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. (Image and synopsis from goodreads.com)
Imagine reality TV combined with a dystopic society set in the future North American region. That is what The Hunger Games is about. Collins has created an intriguing and frightening world around the main character, Katniss Everdeen. Every region of their society has two children selected every year to compete in the hunger game- a fight to the death with only one child left at the end. Katniss is one of the children selected in District 12, her region. Will Katniss survive? If she survives, what will happen to her after the 'game' is over? I can't answer that! You need to read the book to find out.
I rarely read YA books but after my young sister recommended the series and I continually saw them pop up, I decided to give it a try. Expecting to be disappointed in the book and likening them to the Twilight phenomenon, I can honestly say that my expectations were not fulfilled. I found the story original and riveting. I liked the depth of the characters. My main complaint is the idea behind the book- a game where children compete to the death?! Who would want to read about this morbid and cruel plot? Yet, it's okay because it is set in a future that is, hopefully, completely inconceivable for us in the real world and not in a book.
One of the things that I most enjoyed about this was Katniss' character. I thought she was well portrayed in both her strengths and weaknesses. She is a survivor and doesn't give up, but she doesn't always recognize the emotions of the people around her and she has trust issues. All of this gives her a believable character. She is also well portrayed as a coming of age teenager because of the love interests involved in this story. She is always slightly confused and put-off by the boys around her, which is how many young girls feel when they know boys are noticing them but they don't know how to react or feel about it.
I'm excited to start the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars