In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me. She told me that the book cover blurb made it sound pretty dark and violent. I have an eReader, so I downloaded it and jumped right in.
This isn’t a book that you have to get into. The first chapter grabs your interest, and then runs with it. It is reaping day. Reaping day is when one boy and one girl are chosen from each district to compete in the Hunger Games. It is like a lottery, a human lotto if you will. The day a child turns twelve they are eligible for the reaping. Their name is only entered once that year, but the next year it will be entered twice, and so on until they turn eighteen.
The Hunger Games is an annual televised event. It is like the ultimate survivor reality show where the contestants, known as tributes, are forced to a fight-to-the-death competition. The contestants not only have to survive, they have to win the hearts of their audience. Seriously, the longer I think about it the more it sounds like Survivor. Outwit, Outplay & Outlast and then turn around and win America’s heart to win the favorite contestant prize.
Katniss is a hunter, and has been providing for her family since losing her father in a mining explosion. She is your typical sixteen-year-old that has a little bit of an attitude, quick-wit, and a caring heart. I loved the way she plays the game. She tries to save tributes from other districts, she figures out different tricks that the Capitol is trying to pull, but she is oblivious to the fact that Peeta, the other tribute from District 12, is pining for her.
My friend was certainly right; I had a really hard time putting this book down.
The Hunger Games is well written, and fast paced. There is violence, but it isn’t over the top. It is considered a Young Adult book, but the only people I’ve heard ranting about it are adults. Another thing is that it isn’t really a book for girls (women) or boys (men), it appeals to both. This book has everything from hunting, killing, survival games, and weapons to opening ceremonies rivaling our Olympic opening ceremonies, fashion designers, and a tiny bit of romance.
This is the first book in The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I am so thankful that I didn’t have to wait a year for the next in the series to be released. It is such a good series that I finished all the books in less than two weeks.