The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins Full review also posted here on TotalTeenFiction. Originally read in 2011 - updated review in 2012 to include audiobook review.

Audio review:
I'd been wanting to re-read this book for a while and what better way to rekindle your love of a book by listening to it!

The book is narrated by Carolyn McCormick and I really enjoyed her narration. She had a great way with accents, particularly Effie Trinket's Capitol accent, which really added a lot to the characterisation. Her voices throughout were great and I knew instantly who was talking. There were some moments where there were odd pauses or stresses in the wrong places but only occasionally.

The best thing about experiencing The Hunger Games on audio book was the vivid descriptions. Collins' writing is wonderfully descriptive anyway but when read aloud, everything comes to life that bit more! My favourite bits were the descriptions of the Capitol - the food in particular! It was almost like eating it yourself. Hearing District Twelve described gave it that sense of bleakness even more than reading it, too.

One thing it took a little while to get used to was the fact that because the book is written in first person present tense, Katniss' inner monologue sounds a little strange spoken aloud. Present tense isn't something you'd usually speak aloud in real life so it's a bit jarring sometimes to hear someone read like that, but it didn't really put me off at all.

Overall I loved listening to this audio book. The narration was great and it gave the story even more life and depth. If you're looking for an audio book to check out then I'd highly recommend this one, and if you still haven't read The Hunger Games then I reckon the audio is a fab place to start.

Audio rating: 4/5

Plot review:
I'll keep my review of the plot fairly brief because I've already reviewed the hard copy of this book here. The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic America, split into districts where each year, a boy and girl from each district are sent to the Hunger Games, a fight to the death aired live on TV to the nation.

The idea is so horrifying that when trying to explain the plot it sounds like you couldn't possibly enjoy it, but what Collins has done is approached the subjects of war and reality TV in a harsh and brutal way and exposed it to a new audience. The plot is gripping and full of suspense, as you root for the characters who are facing almost certain death.

Katniss makes for a fascinating main character. She's far from your typical girl which I love. Feisty and determined, she knows how to get what she wants and has this amazing determination. The range of characters throughout the book are brilliant and even the horrible ones do well to provoke such strong feelings.

There's twists and turns and so many cliffhangers that it's impossible to put down this book. Just as you reach the end of one chapter something happens that means you can't stop! It's a fast paced, action filled drama based around a brilliant concept. An absolute must read.

Rating: 5/5

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