I don’t read a lot of young adult books but I had heard so much about the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins that I had to pick it up. When I saw it on the shelves at HMV I knew it must be pretty popular. Even though it was sitting on the shelf in between movie tie in books and books written by socialite/reality star Lauren Conrad I decided to give it a chance. I’m glad I did, the aforementioned books did not rub off on The Hunger Games at all and I really enjoyed it.
The Hunger Games is one of the few books that I would actually call “riveting” despite how often it is falsely used on book covers these days. It was one of those books that even though I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to find out what happened next, I also wanted to slow it down because I don’t have the next book in the series yet. Note to self: next time a trilogy has this much hype, buy all of the published books and THEN start reading it.
If you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, stop reading this review. Here be spoilers.
This book revolves around a 16 year old girl named Katniss Everdeen who lives in District 12, a mostly impoverished province in the land of Panem. She lives with her mother and her younger sister, Primrose, whom she does her best to provide for by hunting with her best friend Gale and foraging for edible plants in the woods near her house.
Every year there is a Reaping- where a girl and a boy are randomly picked from each of the twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games, where the 24 participants (all of whom are between the ages of 12 and 18) will be sent to a large outdoor arena with very little supplies to be had and forced to fight against each other until there is only one survivor left.
This is Primrose’s first year with her name in the draw for the Reaping as she has just turned 12. Katniss has her name entered many times due to her age as well as the extra entries that she was given in exchange for food for her family (something that she never allowed Primrose to do for fear of raising her chances at getting picked during the Reaping). Of course it is Primrose’s name that is called to be the girl tribute for District 12…but the book wouldn’t be that interesting if the main character doesn’t end up in the Hunger Games so Katniss volunteers to go in place of her sister. Peeta, the baker’s son, ends up being the boy tribute and so off they go to the Capitol for training, with their drunken mentor Haymitch and the uber annoying Effie Trinket, District 12’s escort.
In the Hunger Games, Katniss is up against 11 other girls and 12 boys, including Peeta. She is expected to fight against these kids while trying to find enough food and water to survive. It’s very fast paced and pretty gory for a young adult book. I have heard that this book is going to be made into a movie and I can’t imagine how they are going to follow the story of the book while keeping it aimed at the same young adult audience. I’m guessing there will be more hinting at violence than actual violence shown, lots of quick cuts etc.
I thought the Hunger Games was an absolutely fantastic book. I found some similarities between The Giver by Lois Lowry and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, some of the futuristic and survival aspects were similar so if you liked either of those books check out the Hunger Games, or read them after you finish The Hunger Games Trilogy.