The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Set in the ruins of what was formerly North America, lies a country named Panem. In control is the Capitol, surrounded by 12 outlying districts living in poverty and fear of the cruel rules set by President Snow in the Capitol.
As a form of punishment for crimes committed by generations past, every year each district must supply one male and one female tribute between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen is only 16 when she steps up to take her younger sister’s place in the death-match arena. Having already resigned herself to the dim fate of death, Katniss surprises herself and the nation when she finds herself standing strong and surviving the barbaric games. Although Katniss had her future in the arena planned, everything changed because of one Peeta Mellark, whose bombshell announcement at the beginning of the games left Katniss with difficult choices to make about life and death.
What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? What praise can I bestow that won’t sound redundant to every other book blogger that has already posted a review about this book. I couldn’t put the book down, I read it into the wee hours past midnight, and finished it completely the next morning after a restless night of sleep thinking about the book.
Obviously, I loved this book. I loved Collins ability to create a dystopia world of censorship, tyranny and abuse of personal freedoms. It formed a commentary over the world of individual rights abuse taking place in Vietnam, China, Iran and many other countries that try to silence their citizens through fear and cruelty.
The Hunger Games is set up like the Olympics, full of fanfare, district uniforms and even televised interviews with each tribute. The whole thing is a disgusting display of power and corruption on behalf of the Capitol. The districts have no choice but to obey with the yearly reaping.
Katniss is a likable character. She is clever, and as quick on her feet as she is sharp of the tongue with her wit. Having taken control of the family affairs and livelihood at an early age after her father died in a mining accident, she is full of survival skills and self-reliance to forge through the games. I found Peeta to be compassionate, reliable, but also resilient and a fighter. Strong of heart, eloquent with words and highly ethical and contemplative of his and Katniss situation.
If you loved, liked, or even vaguely enjoyed the Uglies trilogy, then this is the book and series for you. Katniss reminded me a lot of Tally Youngblood. Forced into a situation out of her control, her fate in the hands of people with no compassion or care. Her struggle to find her identity in a fight or flight arena, faced with difficult choices of loyalty, acceptance and understanding.The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Scholastic Press, 2008 ISBN 0439023483 374 pages