About the Book: Twenty- four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
My Review: I heard so much about this book before reading it that I feared there was no way it could live up to all the hype. I'm so happy to say, that it does.
It's kind of a weird mix between Lord of the Flies, Survivor, Death Race 2000, and The Lottery. At least, that's what went through my mind while reading this book. It's pretty much the worst and most cruel reality television show imaginable that pits children against each other to the death. I have to admit that for about the first half, I was engaged but I didn't necessarily find the book riveting. It was an interesting concept, but Katniss was getting on my nerves. But somewhere around the middle...somewhere around the middle, the book intervened with my real life. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, and I couldn't stop thinking about it when I was forced to put it down. Don't you love it when a book just pops into your thoughts while you're calmly discussing your weekend with your co-workers? Or helping a student with a definition in their reading? Terribly distracting. :)
I'm still not sure I like Katniss. In some ways, I admire her for her strength and grit, but in others, I think she's a bit slow. (those who have read the book must know what I mean) In some ways, she was so mature and in others? Not so much. Ultimately, above all else, she's a survivor. And because there is still just so much room for her character to grow and develop I'm glad there are more books to come.
I read so much lately that it's rare for a book to to completely consume my thoughts and capture my imagination like this one did. The ending brings some satisfaction while leaving open enough threads of story to make me eagerly anticipate the release of the next book. If it was available now, I'd cast aside my TBR pile and stacks of review copies to consume it. If you like dystopian literature, adventure, stories of survival, YA, or just really good books then I recommend this one. Purchase it here.
Visit the Scholastic website to read the first chapter and find more information on the book!
(I just read Stephen King's review and he mentions how Katniss never mentions seeing any cameras. I thought this exact same thing!! I just comforted myself by thinking technology was so advanced the cameras were small and in everything and everywhere.)
Things You Might Want to Know: I'm comfortable recommending this book to all of my readers. There is violence of course, but it's not too graphic.