Since a nifty trailer for the long awaited movie, The Hunger Games, just went viral, I thought it was time I found out what all the fuss was about.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first of the bestselling Hunger Games trilogy for young adults. It begins like nearly every post-apocalyptic novel. The world we know is gone. In its place is a dystopian society where North America, now known as Panem, is split into 12 districts. Our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, is from the poorest, most remote section. Now…let the games begin…
A century ago, the districts rebelled against the Capitol. As punishment for the uprising, the annual Hunger Games were started. The games work like this: two children from each district are selected as tributes to fight to the death in an arena designed by the evil Capitol. The Hunger Games are required viewing for all Panem citizens – they must watch as 24 children fight to the death. The winner’s district is rewarded with ample food supplies for one year.
While the book is surprisingly violent for a young adult novel, the story is well executed and the characters are rich. Readers are treated to characters like the sinister President Snow, Katniss’ younger sister, Prim – a healer, and lots of tributes of wildly varying skills. As the series progresses through three novels (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay), Katniss becomes a symbol of rebellion and the center of a love triangle. It’s all sort of post-apocalyptic Rome with a bit of romance thrown in. All three books are fast paced good reads, but The Hunger Games was my favorite.