The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Posted by amanda on Oct 3rd, 2008
Oct 3

Collins’ Underland Chronicles got dark at times, but this is darker. In a future world, the 12 districts that rebelled against The Capitol of Pan-Em are forced to annually choose one girl and one boy to send as tributes to play The Hunger Games. In the capitol, these tributes are given makeovers, interviewed on television, they receive sponsorships and the capitol citizens gamble on the winner. The Games are played to the death with no rules – there is only one survivor each year of the 24 children who compete. If the continuously televised action in the arena fails to be entertaining enough, the Gamemakers will throw fireballs, mutants, extreme cold and deprivation at the contestants until they are forced to battle one another. This year, Katniss has volunteered to take her sister’s place in the games. For a girl without combat training this seems like a death sentence, but Katniss is a survivor who has saved her family from starvation and promised her sister she will try to come home.

This is not a book for those craving a comfortable read. Nothing about this world is okay as the games run on the unfair deaths of children. Collins’ future world unfolds throughout the book as you get to see first Katniss’ life of deprivation in District 12, then the opulence of the Capitol and then the brutality of the arena. It is nice to be in the hands of an author who you know has built her world completely, but will introduce you to it slowly. Her characters also have layers – there’s a lot more to them than we see at first. Reading the phrase “End of Book One” at the end of the book made me so happy because I need to know what will happen to Katniss now that the Hunger Games have ended. Recommended to fans of dystopian fiction generally, but especially fans of Lowry’s The Giver and Westerfeld’s Uglies. 374p., 2008

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