The Hunger Games : Susanne Collins

Book review for : The Hunger Games
Author : Suzanne Collins
Rating : 5 stars
Series : The Hunger Games, book 1

Katniss Plays the Game

12 Districts serve 1 Capitol. Every year two children, a boy and a girl, are chosen by drawing from each district to compete in the twisted Capitol Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were designed by the Capitol to keep the Districts in order, as punishment for a District uprising decades before. Only the victor returns home, to supposed glory and improved lifestyle.

In Sum: The Capitol makes children kill each other to keep the Districts afraid and distrustful. Don’t expect a cheery fantasy.

Katniss Everdeen, 16 years old, lives in District 12, the coal-mining district that has had only 1 victor in the history of the Hunger Games. Katniss’ father died in a coal-mining accident, causing her mother to have an emotional breakdown, after which Katniss never fully trusted or depended on her, so the person Katniss loves most in the whole world is her little sister Prim. Of all the names in the bowl, it’s Prim’s name that is called to participate in the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss immediately volunteers to take her sister’s place, and so begins her struggle to keep herself alive, and her family safe.

Katniss is accompanied to the Capitol by her new mentor, Haymitch, the District 12 victor. She doesn’t think he will be much help preparing them for the games, as most of the time he is drunk. There is also the boy chosen from District 12, Peeta, who once helped Katniss when her family was starving. Probably to deal with the fact that, if she intends to win — and she promised her family she would — she has to kill Peeta, her emotions boil to strong distrust and she’s certain his motives are to manipulate her.

Like celebrities, Katniss and the other competitors are given full makeovers and paraded in front of the cameras for the entire Capitol to enjoy. Katniss’ stylist and eventual friend, Cinna, has Peeta and Katniss present themselves as a pair instead of enemies, which along with their awesome costumes gets them great publicity. It leads, however, to the necessity of them showing on camera as In Love. For Katniss, this is entirely an act; for Peeta, it may not be.

So as if dodging other competitors in the woodland arena, finding water, healing dangerous bites, killing people, and watching companions die isn’t enough to deal with, Katniss must also pretend to be in love with someone she inevitably has to kill.

The first book is full of excitement, and the series will keep you in constant anticipation that will not end until you’ve completed the trilogy. Be prepared — with all 3 books and a long weekend!

 

Review originally posted on Amazon in 2010.

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