The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games takes place in a future time period after the destruction of North America, in Panem. Panem consists of a rich Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, every year one boy and one girl from each district are selected by lottery and forced to participate in The Hunger Games, a televised event where the participants must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains. The story follows fatherless 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Games in place of her younger sister, Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy whom Katniss knows from school and who once saved Katniss's life by giving her bread when her family was starving.
Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol, where they meet the other tributes and are publicly displayed to the Capitol audience. During this time, Peeta reveals on-air his long-time unrequited love for Katniss. Katniss believes this to be a ploy to gain audience support for the Games, which can be crucial for survival, as audience members are permitted to send gifts to favored tributes during the Games. The Games begin with 11 of the 24 tributes dying in the first day, while Katniss relies on her well-practiced hunting and outdoors skills to survive. As the Games continue, the tribute death toll increases, but both Katniss and Peeta are able to evade death.
Supposedly due to Katniss and Peeta's beloved image to the audience as "star-crossed lovers", a rule change is announced midway through the Games, stating that two tributes from the same district can win the Hunger Games as a pair. Upon hearing this, Katniss searches for Peeta and finds him wounded. She nurses him back to health and acts the part of a young girl falling in love to gain more favor with the audience and, consequently, gifts from her sponsors. When the couple manages to outlast all the other tributes the Gamemakers suddenly reverse the rule change and try to force them into a dramatic finale where one must kill the other to win. Instead, they both threaten suicide and are subsequently both declared winners.
Though she survives the ordeal in the arena and is treated to a hero's welcome in the Capitol, Katniss worries that she has now become a political target after having defied her society's authoritarian leaders so publicly. Her on-screen romance with Peeta also comes to a halt when he is heartbroken to learn that their relationship was at least partially a calculated ploy to garner sympathy from the audience, although Katniss herself remains unsure of her own feelings.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
READ the Hunger Games! Very unique
OMG READ THIS!
I picked it up when I found out it is currently Stephenie Meyer's (author of "Twilight" series) favorite read. (She loved it so much she reccomends it to complete strangers while out shopping...)
It is written in first-person present-tense (which at first I found weird reading) from the point of veiw of a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen who takes care of her mother and 12-year-old sister after their father dies in a mine explosion. When her 12-year-old sister gets chosen in a lottery to participate in the Hunger Games (a "Survivor" to the death) Katniss volunteers to take her place. The book them follows her preperation for the games and her fight for survival once the games begin. At one point durring interviews before the games Katniss learns the boy from her district that was also chosen to participate is in love with her. That knowledge adds a dynamic to the games that has never been known in their world, knowing that their will only be one winner.
Reading "The Hunger Games" was kind of like watching a season of a twisted version of "Survivor" where the opponents aren't voted out, but killed. Twenty-four kids (aged 12-18), one wide open space filled with booby-traps and wild animals, one winner. Luckily it wasn't overly gory. The deaths are mentioned, but only 2-4 are really slighly detailed. The story has moments of hard truths and raw emotions that actually brought tears to my eyes on a number of occasions. Overall I would reccomend this book to a LOT of people.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
I purchased this book because a friend recommended it to me. I blindly followed her suggestion, and then when I started to read it discovered that it wasn't my typical genre of book to read - but I kept on reading because it was interesting to me. I loved the book, and would've easily read it one day but I wanted to savor the story and pace myself (it's hard for me to find books this good). I can't wait to read the next installment, and I've been lending my copy out to friends to read. I loved the cunning way the characters interacted and plotted their way through the game, it kept me on my toes and interested as to what could happen next.
**Spoiler Alert - don't read on!**
The only thing I didn't like about the book was towards the end there was a surprize in the form of an animal fight, and I felt the animals were too far-fetched, but the futuristic, imaginative premise of the rest of the book felt achievable and believable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Not Bad, Not Great – Overtly Simple, Yet Creative and Suspenseful.
| No, I would not recommend this product.
Had never heard of this series/author before all the recent movie hype. Nonetheless, I wanted to explore the book(s) first, before seeing the movie.
This review is not intended to be a spoiler – I will try to generalize, but may give away a bit of the plot through my comments, so be warned.
First of all, let me say that this book is not complicated - no overt sexual overtones, explicitly graphic details, extensive literary vocabulary, or complex descriptions/adjectives – unfortunately.
With that being said, I found this characteristic to be somewhat disappointing. I wasn’t expecting Anne Rice or Charles Dickens, but was hoping for more – more romance, passion, evil, action – more details, more description, more situational and character development...
Even the main character, Katniss, is somewhat drab, dull, and boring – never concerned with her appearance, self-conscious/low self-esteem, and a tomboy to boot – with no mention of any cognizant sexual libido (I know she is a teenager, but really?). She never mentions any physical attraction to any member of the opposite sex, or development of sexual attraction – period.
Also, throughout the book, the character development, relationships between characters is often underdeveloped, awkward, and confusing. Most of Katniss’s relationships with others exclusively reside in her “head,” and are underexplored, unresolved, and undefined. Thus, based on the limited dialogue between her and others, I often found myself questioning why her sentiments or actual connections surrounding characters were important, or even valid.
In addition, some of Katniss’s own thoughts/statements often seemed contradicting to the storyline and her relationships unbelievable – e.g., why should she be concerned with Gale’s opinion of her - a person she loves like a brother? Why does she trust Cinna so much – one of Captial’s own citizens, that she despises/hates? Why, after being told to be herself, did Katniss make a bizarre remark about loving her dress during the interview, and spin? – she had never been appreciative of beauty (or her looks for that matter) before…
So, although reading a book written from a first person viewpoint can be interesting, it is also very limiting – the reader knows nothing of the thoughts of others, and therefore has to constantly guess/speculate at the purported relationships.
At any rate, the book is somewhat fun, interesting, and had some poignant/altruistic themes, e.g. – the underdog, government, life/death, romance, coming of age, friendship, integrity, courage, love, etc. Also, the author had some very suspenseful moments, and creative situations/resolutions to problems, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What I found kind of ironic was the dichotomy of emotions I felt after reading the book. I despised the sadistic methodologies of the Captial, yet intrigued to vicariously experience the events of the games themselves, as any despicable Capital spectator would… hehe.
Indeed, this is definitely not a challenging book to read, probably geared for middle-school age. Don’t expect to be too shocked, scared, or enthralled – but do expect some creative situations/resolutions, a tiny bit of romance, some suspense, and some positive underlying themes. Check out “Battle Circle” by Piers Anthony instead (at least he is provocative).