Friday, November 11, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: July 6, 2010 by Scholastic (first published 2008)
Format: Paperback, 374 pgs
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Mini-Review: A fast, fun read full of action and romance.
I realize I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I'm glad I finally took it off the shelf. Katniss Everdeen is a strong character with absolutely no sense when it comes to boys and romance, and I love her for it. She's clueless, and it's wonderful. And while the romance was nice, it was the characters and the plot that really made me enjoy The Hunger Games.
Katniss is fierce and loyal, and, above all, she is a survivor. This is a good thing, since she's just volunteered to participate in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death against other children. Only Katniss isn't just fighting strangers, she's fighting a boy she grew up with, a boy that means a lot to her. And then there's Peeta. Peeta, who can never seem to catch a break. Peeta, who is kind and sweet and caring. Peeta, who doesn't stand much of a chance inside the arena.
The idea for the story is great, pitting children against each other in a dystopian society in order to keep the people in line. And then broadcasting it on television and forcing the public to watch? Hardcore. It's intriguing and gritty and horrible, and I loved it. Though I have to admit it kind of made me think of Lord of the Flies a bit, not that that's a bad thing.
Unfortunately for me, I thought the entire trilogy was going to have Katniss pitted in battle against these other teens and fighting for survival, so when I finished the book and almost everything was tied up, I couldn't figure out how this was going to be the first book in a trilogy. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read it yet, but I'm not sure I want to read the other books because Hunger Games felt like a standalone with a slightly ambiguous ending to me, and I kind of want to keep it that way.
I enjoyed it, but at the same time I don't see why it became such a bestseller. It didn't blow me away or break my heart or leave me sitting on the edge of my seat screaming for more. It was a great book. I really liked it. I will definitely be watching the movie when it comes out. I'm just not going to trip over myself to read the other books.
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