Once again, I was wrong to presume that books recently published are often times disappointing. I actually found a copy of The Hunger Games in the teen section of my local library so am not sure I should really have enjoyed it as much as I did. Well, I did…
Some time in the future, North America has collapsed and become Panem, a dystopian society divided into 12 districts. Each year one boy and one girl between 12-18 are selected at random from each district and sent in a fight to the death match. The district whose winner is the sole survivor is rewarded with food and gifts.
When an extremely resourceful girl from District 12 hears the name of her 12-year-old sister called, she steps forward and volunteers to take her place. After a brief and bittersweet visit from her family, she is propelled into the madness known as the Hunger Games.
Katniss Everdeen is the elder sister who trades places with her sister during the annual reaping ceremony. After her father’s accidental death and her mother’s breakdown, she became the family’s supporter and in the process, has become very skilled at hunting and scavenging for food. She is a hardened girl with a lot of resentment which she utilizes to her advantage when she must face life and death challenges in the arena. One tough broad with heart and soul underneath all the grit and grime of her cold exterior.
Selected as the District 12 boy is Peeta Mellark, son of a baker who reveals the torch he’s carried for Katniss for years. Lacking skills and strength, he reveals an insightful view of life and teaches Katniss a lesson in dignity. Since he may have to face off to Katniss in the end, it is not clear where his allegiance lies. Not exactly a knight in shining armor, but a true gentlemen.
A young tribute from District 11, Rue is a 12-year-old girl who reminds Katniss of her lisle sister, Primrose. Rue, however, only resembles her in size and age as she is quite resourceful herself and is giving the other tributes a good run. She teams up with Katniss and they seem capable of taking on their 22 competitors. A spunky little lass easy to like.
I’m sure Ms. Collins would be great company. I’d have to ask her if it’s true that her inspiration for The Underland Chronicles came from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (ironically the book I read prior to The Hunger Games). Perhaps she’d share her evolution from television writer to children’s books to The Hunger Games and what lies ahead.
My rating for The Hunger Games is a 9 out of 10.
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