Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
By Suzanne Collins
ISBN:  9780439023481
Published October 1, 2008
Available Format:  Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, Audiobook

My Rating: êêêêê

The North America we know is no longer.  Panem and the twelve outlying districts take its place.  The brutal Capitol keeps the districts under their control by forcing one boy and one girl from each district to compete in the annual Hunger Games.  The tributes are briefly trained and then dropped in an arena where they are forced to fight to the death, until only one remains to take victory and a life of so-called fortune.

As Katniss Everdeen hears her twelve-year-old sister’s name called in the drawing, she volunteers herself out of sheer desperation. She’s soon thrown into a life-changing experience she will never forget, if she survives. Her hunting and survival skills are put to the ultimate test, along with her heart.

Of course, I had to see what the hype was all about, and when I saw this series was moving to the big screen, I wanted to jump on board before the release date. I am absolutely not sorry that I did.  The Hunger Games is an absolute page-turner that I did not want to put down for one second (though I had to a few times… wah!). 

Katniss is sixteen years old and fighting for her life.  The future of our world is dark and uncertain, forcing children to hunt and care for their families in the most primitive of ways. It’s hard for us to imagine ever being in such a situation, but when you think about it, it IS happening in our world right now.  There ARE children starving; there ARE children fighting for their lives, maybe not in such an organized fashion, but it is happening.  And that is very, very sad.

It is so easy to fall into this world, so easy to become entirely absorbed into Katniss’s life and struggles. You can’t help but love Gale and the bond the he and Katniss share, but at the same time, you fall for Peeta too.  And you are completely torn as the tragedy that only one tribute can come out of the Games alive hovers around the edges of the entire plot.  The romance doesn’t overtake the story, however.  It is very much about the Games and the struggles of the districts.  The romance just softens things up and adds another dimension to the story. 

There’s not much else to say about this book. It is fantastic, very well written, and something you will not regret picking up. I can’t wait to dive into book two of the series, Catching Fire, and see how this book is translated into film later this month.