrown into a situation that I cannot begin to imagine myself in.
This book is deeply effecting and I genuinely felt sadness, nerves and fear along with the characters. It is political, it is frightening and at times impossibly cute and funny. It is also nice to come across a YA book that does not center around a romance. Is there romance in it? Sure, but I would of been happy if it wasn't there and would of loved this book just the same.
Is it similar to Battle Royale? Yes, in the same way that all books are similar to something else. It started with running man, to Battle Royale and then onto the Hunger Games. I don't see this as a problem, I think most will struggle to name a book or movie that is truly original, that doesn't share some ideas with other things. The difference between them is the way the story is told and taking that into account I would say that the Hunger Games and Battle Royale could not be further apart.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think any gender and any age range can really enjoy it. Don't be put of by the fact that this book is YA. It is probably one of the most grown up books I have read.
And please, please don't judge this book before you read it, like I did. Give it ago, you won't all like it but you might be pleasantly surprised.
I stand corrected the hype about this book is deserves the negative comparisons to Battle Royale and Twilight are not.