The Hunger Games
“It’s time for the drawing… She reaches in, digs her hand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper. Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice… It’s Primrose Everdeen.
‘Prim!’ The strangled cry comes out of my throat…I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me.
‘I volunteer!’ I gasp. ‘I volunteer as tribute’.”
And so begins the story of Katniss Everdeen when she volunteers to take the place of her little sister in The Hunger Games. Written by bestselling author Suzanne Collins (The Underland Chronicles), and praised by both Stephen King and the best-selling author of Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer. This future-set Sci-Fi, Action packed book, published by Scholastic, was hailed by critics as ‘brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced’ and ‘exciting, poignant, thoughtful, and breathtaking by turns’. This book earns each one of its 5 stars.
The story of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen begins on the day of the reaping in the nation of Panem. Each year the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol of Panem must offer up one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight in The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a live, televised show that follows the ‘tributes’, as they call the kids picked, as they fight to the death, each one hoping to stay alive and be the last one standing. When Katniss’s younger sister Primrose is picked, Katniss steps forward and volunteers in place of her sister. Then Katniss’s childhood friend, Peeta, is picked and they’re shipped off to the capitol. Once there Peeta declares his love for Katniss in front of the audiences, and Katniss must choose which is stronger, her feelings for Peeta or her will to stay alive.
Overall, this was a very well-written book with well-developed characters and a great plotline. Katniss is a great character. While she will risk her life for her friends and family, she isn’t perfect; she has flaws like everyone else. She’s reserved, quiet, stubborn and feisty, and a little moody at times, but that makes it easier for the reader to relate. She’s real, she’s not perfect, and she seems like just an everyday person, which is good because then she’s no longer just a character, she seems real in the reader’s mind. Peeta is another good character, and almost the opposite of Katniss. He’s outgoing and bubbly. He speaks his mind and is charming to both the people of Panem and the reader. Another character is Gale, Katniss’s friend back in District 12, with whom she goes hunting. He’s exactly like Katniss: reserved, feisty and moody. The characters in The Hunger Games are very three-dimensional and add a lot of charm to the story.
The book itself has a very original plot line, although often compared to the novel Battle Royale, which is very similar. Suzanne Collins writes in a way not often used by writers; she writes in present tense, which makes it all seem like it’s happening at the moment instead of the main character looking back and reminiscing. The plot is fast-paced and never has a dull moment. The books keeps you hanging on every word, guessing what will happen next, and I had to try my hardest to not skip ahead and see what happens in the end. This book is a must read for any teen. It has romance, action, and suspense, all balanced out into one novel. The ending will leave you wanting to read the second book as soon as possible.