The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

I must say I was a bit hesitant to read this book upon hearing what it was about. I had originally glanced at it but wasn’t initially interested. After some coaxing, and a couple of years stewing, I finally picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

Katniss Everdeen is a teenager in a dystopian society. After the states rebelled against the government they were divided into 12 districts. Each one contributing to the general production of society. Whether by agriculture, masonry, luxury, or coal, etc. Each year the districts must offer up one boy and one girl between 12 and 18 as a tribute in the Hunger Games. Being forced to compete to the death until one lone tribute remains, thus bringing glory to their district. When Katniss’ younger sister is chosen as tribute Katniss steps up instead. Leaving behind her mom and sister along with her friend Gale. Once paired up with Peeta Mellark they begin to train with their mentor Haymitch, who drinks till he’s content. Katniss soon realizes her main strength is her ability to hunt prey. Though when the prey is no longer animal she is thrust into a cruel reality. Survival becomes her number one priority. And when she’s in a jungle filled with all sorts of tricks and traps inlaid by the game makers that may become an even bigger challenge. She has to hide from the other tributes to stay safe. Though some are even better at it than others.

The game makers keep things moving with all sorts of innovative ideas. While Haymitch talks them up to sponsors Katniss stumbles upon an injured Peeta. Haymitch notices the reaction this could have with viewers. One boy and one girl who fall into forbidden love forced to kill one another. Though it’s for show something else may be lurking under the surface. How do you make it in the Hunger Games if you have to take out not only your team mate but also the one you’ve grown more fond of?

Katniss and Peeta fight through the games to the very end and take on some very clever opponents. The end left my jaw on the floor. Katniss is very bright and takes on not only the Games but the government as well. A very dangerous move in such a fragile time. This is the first of three and it sets a time bomb for the following. This story kept me thinking. I couldn’t imagine what Katniss would come up with next. For the parents out there concerned about the violence let me explain; in my opinion I never really looked at this story as a negative or influential concept. It’s not evoking violence. Better yet, it portrays the need to put a stop to such horrid practices. It seems to warn people to be careful. That even seemingly good things can be wrong.

On a scale of one to ten I gave this book a seven. It kept my mind working and was a fascinating concept. The inner and outer workings of the Games were well orchestrated and you fully understand how the people feel and why things are the way they are. My main hang ups were that I wasn’t completely glued. The imagery and the story were amazing. Suzanne paints a unique and colorful world. Once I focused on it though I had to make it to the end. I do recommend this to everyone because I think everyone should see the warnings of what could happen were we as humans not cautious. So do take the time.

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