Publication Date: September 14, 2008
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The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
I had no idea what to expect when I first opened The Hunger Games. All I knew was that 12-year-olds attempt to kill each other. As I got further in the same phrase kept popping into my head "this is fucked up!" like "Survivor" on crack, and crack is whack.
Right about here I should be giving a description of the novel but let's face it unless you've been living under a rock you know the storyline, and until this afternoon I was.
I had previously been warned that once I picked up The Hunger Games I would not be able to put it down. They were correct. Even though it was an incredibly nice day out I practically had to be dragged outside to go for a walk. Eventually, I was unable to use "but I'm at a good part" anymore and was exposed to that bright ball in the sky.
I think the perfect word to describe the novel is wow. It was an emotional roller-coaster that I didn't want to get off. From the time Katniss Everdeen, volunteers herself for the event in her sister's stead to holding hands with her companion Peeta, my heart went out to her. She has spunk, there is no other way to put it, despite the obstacles that come her way she stays true to herself and I admired her for that.
Peeta was a mystery, I never knew whether he was just playing the game statistically using Katniss as a pong or if his feelings were genuine, and while eventually revealed added to the "espionage" of the story.
Suzanne Collins knows how to hold the reader's attention, raising suspense at just the right lull when you thought everything will turn out okay, making The Hunger Games unputdownable.