The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

January 23, 2010
By , Henrico, VA
After having read Suzanne Collin's The Underland Chronicles, I wasn't expecting much of The Hunger Games.

But she proved me wrong. Her story about sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen drew me in instantly and left me wanting more.

The novel takes place in Panem, a country that lies in the ruins of what was once North America. There were once thirteen districts, ruled by one wealthy Capitol. But the districts rebelled against the oppressive Capitol. Their punishment? The destruction of District 13 and the introduction of the Hunger Games. Each year, twenty-three children are sent to their death. Intended to prevent the people of the surrounding districts from rebelling again, the Capitol forces each of the twelve districts to send one boy and one girl, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, to an arena where they fight to the death. There can only be one winner, and every moment of the brutal Games is televised.

Katniss lives in District 12, the poorest and most dilapidated district there is. Her district makes its money off of the coal that the men of District 12 mine. She already knows the harsh rules of survival, after having been forced to keep herself and her younger sister, Prim, alive after their father died and their mother sank into depression.

On Reaping Day, the day when the Capitol selects the tributes of the Hunger Games, Katniss knows that Prim, should be safe. After all, Prim’s name is only one among hundreds. But when Prim is chosen, Katniss immediately volunteers for her sister, hoping that she will have a better chance of surviving than gentle Prim. But she can’t fathom killing the boy tribute of District 12, Peeta Mellark. Not when he gave her the bread that gave her hope. It was his bread that saved Katniss and her family from starving.

Katniss’ only chances of winning the Hunger Games are her illegal hunting and archery skills. But Peeta introduces another way of keeping both of them alive: an act of star-crossed lovers. If Katniss can’t keep up the pretense that she and Peeta are in love, then it will mean their deaths.

In The Hunger Games, Collins questions the possibility of a future totalitarian government and what it truly means to survive.





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