Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
By Yari Nieves-Rivera,Courier Staff Reporter
The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a far more gripping novel than the title may suggest. The first in the Hunger Games trilogy, this book is bound to keep you entertained and hooked.
From the moment I started reading, I just couldn't put it back down. It leaves you hanging on every sentence and every word. What's most shocking is the realization once you finish reading the series; this could be the future, and its really possible for it to all happen.
In the country of Panem (a post-apocalyptic version of North America), there are thirteen districts, and the Capitol. After a global Nuclear War destroyed most of the Earth, Panem was created. Seventy five years before the novel began, a rebellion sparked up against the Capitol and District Thirteen was completely obliterated, an example to those who attempted to rebel against their leaders. Because of the Dark Days, as the rebellion is called in the book, the Hunger Games were created as a reminder that rebellions are futile.
The rules to the Games are simple. Each year, the Districts of Panem must give two young adults--boy and girl--between the ages of 12 and eighteen as Tributes. They are chosen through a process called the Reaping. If you put your name in more than once, your starving family gets grain and oil for a year. Twenty-four kids are sent to the capitol, and only one gets to come home to their family.
Seventy-four games pass before the novel beings, and Katniss Everdeen is the only one in her family who can bring food and money home after their father died in a mining accident. She hunts with her best friend, Gale Hawthorne, illegally in the woods. Her sister who just turned twelve, Prim, is putting her name in for the first time and unluckily her name is called.
Almost immediately, Katniss volunteers to take her place as tribute in order to protect her young, defenseless sister. Along with her is Peeta Mellark, the second protagonist in the series to have to face the Hunger Games with fear. Untalented and a baker, he doesn't expect to come home, and neither does his family. They are taken to the Capitol, and that's where their real story begins.
The Hunger Games isn't just about action, cruel governments, and romance. The real story behind The Hunger Games is the loss of young lives, and the trauma that comes with that. These children are forced to do something that is unthinkable in today's society, but in their world, the Government encourages them to commit these acts of violence. They have everything to do on their shoulders. They must get back to their families. They must bring honor to their districts. They must try to survive the dark aftermath that comes with the guilt of ending another's life.