The Hunger Games~ Book Review
by Suzanne Collins
read August 2010
Why in the world it took me so long to read this series I do not know. I LOVED it.
The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which humanity nearly destroyed itself. The general public lives in poverty, barely scraping by. They’ve been divided into 13 separate districts, each producing one major industries. Recently, there was an uprising which resulted in the demise of District 13, which was eliminated by the all-powerful Capitol.
Katniss Everdeen is a young girl in District 12. She and her family are barely scraping by by her slightly illegal poaching and selling of wild game to the hungry shopkeepers. Such activities have made her an excellent shot with her trusty bow and arrow. Her best friend and hunting partner, Gale, also supports his family in this manner. Both Katniss and Gale have taken on the burden after the loss of their fathers despite being both under 18 years old.
When the annual reaping comes around, both teens are nervous, and for good reason. Each has their name in the reaping bowl more than most children their age. Once for each year over 12, and once for each tessarae, emergency food rations, they have traded for. Trading for extra entries in the reaping is a dangerous thing, for each year two tributes, a boy and a girl, are picked to go into the arena and participate in the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is a brutal, vicious fight to the death. Two tributes from each district are put into a closed off arena and are made to fight to the death. Out of the 24 children (all entrants must be between 12 and 18) only one may survive. The entire thing is televised and the families and the general public are made to watch as the children kill each other, are killed by natural events, or die from injuries. Some areas, like the Capitol, love the games. In areas like District 12, it is greeted with much less enthusiasm.
This year, much to Katniss’ dismay, her 12 year old sister Prim must have her name in the reaping. But with one entry to Katniss’ many, her chances of getting picked are slim. Of course, one entry is enough to be pulled. When Prim’s name is selected, Katniss refuses to allow her to go and steps in to take her place. Along with Katniss, District 12’s male tribute is Peeta, a kind-hearted boy who saved Katniss from starving right after her father’s untimely death.
The two are sent off to the arena to face the bloodlust. Instead, they find an odd way to twist the Capitol’s game against them.
This book was very well-written. It had me wanting more at every turn of a page. It was definitely a “can’t put down” kind of read. There was such creativity put into the storyline. The story line was filled with a perverse sort of brutality. The characters are well-written and complement each other well. I just can’t ooze enough praise for this book. Definitely one of the best YA Fiction books I have read in a while.