In a dystopian future lies the country of Panem, which is what used to be North America. Panem is divided into twelve districts, and each one is dedicated to one kind of economic activity. There had once been thirteen districts, but one had supposedly been wiped out in a rebellion against the Capitol, the city that rules the country of Panem. To keep the districts in line, each district has to pay a tribute in the form of a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, who must fight to the death in an arena, until a lone victor remains; the victor is then entitled to live a life of luxury from then on. When her little sister is selected to be the girl tribute for District 12, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her place, knowing that it will probably result in her death. Alongside Katniss, Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son (who Katniss has had connections with in her past) is also chosen. Throughout the games, Katniss and Peeta make allies, enemies, and sacrifices…but who will make it out of the arena? Will District 12 finally have a victor again?
I found The Hunger Games to be a spectacular book, despite the amount of books I've read, I've rarely been so engaged in a story. Suzanne Collins’ first-person narrator, Katniss Everdeen, who comes from a poor coal-mining area, is a tough and resourceful hunter, who protects and feeds her family. Collins, who stayed inside Katniss’ head, wrote short and descriptive sentences that were precise about Katniss’ apprehension and physical experience throughout the games. In my opinion, the theme that this book is portraying is generally inhumanity, and in this setting, it is a big factor. Examples of this include, the way the Capitol sends children out to be murdered, the way the Capitol suppresses everyone that aren’t like them, or even the way the rebels are sometimes just as bad as the people they are fighting (the Capitol). One historical “event” I found relevant to The Hunger Games was the Roman Gladiator Fights, where gladiators fought to the death for the entertainment of the general population and martyrs (someone who is killed or suffered because of their beliefs) suffered and died as crowds bantered and jeered; does that sound a little familiar? Katie, a book reviewer, made an excellent point in her book review of The Hunger Games. It was that, “the fact that an entire city population could enjoy watching men of any age tear each other apart shows the sad and frightening reality that all of humanity, even today, is perfectly capable of taking pleasure from the worst kinds of evil;” which is exactly the message I think that Collins has written into the book. Another message I took from the book was about what it means to be yourself and to not give in to society’s expectations. All in all, I thought The Hunger Games was a fantastic, action packed book, and would recommend it to anyone (of a proper age) who is looking for an alive, fast, thrilling, and engaging book.
Citation for Katie's point in her book review: http://parchmentgirl.com/book-reviews/the-hunger-games-suzanne-collins/