Wednesday, December 9, 2009
“Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The Hunger Games have begun…”
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This book was Phenomenal. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. From beginning to end it was non-stop action. The story is so heart wrenching that I couldn’t wait to turn the page. Reading this book was easy, finding this book was a little harder. The way I found this book was through my online book reading community. The first time I heard about it, I saw it on Stephenie Meyer’s website about a year ago and I made a mental note to check it out. I even remember going to the library and searching for it, with no luck. For Christmas 2008, Simon and I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble, since we don’t have a B & N in our town, we had to spend it when we went to Little Rock a few months later. This was one of the books I decided to buy. Of course it has sat on my shelf for quite a while; until one not so special week I decided to pick it up. And I am so glad that I did. With the second installment coming out the following week, I thought what a perfect time to read it. Well, my reading went way too quickly, and then I got stuck with nothing to read for a couple of days.
The Hunger Games is set in the near/distant future, where 12 districts now live in a place called Panem that was once North America. The Capitol rules and no one dares to come up against them. Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl from the smallest most run down district, District 12, the coal district, doesn’t have a perfect life. Her life has not been easy, with her father’s death in the coal mines and her mother going through a deep depression, Katniss steps up to the plate to provide for her family. She manages to hunt outside the district illegally to provide for her mother and beloved little sister Prim. To keep the Districts in line, once a year, the Capitol hosts The Hunger Games. This event keeps peace in the Districts and keeps the civilians in their place. Every district has 2 Tributes drawn, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, and they will travel to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games where, one person will be the victor and the other 23 Tributes will be dead. Every year the Districts assemble together to see which family will lose their child and which families are safe for another year. This year will be change Katniss’s life forever.
This is a story of war where no one truly wins. Even when the victor goes home to fame and fortune with a new life, they never really come home. Every victor has to live with the fact that they are now a killer and the only reason they survived was because others died. They may be the only ones going home, but they will never be the same.
It also is a story of love. There is a very complicated love triangle in the story, which Katniss is totally unaware of until she is faced with certain death. When Peeta Mellark’s name is called Katniss automatically is pained. Peeta has already saved her life in a way she can never pay back. He gave her a will to live when no one else cared and now they are matched up as enemies. The other part of this triangle is Gale. Her best friend in the world and he is left behind while she goes to the games to fight for her life. During the training before the games and during the event itself, Katniss is faced with a hard reality and she is totally blindsided by several revelations. I won’t ruin it for you because it is amazing writing that gets you to the point of no return.
Praise for The Hunger Games:
I have to start with writing style, Suzanne Collins does an amazing job. She writes with such description that I can feel the fire or taste the water. Whatever Katniss is feeling you will feel it along with her. Another concept that I enjoyed was Katniss and her inability to decide what she wants. Because she didn’t know what she wanted, I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted for her. She was a great character and I enjoyed learning about her as the book went on.
Complaints about The Hunger Games:
One warning that I must include, is that there is quite a bit of political propaganda. There is definitely a political background to the story that could be overlooked, but was definitely underlying throughout the story. I’m never too keen on books that try to push their political views on me, but I found it quite easy to ignore. Therefore I ignored it and enjoyed the book.
So, for those who have read it, which is your favorite? Gale or Peeta? What did you think about the book? Have you read book #2 Catching Fire? Leave me a comment about your thoughts on the series or about my blog!