The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 12, 2011
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The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a fiction novel for young adults. The Hunger Games is the first of three books in a series; the other books include Catching Fire and Mockingjay. This series takes place in the future, where the government, or the Capitol, focuses on persecuting all people in the country of Panem, what is left of North America. In Panem there are twelve Districts; each district then has one skill its citizens focus on. Control is all the Capitol cares about; they organize annual Hunger Games, in order to remind the citizens that they hold all the power.

Hunger Games is a televised game show that forces children from ages twelve to eighteen to fight to the death. Once citizens turn twelve they are forced to have their names placed into what is called The Reaping; The Reaping is how the contestants are selected. They pick two children, one boy and one girl, from each district to compete and represent their own district. The official slogan of the Hunger Games is, “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!” This further supports that it is in fact only a game to the Capitol; the Hunger Games serves as a reminder to all who try to stand up against the Capitol. The games are designed to force children to do what the Capitol wants; the winner’s district receiving endless supplies of food for a year.

The main character, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers in her younger sister’s place to be one of the 24 tributes. Katniss leaves behind her widowed mother and her twelve-year-old sister in her district. Along with the other tributes, she must decide if she is the kind of person who is willing to kill strangers her own age in order to survive a game designed for the amusement of the Capitol. Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from district 12 says this, “ I want to show them I’m more than just a piece in their games,” concerned most about the fact that once a tribute in the Games, the Capitol tries to change them to best represent the Capitol. Throughout the Games, she fights against thirst, hunger, injuries, and other teenagers, as a means for her survival. While fighting, she makes friends, only to later lose them as the battle for survival heats up. Not only does she have to battle other teenagers to the death, but also she has to deal with a romance between her and the other tribute from District Twelve. With this book being a part of a series, The Hunger Games’ ending is one set up for the next novel. If one is planning to read this book, he or she should finish it through to the end.

Even though the writing style of Suzanne Collins is slightly unpredictable and written in present tense, the plot’s message is not affected. The book being inadequately edited did not distract from the plot itself but did become a bit annoying. The Hunger Games connects with what is happening in today’s society. With one district wanting power over all the others, this being something most people wish to have. The way American society is regressing towards making America a miserable place to live in; if American’s do not try and solve solutions, instead of disagreeing on them, then America will be falling down the path of looking like Panem.

With intense graphic and action packed detail, one would think this book were meant for the audience of older adults, but instead it is intended for young adults and even younger audiences. With detailed scenes that take place in the games, some may think it is too disturbing for a younger audience, only by taking parts of that nature out or by aiming the book toward an older crowd, might take away from the overall aspect of the book. I would rate this book, four stars out of five, because in some places it is difficult to understand what is happening. Overall, The Hunger Games was an interesting book to read.

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